Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake Recipe

The Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake is a festive and delightful dessert, perfect for holiday celebrations. This cake combines the rich, buttery texture of a classic pound cake with the tartness of fresh cranberries, creating a wonderful balance of flavors.

The cake starts with a base of high-quality butter, sugar, and eggs, beaten together until light and fluffy. This provides the pound cake’s signature dense yet tender crumb. Vanilla extract is added for a warm, aromatic flavor, and sometimes orange zest is included to add a citrusy brightness that complements the cranberries.

Flour, often all-purpose, is sifted and gently folded into the butter mixture. The key here is to avoid over-mixing, which can make the cake tough. A leavening agent, like baking powder, is added to give the cake a slight lift.

The star of the show, cranberries, are either used fresh or dried. Fresh cranberries are tart and burst with flavor, while dried ones offer a chewier, more concentrated taste. They are often roughly chopped and tossed in a bit of flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking.

The batter is poured into a prepared loaf pan, sometimes lined with parchment paper for easy removal. The cake is then baked in a preheated oven until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For a festive touch, the cake can be topped with a simple glaze made from confectioners’ sugar and either milk or citrus juice. This adds an extra layer of sweetness and can be drizzled artistically over the cake. Additional garnishes might include orange zest, a sprinkle of chopped cranberries, or even a few sprigs of rosemary or mint for a pop of color and a nod to the holiday season.

The Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake is best served at room temperature and can be a delightful addition to a holiday brunch or as a dessert after a festive meal. It’s a beautiful balance of flavors and textures, with the tart cranberries cutting through the richness of the cake, making it a beloved treat during the winter holidays.


For the Cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Decoration (Optional):

  • Additional cranberries
  • Orange zest


1. Preheat the Oven:

a. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.

2. Prepare the Cranberries:

a. If using fresh cranberries, chop them coarsely. If using frozen, make sure to thaw and drain any excess liquid.

3. Make the Pound Cake:

a. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.

b. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.

c. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

d. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

e. Fold in the chopped cranberries until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

4. Bake:

a. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top.

b. Bake in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

c. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Make the Glaze:

a. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and vanilla extract until smooth.

6. Glaze the Cake:

a. Once the cake is completely cool, drizzle the glaze over the top.

7. Decorate (Optional):

a. Garnish the top of the cake with additional cranberries and orange zest for a festive touch.

8. Serve:

a. Slice and serve your Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake. Enjoy the delightful blend of flavors!

This Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake is a beautiful and tasty addition to your holiday dessert table. The cranberries add a burst of color and a hint of tartness to the rich pound cake.

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