Cranberry Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze

4.64 from 55 votes
My Cranberry Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze uses classic ingredients and spices like cranberry, orange, and cardamom for a truly seasonal experience.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Heading into the holidays, I think it’s really important to have a few recipes on hand that are all about tradition. That said, you might not really be in the mood to make the same old pumpkin pie or super sweet fruit cake. If this sounds like you, then I’ve got the perfect recipe for this holiday season: my Cranberry Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze! It’s the perfect thing to remind us what winter baking is all about while still keeping the flavors fresh and interesting.

From the use of seasonal ingredients and spices like cranberry, orange, and cardamom, to the impressive look of this loaf cake, this is one of the recipes I love to revisit each year.

If you’re tired of super traditional cakes, but want to make something that still says “holiday,” I highly recommend my Cranberry Orange Cake.

[ If you’re looking for more simple holiday recipes check out my Best Ever Pumpkin Bread and Holiday Microwave Mug Pies! ]

Why do cranberry and orange go so well together?

The flavor and texture of my Cranberry Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze is really like no other. As far as cakes go, it’s extremely moist and decadent without being overly rich.

It has that iconic tangy flavor from lots of cranberry, orange, and lemon, which keeps this cake fruity in flavor without the heaviness you get from traditional fruit cake. Then, the extra spice in this cake comes from a combination of cardamom and cinnamon, which are holiday staples in my opinion.

Cranberry and orange are extremely complimentary flavors as the cranberry is earthy and tart and the orange is bright and sweet with the citrus notes you’re looking for. Together, not only do the tastes mesh well, but so do the aromas!

Can you use other fruit instead of cranberry and orange?

If you can’t get your hands on cranberry, or it’s not your favorite flavor you, can leave it out to make a lovely citrus spiced loaf cake. To make sure i get all the fresh orange a lemon flavor in there if use my GoodCook Grater Zester, using a whole lemon and orange. That said, I think it’s really the fresh cranberry that makes this cake look and taste so uniquely holiday.

Can this loaf be made into cranberry and orange muffins?

I love that instead of being round and cut into wedge, this cake is made in my GoodCook Large Loaf Pan 9 x 5 inch Loaf Pan — then cut into satisfyingly thick slices. Lots of times I get questions from all you creative Bold Bakers out there about making my cakes into different shapes and sizes. This cake can definitely be made into smaller individual loaves — or even in a bundt tin. As this is such a moist and rich batter (that really lends itself to being sliced and enjoyed), though, I would actually not suggest you make them in muffin form! For that, you can make my Crazy Muffins recipe and go to town with cranberry and orange.

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Can you substitute the eggs?

If for some reason you can’t eat eggs, or you prefer not to use them, you can substitute the eggs in this recipe for flax or chia egg. These ingredients act as a type of binder just like the egg would. If you don’t use the egg — no need to worry, as the sour cream that is added to the batter will keep the cake moist and rich, too.

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Cranberry Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze Recipe

4.64 from 55 votes
My Cranberry Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze uses classic ingredients and spices like cranberry, orange, and cardamom for a truly seasonal experience.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
My Cranberry Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze uses classic ingredients and spices like cranberry, orange, and cardamom for a truly seasonal experience.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8


Cranberry Orange Cake (Loaf)

  • 2 cups (8oz/225g) cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2oz/213g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup (5oz/142g) sugar
  • 2/3 cup (4oz/115g) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4floz/115ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs* (see notes for substitute)
  • 1/2 cup (4oz/115g) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2floz/71ml) orange juice

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup (2oz/57g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3-4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


For the Cranberry Orange Cake (Loaf):

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line a GoodCook 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  • Pulse cranberries in a food processor until finely chopped but not puréed; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, salt, cardamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. 
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugars, oil, and eggs. Lastly stir in sour cream, orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla, orange juice and the chopped cranberries.
  • Whisk the wet into the dry until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pans.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes the transfer to a wire rack.

For Lemon Glaze:

  • Whisk powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread glaze over warm loaf, allowing it to drip down sides. Let stand until glaze becomes crackly, about 1 hour. I like to do this when the loaf is still warm as I feel it soaks into the loaf better. 
  • Serve at room temperature. This loaf just gets better with time. It can be made 2 days ahead of time. Store airtight at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes

*To substitute eggs you can replace them with Flax or more sour cream or buttermilk. Check out my Egg Substitute Chart  


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Mauricio Jimenez
1 year ago

excuse me for my poor english, in Colombia it is difficult to get fresh cramberry, I prepared it with agraz and delicious.

Kristina Rios
2 months ago

Thats a great recepie. I was just watching a cooking show and I saw a cake with orange and cranberries that look so good. And I found this recepie!!. Iam so happy!. Also i have always want to make a black forest cake. Do you have a recepie for that? I couldn’t find any in BBB but I dont know if iam missing it. Thankz!

9 months ago

Hello there!
I would like to try this recipe but i already have dried cranberries. Can i use those instead of the frozen or fresh? In what quantity if yes?
Thank you Gemma!

9 months ago

Hi Gemma, now I know what to do with my fresh canberries! Is it possible to frozen it? Thanks a lot

9 months ago

I made it dairy-free (substitutes: flax eggs & tofu sour cream), used orange juice & orange zest as well as doubled the recipe for the glaze, and topped the cake with sugared cranberries. It turned out really well and delicious!

9 months ago

Great recipe!I made Orange cake with orange glaze today to be ready for New Year’s eve 🙂 Will upload a photo above :)Have a lovely New Year with your family!

10 months ago

Any substitute for sour cream?

10 months ago

can i double the recipe and bake it in a 9 inch round or square pan

10 months ago

Just curious… why do you NOT recommend making these as muffins?

1 year ago

Hi Gemma can we substitute dried cranberries for fresh.
We do not get fresh cranberries here.
If yes how much would the quantity be

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!