This is the most perfect Cranberry Orange Pound Cake you will ever make! Made with a delicious blend of zesty orange flavor, sweet cranberries, and a moist, tender cake — it’s just a perfect sweet treat for holiday gatherings! The best part is, it’s made with simple ingredients and is super easy to make!
Imagine the fresh, zesty kick of oranges balanced by slightly tart cranberry flavors, all wrapped up in a moist and tender pound cake base. This heavenly treat is the perfect way to level up your dessert game and impress your family and friends.
Whether you were tasked with bringing a seasonal treat, throwing a holiday party, or simply craving a comforting dessert, this easy-to-make cranberry orange pound cake will be a perfect addition to your spread.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious Cranberry Orange Pound Cake:
Butter: Use salted butter for best results.
Sour cream: Give the cake amazing moisture and helps create a tender crumb in the pound cake, resulting in a soft and moist texture.
Dried cranberries: Adds a sweet and tart burst of flavor and chewy texture to the buttery cake. Tart cranberries also add a pop of festive color, perfect for the holiday season.
Sweet orange glaze: A simple blend of fresh orange juice, powdered sugar, and orange zest creates a simple glaze yet delivers amazing flavor.
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY ORANGE POUNDCAKE: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray your 9×5 loaf pan generously with cooking spray or coat the pan with butter.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar using a whisk or electric mixer. Then, add eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream, and orange zest.
Mix until all ingredients are well-incorporated.
Step 2: In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the dried cranberries. Toss until the cranberries are coated with the flour mixture.
Step 3: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, about a third at a time, mixing well after each addition. Take care not to overmix. You can use a hand mixer on low or medium speed but I prefer an old-fashioned whisk so I don’t overmix.
Step 4: Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick or a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the pound cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 5: Meanwhile, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake and give it a few minutes for the glaze to set.
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- Start with room-temperature ingredients. Bring the butter, eggs, and sour cream to room temperature before starting the recipe for easier mixing. Room-temperature ingredients blend better and result in a smoother batter.
- Don’t overmix. When combining the wet and dry ingredients, be careful not to overmix the batter, which can lead to a dense and tough texture. Mix just until the ingredients are well combined to achieve a tender pound cake.
- Bake at lower temperature. Baking time varies among ovens, but don’t be tempted to crank up the heat. Cranberry orange pound cake is best when baked at a lower temperature to help ensure even baking and prevent the cake from browning too quickly.
- Glazing consistency. Feel free to adjust the glaze consistency by adding more or less orange juice. For a thicker glaze, use less juice, and to thin it out, add more juice.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. This helps the cake to set properly and prevents it from breaking when removing it from the loaf pan.
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Store cranberry orange cake in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. After that, transfer it to the refrigerator for up to 1 more week.
- Freezing: To freeze the entire pound cake, let it cool completely, wrap it tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap, and place it in a resealable freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.
You can also freeze individual slices by wrapping them separately in plastic wrap, then place them in a resealable freezer bag. This allows you to thaw and enjoy one slice at a time without defrosting the whole cake.
Additions & Substitutions
- Nuts: Add chopped nuts, such as pecans, almonds, or walnuts, to the batter for a delightful crunch and extra flavor.
- Double citrusy flavor: Add thin slices of sweet oranges or additional fresh orange zest on top of the glaze for more orange flavor.
- White chocolate chips: For a sweet twist, fold in some white chocolate chips along with whole cranberries.
- Plain yogurt: Swap the sour cream with an equal amount of plain or full-fat Greek yogurt. It will still provide the desired moisture and tender texture.
- Granulated sugar: If you don’t have light brown sugar, feel free to use regular white sugar as a substitute.
- Unsalted butter: If you prefer to control the salt, use unsalted butter instead of salted. Consider adding a pinch of salt to the recipe, though, to help balance the flavors.
- Lemon zest: For a switch in citrus flavor, use lemon zest instead of orange.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Absolutely! You can bump up the tartness of the cranberries in this orange pound cake recipe and use fresh instead of dried cranberries. Keep in mind, the texture may differ slightly, but it adds a delightful twist to the cake.
To create unique flavor combinations, you can use other dried fruit, such as cherries, blueberries, or apricots. If using larger fruit like dried oranges or apples, cut them into small bite-size pieces so there’s deliciousness in every bite.
Definitely! The pound cake stays fresh when stored correctly. You can bake it a day or two in advance and store it properly until the special occasion.
TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
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Perfect Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
For the pound cake
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream full fat is best
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup dried cranberries
For the orange glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- Prep: Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray your 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray or coat the pan with butter.
- Mix Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar (you can use a whisk or a hand mixer). Then, add eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream, and orange zest. Mix until all ingredients are well-incorporated.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: In another bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the dried cranberries and toss until the cranberries are coated with the flour mixture.
- Add: Add flour mixture, about a third at a time, to the wet ingredients. Mix until well-incorporated before adding more flour. Try not to overmix–you can use a hand mixer, but I prefer an old-fashioned whisk or wooden spoon.Stop mixing when the flour is incorporated into the mixture.
- Pour & Bake: Pour mixture into your prepared pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If cake gets too brown on top, simply cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
- Cool: Cool pound cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make Glaze: While the cake is cooling, whisk all of the ingredients for the glaze together in a small bowl. When the cake is completely cool, pour or drizzle the glaze over the top and serve.