Homemade Fresh Cranberry Christmas Cake is an easy homemade moist white cake with orange zest that is made from scratch with fresh cranberries. This cake is perfect for a Christmas or holiday party.
This cake screams Christmas to me! Maybe it’s the cranberries or the fluffy moist white cake with the hint of orange flavor. Maybe it’s the laughter and fun everyone is having while we serve this cake. But there is something about this cake that represents the holidays to me.
If you have fresh cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, this recipe is a great way to use them up.
This cranberry cake recipe is more moist and light and fluffy and others out there. In my first attempt, the cake was too dry and dense like a shortcake.
So I created my own cake recipe based on my tried and true white cake recipe and added orange juice, orange zest and cranberries.
One tip I recommend is tossing the fresh cranberries in a little bit of flour so they are coated in flour when you add them to the batter. This prevents the cranberries from sinking to the bottom of the cake pan. You could double this recipe to make a layer cake.
For which occasion will you make this Homemade Fresh Cranberry Christmas Cake?
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- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans
- ½ cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons orange juice
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar (plus 2 tablespoons to coat cranberries)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4th stick), softened but still cool
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 6 ounces or 1-1/4 cups or ½ of a (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Set oven rack in middle position.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; or line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper. Spray the paper, or you can dust the pan with flour, and invert pan and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
- Pour milk, egg whites, and orange juice into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
- Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
- Add all but ½ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
- Toss the cranberries with 2 tablespoons flour. To reduce tartness, also add a tablespoon of sugar to the cranberries and toss until the cranberries are coated with both flour and sugar. Add cranberries to batter.
- Pour batter in the prepared 9" pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan wall and smooth top. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted
- in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
- Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Invert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely,
For another cake recipe idea try my Moist Chocolate Layer Cake.
Or how about my Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.