“CAKES Cranberry Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze”

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.

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 her
Total Time1 her 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 (8 oz./225g) cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./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 (5 oz./142g) sugar
  • 2/3 cup (4 oz./115g) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4fl oz./115ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs* (see notes for substitute)
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./115g) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2fl oz./71ml) orange juice

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup (2 oz./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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