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large plate on a pedestal

Semi Homemade Cranberry Orange Christmas Cake

This Semi-Homemade Cranberry Orange Christmas Cake is deliciously moist, bursting with holiday flavors, and the perfect seasonal sour cream cake. The combination of sweet oranges and tart cranberries makes my kitchen smell like a giant orange pomander.
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, International
Keyword: bundt cake, cake, cranberries, cranberry, Cranberry Orange Christmas Cake, orange
Servings: 12 large slices
Calories: 285kcal

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  • 12 cup Bundt pan


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest of one orange
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries divided (plus 1 tablespoon flour)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Sugaring The Cranberries

  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • remaining fresh cranberries

Creamy layer

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar sifted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract or can substitute with zest of 1 orange


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.

Baking The Cake

  • Grease a 10 to 12" bundt pan with the tablespoon of melted butter. Flour lightly and tap pan on counter upside down to remove almost all excess flour.
  • Combine the cake mix and the flour and salt and whisk together. Add wet ingredients and beat until just combined.
  • Toss half of the cranberries with a tablespoon of flour and gently fold them into the batter.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Note that different bundt pans will yield different bake times, so test in several areas for doneness.
  • Remove from the oven, and cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn cake out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Sugaring The Cranberries

  • Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in cranberries and remove from heat quickly.
  • Using a slotted spoon to remove from the sugarwater, toss the cranberries in the remaining sugar until well coated. Allow about 10-ish minutes to harden.

Stirring Together A Snowy Glaze

  • In a bowl mix confectioners sugar, heavy cream, and orange extract until smooth. I prefer my glaze thick, so I begin with ONLY 3 tablespoons of heavy cream, stir, and add only if my glaze is not able to easily be drizzled. I use a tiny whisk for this step to ensure I break up any lumps.
  • Drizzle over top of cake, allowing the snowy glaze to run down on the sides. Top cake with sugared cranberries, and add a few fresh greens to accentuate a festive feel.


Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg

Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.