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Cranberry Orange Cake

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Cranberry Orange Cake has subtle hints of orange and spice with tart plump cranberries tucked in here and there for a flavorful surprise!

A cranberry orange cake with lemon sauce

I get asked a lot where I come up with my recipe ideas? Great question.

Sometimes they just come together in my head, (it’s like Mozart and his music! Yep…JUST like that! Lol) Other times, I go to my local Thrift store and scour the old cookbooks till I find a hidden gem.

Like this beauty!  A true gem! I found this in an old dessert cookbook and tweaked it to update it.

This cake is super moist, and has a bit of spice… thanks to the ground cloves. There’s a subtle kick of tart from the fresh cranberries. A buttery orange sauce perfectly balances out all those spectacular flavors.

The Orange Buttery Sauce is seriously ” smack yer Momma good!” (Which face it…during the Holidays ya may want to! Lol I’m not saying I want to… Hi Mom!) 

How To Make Cranberry Orange Cake

Preheat your oven to 350° and Grease a 12-cup tube pan. Set aside for now.

TIP: I like to use “Bakers Joy” to spray my baking pans with. It’s a wonderful combination of oil and flour together.

In a large bowl combine 3 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp ground cloves.

Flour and spices for Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Use a wire whisk to mix that all together. Set aside for a minute while we mix together the wet ingredients.

Whisking flour and spices together in a bowl

In a separate medium size bowl mix together. 3/4 cups plus 6 Tablespoons of orange juice, 2 eggs, 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon orange extract.

TIP: Always use top quality extracts and spices when baking. Especially during the Holidays. It will make the flavors “pop”. This time of year is a GREAT time to freshen up your spice cabinet. Most of the stores have buy one, get one free sales on their spices.

Eggs, Orange Juice, Vanilla and other wet ingredients

Mix the wet ingredients all together until well combined.

Grate 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Orange peel. Add to your dried ingredients.

I LOVE the smell of freshly grated Orange Peel!!! The scents of this dessert will put you in the Holiday mood in no time at all.

Grated Orange zest added to flour mixture

Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients. Just pour ’em in there! Let’s get her done! (wink, wink)

One of the things I LOVE about this cake…it’s so simple to make. You really can’t mess this one up. (Well…you could…but you’re not going too! I’m counting on you to be AWESOME!) 

Adding Wet ingredients to dry ingredients for cake batter

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together just until moistened.

I love how this cake batter looks. It’s flecked with all that delicious clove and orange peel! YUM!

Orange zest cake batter being stir together

Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups fresh whole cranberries. (You can use frozen if you have them) I’m going to caution you not to overmix at this point. Just gently fold them in and be done. PUT THE SPOON DOWN! Lol

Look at those beautiful ruby globes of tartness!

Adding whole fresh cranberries to orange cake batter

Spread batter evenly in your prepared pan.

Adding Cranberry Orange cake batter in bundt cake pan to bake

Baking Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Bake 30–35 minutes, 5 minutes longer if using frozen cranberries, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean…unless ya poke a cranberry then ya gotta start all over!

Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 – 20 minutes. This is the perfect time to make that Buttery Orange Sauce.

I forgot to photograph the orange sauce friends. Sorry. Have no fear…it’s so simple!

How To Make Buttery Orange Sauce

In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, bring orange juice, sugar, better, and salt to a simmer. Mix cold water and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Whisk cornstarch mixture into the simmering sauce until thickened and no longer cloudy. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in your 2 Tablespoons of Orange Peel and 2 fluid ounces of Triple Sec (Orange Liquor) if desired.

The Triple Sec is total optional. I will tell you…it’s gonna kick up the flavor of this sauce! It’s fantastic without it though.

Invert onto a serving plate or cake stand.

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake on cake plate waiting for orange sauce

That’s a beautiful “tube” cake! If you’re a fan of clove, orange, and cranberries…you have to try this cake! It’s bursting with fresh aromatic flavor!

Holidays deserve such luscious dessert. You’ll be licking that Warm Buttery Orange Sauce off your fork with every bite!

I do recommend for optimal dinning experience (like those big words…lol) serving this cake warm with the Warm Buttery Orange Sauce. It melts in your mouth!

slice of cranberry orange cake with warm orange butter sauce

There you have it my friends! My updated version of Cranberry Orange Cake with Warm Buttery Orange Sauce!

My mother, the self-proclaimed, “cake hater”… LOVED this cake and declared it good enough to serve as dessert on Thanksgiving. There ya go! You have her permission! Lol

If you enjoy this recipe you may also love these other Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Enjoy! Happy Holidays!

Norine's Nest Signature
Yield: 12 servings

Cranberry Orange Cake

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake slice with warm Orange Butter Glaze

A delectable Spiced Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake served warm with a luscious Warm Buttery Orange Sauce. Perfect for your Holiday dessert table!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 3/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole cranberries

Warm Buttery Orange Sauce

  • 34 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons finely shredded orange peel
  • 2 fluid ounces Triple Sec (Orange Liquor) (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 12 cup bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cloves.
  3. Add orange peel; mix well. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl combine orange juice, egg, oil, vanilla, and orange extract. Beat until well blended. Add orange juice mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. Gently fold in cranberries. Do not overmix.
  5. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Invert onto serving plate. Slice and serve warm with Warm Buttery Orange Sauce.

Warm Buttery Orange Sauce

  1. Bring orange juice, sugar, butter, and salt to simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk cold water and cornstarch together in a small bowl; whisk cornstarch mixture into the simmering sauce until thickened and no longer cloudy.
  2. Remove sauce from heat and stir in orange peel and triple sec. if desired.


* You can use frozen cranberries if you don't have fresh. Just add 5 minutes to your cook time.

Nutrition Information:


12 servings

Serving Size:

One slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 646Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 516mgCarbohydrates: 133gFiber: 3gSugar: 92gProtein: 9g

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