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Christmas pound cake with sugared cranberries on a baking sheet.
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4.70 from 10 votes

Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake

Are you looking for a beautiful cake to serve for the holidays? One that is beautiful and delicious? This Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake will check all those boxes and more!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry, orange
Servings: 12
Author: Amy Sandidge


  • 10 cup bundt pan


  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons for flouring your bundt pan.
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup canola oil or other neutral oil of choice
  • 5 eggs room temp
  • 2 cups granulated sugar you could easily reduce this to 1 ½ cups, or even 1.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons orange zest
  • cup sour cream
  • 1 ½-2 cups fresh cranberries rough chop
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter for buttering your pan.

Sugared cranberries

  • ½ cup granulated
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

Orange Cream Cheese Icing

  • 3 tablespoons softened cream cheese
  • 2 ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-5 tablespoons fresh orange juice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush your bundt pan with the melted butter. Then sprinkle in the flour and tap to coat the pan. Set this aside. In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, add the butter, oil, and granulated sugar. With beaters, mix until the batter is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until they are all mixed in.
  • Add in the vanilla, sour cream, and orange zest. This time only mix to combine.
  • Next up is the flour mixture. Add this in and mix only until it is combined. Do not overmix at this point.
  • Last in is the cranberries. I like to mix these with a rubber spatula. Pour into your prepared pan and then into the oven.
  • Bake for 60 minutes. Check with a toothpick or instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and allow this to cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan. Then carefully invert onto your cooling rack.
  • I do this by putting the rack on top of the cake, then turning it over while still holding the cake to the rack.

Sugared Cranberries

  • While the cake is cooking, let's start the cranberries. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small/medium pan. Once the sugar dissolves, this only takes a few minutes, remove from the heat and add in the cranberries.
  • Swirl them around to coat with the simple syrup. Once they are covered, pour them onto a cooling rack sitting on top of a baking sheet. Let them drain and dry slightly for about an hour.
  • Then move them to a bowl and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. I like to do this in 2 batches so you aren't crowding and they all get covered well in the sugar. Set them aside until the cake is ready.

Orange Cream Cheese Icing

  • Combine all the ingredients for the icing. Mix well until it is smooth. Pour over the cake and top with the sugared cranberries.


  • There are a few things to note about this Christmas cranberry pound cake that will help you to get the perfect cake the first time. 
  • First, make sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature. They will blend so much better if they are both the same temp.
  • I like to rough chop my cranberries, I think the whole berries are pretty big in the cake if you don’t. If that doesn’t bother you, keep them whole. 
  • Adding the eggs one at a time to the batter will ensure they are mixed well. 
  • When you add the flour mixture, make sure not to overmix. This is always important in making cakes, but even more with the wheat flour in this recipe.
  • I highly recommend whole wheat pastry flour. Whole wheat flours are just like white flours, there are different levels of protein (and other things). This will greatly affect the outcome of your baked goods. My preferred wheat flour for cakes is always whole wheat pastry!
  • Do not overbake!! You can test with the toothpick method, which is the easiest. I also like to take the temperature on my cake with an instant-read thermometer. You will want the cake to be about 200 degrees. 
  • Another really important note, make sure and properly prepare your bundt pan before starting. It takes a minute or so, but it is worth it. I like to brush it with melted butter then sprinkle and lightly coat it with flour. DO NOT SKIP THIS.