Tender and moist, tart and sweet, this easy Christmas cranberry bundt cake with sour cream is my very favorite Christmas cake. With just 12 minutes of prep time and a few basic pantry ingredients, you'll have this delicious holiday cake finished, and topped with the simple glaze, in no time!
Why I made this recipe
This sweet and tangy orange cranberry bundt cake is made with lots of wholesome ingredients like fresh berries, sour cream or Greek yogurt, orange zest and vanilla. These are some of my favorite flavors and they strike the perfect balance once baked up into an especially tasty coffee cake style treat.
It gets topped with a simple orange glaze and then decorated with extra berries and orange segments. This simple topping makes this easy cake looks like a million bucks! (For a stunning Christmas cookies, try these maraschino cherry cookies!)
For more festive dessert recipes, check out the peaches and cream flavored peach cobbler pound cake, the decadent chocolate hazelnut tart or the elegant earl grey lavender cake. If you're looking for cookies, these Christmas chocolate blossom cookies, no-bake fudge, and pumpkin cookies are delicious. For extra easy baking, browse 75 cookies with few ingredients.
With fresh oranges and juicy, tart cranberries along with some basic pantry and fridge staples, you'll have this delicious recipe finished and in the oven in just minutes. It's perfect for parties, Christmas brunch or served after Christmas dinner.
- Cranberries - Fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries both work well in this recipe. If you are using frozen cranberries, don't thaw them before using or the juice will bleed into the cake batter and look messy.
- Sour Cream - The addition of sour cream adds a wonderful, subtle tanginess as well as moisture and richness. Use full fat (10-18% M.F.) sour cream for best results. Medium to full fat Greek yogurt can be substituted equally if you like. Using low fat sour cream will affect the texture but can be used. I do not recommend using fat free sour cream.
- Orange - Use a fresh orange so you can first grate the orange zest for the cake batter and then juice it for the glaze at the end. Fresh orange juice is far better than boxed or frozen juice for the sweet orange glaze. It is the main flavor and used raw so the real orange flavor really comes through.
- Butter - Unsalted butter is used for this recipe. Take it out of the fridge ahead of time so it can come to room temperature. If you use salted butter, omit the extra salt in the recipe.
See recipe card for quantities.
Substitutions + Variations
- Lemon - Easily swap out the orange juice and zest for lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Rhubarb - A great springtime riff on this recipe is to use rhubarb instead of cranberries. Swap an equal amount of ½" cubed fresh rhubarb for the cranberries. Or, use cubed frozen rhubarb. Added straight from the freezer so it doesn't bleed it's juice into the cake batter before baking. Garnish with candied rhubarb or candied citrus peel.
How To Video
Need to see it to believe it? Watch this quick how-to video to see how quick and easy this recipe really is!
This is a classic cake method that mixes the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another before blending them together. This makes a well mixed cake batter without any lumps and a wonderful sweet treat for this time of year that is easy to make.
Step 1. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan and pre heat oven to 325º.
In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside
Step 2. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until the creamed butter mixture is light and fluffy. (Use a whisk if you don't have an electric mixer)
Step 3. Add in eggs, vanilla extract, and orange zest to the creamed mixture and beat until well mixed.
Step 4. Add the cup of sour cream and mix again.
Step 5. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and mix in.
Step 6. Add milk and beat until incorporated. Add remaining flour, and beat until smooth.
Step 7. Add in fresh or frozen cranberries.
Step 8. Fold berries in gently.
Step 9. pour batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly.
Bake in preheated oven for 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Step 10. Remove from oven and let the cranberry orange bundt cake cool for 5 minutes in the cake pan.
Step 11. Loosen cake from sides of pan (I use a butter knife or icing spatula to slide between the cake and pan all around).
Turn it onto a wire rack and let the orange cranberry cake cool completely.
Step 12. When cake is cool, add softened butter, powdered sugar and orange juice to a separate bowl. Whisk icing ingredients together well to make the simple glaze.
Step 13. You want the icing to be thick, but pourable so that it drips down the sides a bit, but doesn’t run off the top. If needed, add a bit more powdered sugar, or juice to reach the desired consistency.
Step 14. Drizzle the easy glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
Step 15. Decorate the top with fresh fruit and herbs! So easy, so pretty and wonderfully fragrant too.
Store any leftover cake in an airtight container (be sure to use a freezer-safe container). It will keep well for 3 days and safely (but with loss of moisture and texture) up to 1 week.
Cranberry sour cream bundt cake freezes well before being glazed and decorated. Wrap naked cake snugly in plastic wrap, then enclose in a resealable bag or container with a lid and place in freezer. Thaw while wrapped at room temperature. Once thawed, glaze and decorate.
For using frozen cranberries in this cranberry sour cream pound cake, it’s best not to let them thaw before mixing into the batter. Using them while still frozen will prevent them from bursting and bleeding juice into your batter which can thin your batter. Frozen cranberries can stiffen your batter because the cold temperature will firm up the butter but it will still bake up just the same with no extra time required.
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Enjoy this buttery and delicious sour cream coffee cake recipe with the sweet cranberries and orange glaze. Pour a cup of coffee (or tea) and kick back with a slice of cake while you work on your holiday planning. xo
More Baking Recipes
Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina
Easy Christmas Cranberry Bundt Cake With Sour Cream
- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup butter softened
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Zest from one orange
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 cups cranberries can use fresh or frozen
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice
- Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan and preheat oven to 325º.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and orange zest until mixed, then add and beat in sour cream.
- Beat in half the flour mixture, then add milk and beat until incorporated. Add remaining flour, and beat until smooth. Fold in cranberries.
- Spoon into the bundt pan, and spread smooth. Bake in preheated oven for 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Loosen cake from the sides of pan (I use a butter knife or icing spatula to slide between the cake and pan all around) Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
- When cake is cool, whisk icing ingredients together. You want the icing to be thick, but pourable so that it drips down the sides a bit, but doesn’t run off the top. So add a bit more powdered sugar, or juice as needed to reach the desired consistency and drizzle over cake.