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Deliciously festive easy Cranberry Cake with orange
Enjoy this tender and flavorful orange scented Cranberry Cake with a crumble topping and sweet orange glaze.
This delicious Cranberry Cake has it all! The soft cake has terrific flavor with plenty of fresh orange zest and tart cranberries. The crumble topping is sweet, a little crunchy and loaded with orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice.
Don’t skip the simple glaze made with fresh squeezed orange juice and powdered sugar! It’s icing on the cake 🙂 These three simple components combine for a delicious treat with exceptional flavor.
We’re smitten with thick, one layer cakes featuring seasonally fresh fruits and loads of citrus.
Our Blueberry Breakfast Cake is loaded with fresh blueberries and is consistently one of our most popular posts. Another perfect anytime cake is our moist Raspberry Ricotta Breakfast Cake made with frozen raspberries for a year-round treat.
We also have a unique and delicious Cranberry Almond Breakfast Cake recipe made with almond paste that’s been a favorite of our family for many years.
While this Cranberry Cake is just a little sweeter than our typical breakfast style cake, it’s still perfect served any time of day.
This one layer cranberry cake is easy to make.
Prepare the crumble topping:
Small amounts of butter, flour, sugar, orange juice and zest are combined into a loose, crumbly topping that is refrigerated until needed.
To make the cake batter:
Next the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda are whisked together and set aside. Butter and sugar are beaten with a mixer until light and fluffy. Eggs are added next, one at a time, and beaten well after each addition. Vanilla, fresh squeezed orange juice and the zest of an entire orange are added to the batter and mixed until incorporated.
To finish the batter the flour mixture is added, a little at a time, alternating with a cup of sour cream. Once blended, the batter is spread evenly into the prepared 9-inch springform pan. Fresh cranberries are sprinkled on top and then the topping is crumbled over the cranberries.
The cake goes in the oven for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center come out with no wet batter. For the finishing touch, drizzle with the simple orange glaze just before serving. This cake can be served at room temperature or slightly warm.
Tips for making the best cranberry cake with orange glaze:
- When sprinkling the crumble topping over the cake batter, don’t put too much in the center of the cake. Sprinkle the crumble topping lightly in the center to prevent a dip in the middle of the cake. The same goes for the cranberries; no mounds of toppings in the center.
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this cake.
- Make sure the cranberries are dry, for best results.
- When zesting the oranges, only zest the orange peel, and no white pith. Zesting too much of the peel can lead to a bitter tasting cake.
- Lightly drizzle the glaze on the cake just before serving and pass any remaining, if desired.
- The butter and eggs should be at room temperature for the best results.
- Check out our post for 9 Baking Tips and Tricks for more.
Can this cake be baked in a regular 9-inch cake pan?
I don’t recommend using a regular round cake pan unless the sides are at least 3-inch high. Using a springform pan makes it easy to remove the sides and transfer the cake to a platter for a pretty presentation. It may not work to invert this cake out of a regular pan due to the size and weight.
A 9×9-inch square pan with high sides will work well for this cranberry cake but you’ll need to cut the cake into squares while still in the pan. No worries!
Can this cake be frozen or made ahead?
You can freeze this cake whole or sliced, and is best frozen without the orange glaze. This cranberry cake keeps well if stored in the refrigerator or a cool location, for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature to serve.
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For the crumble topping:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (2-ounces or 57g)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (103g)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (74g)
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- zest of 1 orange
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (262g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature (4-ounces or 113g)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (210g)
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 ¼ cups cranberries thawed if frozen (120g or 4 ¼ ounces)
For the orange glaze:
- ½ cup powdered sugar (53g)
- 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
To prepare the crumble topping:
- Melt butter in a small bowl. Add the flour, sugar, orange juice and zest. Mix with a fork to combine. Refrigerate until needed.
To prepare the cake:
- In a small bowl whisk together 2 cups of flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the butter and granulated sugar. Using an electric mixer beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, orange zest and orange juice. Blend just until combined.
- Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat on low until incorporated. Add ⅓ of the sour cream and blend until smooth. Repeat adding ½ of the remaining flour and ½ the sour cream until both are incorporated. Add the remaining flour, and beat to incorporate and finally add the remaining sour cream.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Sprinkle with cranberries, then the crumble topping. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost clean, moist crumbs are okay but no wet batter.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and transfer to a wire rack. Cool for another 15-30 minutes before adding the orange glaze. Serve slightly warm or cooled.
To prepare the orange glaze:
- Whisk the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the top of the cake. Enjoy
- Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar in place of the orange glaze if desired.
- Cranberries may be fresh or frozen. Be sure they are dry.
- Cake will keep at room temperature for 3 days or up to 5 if chilled.
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