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Orange Cranberry Pound Cake

If you're looking for an easy holiday pound cake, try this Orange Cranberry Pound Cake! It's perfect for holiday baking thanks to the fresh cranberries and the lovely orange citrusy glaze.

slice of cranberry orange pound cake

Even with all the cookies and cupcakes that somehow just appear in our house during the holiday season, a pound cake hits the spot like no other baked goods can. I love cutting myself a thick slice of pound cake to enjoy with a hot cup of coffee, some hot spiced tea, or if you're feeling extra sweet, a mug of hot chocolate made from hot chocolate bombs.

Here's why we love it:

  • It has the perfect combination of natural orange flavor (no bottled flavors here!) and fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • It's easy to make
  • It has a wonderful citrusy orange glaze
  • It's perfect year round but gorgeous enough for the holidays, with a few cranberries on top for garnish!

slice of holiday pound cake with cranberries with holiday decorations

Ready to make it? Let's go!

Need more holiday baking recipes? Try these Grinch Truffle Cake Balls

Here's what you need:

For the pound cake:

  • ½ cup butter (plus extra for greasing the pan)
  • 1 cup sugar (you can reduce this to ¾ cup if you really want to)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
  • ½ cup buttermilk (or use ½ cup milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to slightly curdle the milk)
  • 1 + ¼ cup flour (plus extra for sprinkling the pan)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)

ingredients for cranberry orange pound cake

For the icing:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1-3 tablespoons orange juice

You will also need:

  • A loaf pan - I used a 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ¾ inch one (that's about 8 x 4 x 3 inches without all the fractions lol)

More holiday desserts to try: Mint Chocolate Hummus

How to make the pound cake:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160C). Brush a loaf pan with butter, then sprinkle flour all over the pan. This will prevent the pound cake from sticking to the pan.

greased loaf pan

Step 2: In a large bowl, cream together the butter with the sugar. If using an electric mixer, mix on high speed until pale in color. If whisking by hand, whisk for a couple of minutes. 

whisking butter and sugar together in a bowl

Step 3: Add the eggs one by one and keep mixing to fully combine.

whisking orange pound cake batter

Step 4: Add the buttermilk and the orange zest and mix well to combine.

adding orange zest to pound cake batter

Step 5: In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add them to the the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Whisk until combined, but do-not over whisk. Fold in cranberries until just combined. 

(I removed the seeds from the cranberries and that's why they look smushed, but you can absolutely use whole fresh or frozen cranberries! Smushed cranberries are great for spreading a little bit of the pink cranberry color and flavor throughout the whole pound cake.)

stirring cranberries into pound cake batter

Step 6: Pour batter over the prepared loaf pan, bake at 320 F for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The actual baking time will depend on the size and shape of your loaf pan.

cranberry orange pound cake batter in a loaf pan ready to bake

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove from the loaf pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.

Make the orange glaze:

Step 1: Combine the powdered sugar, milk and 1 tablespoon of orange juice and mix well. Add a bit more orange juice, if needed, to dissolve the sugar and make the glaze the right consistency to pour over the pound cake.

making orange glaze for an orange pound cake

Step 2: Pour or spread the glaze over the cooled pound cake. Enjoy!

overhead shot of holiday cranberry orange pound cake decorated with cranberries

I love a cold slice of this cranberry pound cake with a hot cup of unsweetened coffee with cream. I think it is the perfect combination. My husband likes this pound cake warm with a scoop of ice cream melting into the pound cake. I guess his way sounds pretty good too!

However you decide to make this cranberry orange pound cake, I hope you love it as much as we do! If you end up making this, please take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@babaganoshblog) to let me know how it turned out! I love seeing your creations!

Looking for other baking recipes?

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

slice or orange cranberry pound cake
Print Recipe
4.67 from 6 votes

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

Enjoy a slice of this holiday Cranberry Orange Pound Cake with a hot cup of tea or coffee. This pound cake makes an amazing holiday dessert or brunch dessert.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 slices
Author: Kate

Ingredients

For the pound cake:
  • ½ cup butter - plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest - (from 1 orange)
  • ½ cup buttermilk - (or use ½ cup milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to slightly curdle the milk)
  • cups all purpose flour - plus extra for sprinkling the pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup cranberries - fresh or frozen
For the icing:
  • ½ cup powdered sugar - (confectioner's sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1-3 tablespoons orange juice - as needed

Special equipment

Instructions

Make the pound cake:
  • Preheat oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160C). Brush a loaf pan with melted butter, then sprinkle flour all over the pan. Shake off the excess flour.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using an electric mixer or a whisk.
  • Add the eggs one by one and keep mixing to fully combine.
  • Add the buttermilk and the orange zest and mix well to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add them to the the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Whisk until combined, but do-not over whisk. Fold in cranberries until just combined.
  • Pour batter over the prepared loaf pan, bake at 320 F for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The actual baking time will depend on the size and shape of your loaf pan. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from the loaf pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.
Make the orange glaze:
  • Combine the powdered sugar, milk and 1 tablespoon of orange juice and mix well. Add a bit more orange juice if needed to dissolve the sugar and make the glaze the right consistency. Pour or spread the glaze over the cooled pound cake. Slice and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • The loaf pan I used was 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ¾ inches (that's about 8 x 4 x 3 inches without all the fractions)
  • You can reduce the sugar to about ¾ cups
  • Using an electric mixer is much easier for this recipe than whisking it by hand. The pictures use a whisk because it is easier to show the steps this way!

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal (17%) | Carbohydrates: 50g (17%) | Protein: 4g (8%) | Fat: 13g (20%) | Saturated Fat: 8g (40%) | Cholesterol: 73mg (24%) | Sodium: 135mg (6%) | Potassium: 125mg (4%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 34g (38%) | Vitamin A: 439IU (9%) | Vitamin C: 3mg (4%) | Calcium: 59mg (6%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

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