Cranberry Christmas Cake

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Cranberry Christmas Cake is incredibly simple to make and delicious. It has a nice balance of sweetness with a slight hint of tanginess. It feeds 16 which means it’s perfect for a holiday party.

Fresh cranberries are plump, deep red, tart, and in season during the holidays. This cake is a wonderful way to enjoy the fruit while it’s fresh. By the way, if you love fruit you should give our Instant Pot Strawberry Jam or Baked Strawberry Donuts a try!

A delicious Christmas cake recipe with cranberry.

Cranberry Christmas Cake

One of the things I love about this cake is that it is garnished with powdered sugar rather than covered in frosting.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big, big fan of frosting. You might even say I’m addicted.

But sometimes during the holidays, it can all get to be a bit too much. You know what I mean?

Between the fudge and the pies and the cakes, even I can start to feel like I want something that’s not as overpoweringly sweet.

If you have people in your world who aren’t into all the sugary confections, this cake could make a great treat for them.

Cranberry Christmas Cake on a plate

The Eggs and Sugar Peaks

For this recipe, you’ll be mixing the eggs and sugar to make a soft peak. They’re the magic that’s responsible for making the cake rise beautifully.

If you’re a seasoned baker, you know all about “peaks.” I’m sure you could probably teach me a thing or two!

If you’re new to this, it’s super easy.

(A quick and easy tip to know whether an egg is fresh is to put it in a bowl of cold water. If the egg sinks to the bottom and then lays over on its side, it’s fresh.)

To make the soft peak for our Cranberry Christmas Cake, beat the eggs and sugar until you can lift the beaters out of the mixture and see a little peak on the end.

Don’t overbeat the ingredients. You don’t want a hard peak – which means the sugar and butter stand straight up and are quite thick.

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Softening the Butter

If you’re anything like me, you sometimes forget to take the butter out of the fridge before baking.

You definitely can’t make this Christmas Cranberry Cake recipe with hard, cold butter.

You can soften the butter in the microwave, but you need to be careful that you don’t completely melt it.

The thing I hate about that method is that I wind up with a butter splattered microwave and I always, always, always melt it rather than soften it.

Melted butter will ruin all the work you did making sure you got a nice, soft peak with your eggs and sugar.

Instead, cut your butter into chunks and put it on a plate or saucer. Turn the faucet on hot and fill a glass.

Let the water sit in the glass until it feels warm to the touch.

Turn the glass upside down and cover the butter. Let it sit until the butter softens. It only takes a couple of minutes.

Cool, right?

It’ll make all the difference when you’re making this Christmas Cranberry Cake, and keep things moist and sumptuous!

Sprig of mint on the cake

5 from 257 votes

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Cranberry Christmas Cake is incredibly simple to make and delicious. It has a nice balance of sweetness with a slight hint of tanginess. It feeds 16 which means it's perfect for a holiday party.

Servings: 16
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes





  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prep an 9 x13 pan with non-stick baking spray.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer until slightly thickened and light in color.
  • This mixture should form peaks when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.
  • Add the butter, almond and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and continue to mix.
  • Mix for two minutes.
  • Slowly add in the flour but just until combined.
  • Add the fresh cranberries.
  • Stir the cranberries to mix throughout.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting into slices.
  • Garnish with powder sugar.
  • Makes 16 servings.

Last Step:

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Serving: 16g | Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg



Cranberry Christmas Cake Recipe

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222 comments on “Cranberry Christmas Cake”

  1. 5 stars
    I made this cake once a week since I 1st found this recipe. After I ran out of Cranberries and no store had them frozen, I used Blueberry, Stewberry, apples and it is THE best cake!

  2. Can you use frozen cranberries and do you thaw first or use frozen. I have made this before and it is so delicious. But all I have is frozen cranberries

    1. Hi Lori. You can use frozen cranberries with no adjustments. You can either thaw them or add them to the batter frozen.

  3. 5 stars
    This cake is delicious! I have also made mini loafs of bread using this recipe. I now plan on using tart cherries in place of the cranberry.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this 2 nights ago. It just keeps getting better. Mine developed a delicate crisp on the top that is terrific! The crumb is fine enough that the cake slices hold together well. It is moist and just sweet enough to be a perfect foil for the tart cranberries. (I don’t dust with powdered sugar as I am not a fan of overly sweet anything.)
    I shared with with family and they enjoyed it, too. I recommend this recipe and will be making it again.

  5. 5 stars
    Love this cake, have made it for the last few years during holidays. I made it this year and it seemed to come out unusually gummy. Did Ido something wrong?

    1. Hi Gloria. Sorry to hear that especially since you’ve had success with this recipe before. The gummy consistency can be result of several things but more than likely over-creaming the eggs, butter and sugar.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this for family brunch. So tasty. Good balance between sweet and a little tangy. Stayed moist for days. Already received a request for the recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    mamily loved this. I did not have any almond extract so I just used a little bit more vanilla. This cake was very easy to make. I will definately make this again.

  8. My daughter is making this for our Christmas dinner this year 2023. But my comment is about the butter if you forget to leave it out ahead of time. You can heat a large glass of water in microwave. When water is very hot dump water then place glass over the stick of butter to soften it. I found on Pinterest !! Merry Christmas

  9. 5 stars
    Wonderfully delicious cake, it has a perfect balance between tart and sweet. The whole family loves it!

  10. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night. A little hesitant that I was missing something as there is no leavening agent but WOW! It is delicious. Even better on day 2. I am amazed at how simple it is but the tartness of the cranberries, oh man! So good. Thanks for the recipe. It is a keeper!

    1. Hi Denise. Yes you can make this the day before you need it. It will stay fresh for several days.