Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

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

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Published By Jill
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.

5 from 112 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 16
Calories 243 kcal



  • 3 large eggs room temp
  • 2 C sugar
  • 3/4 C unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • Powdered sugar for garnish



  • 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.


Serving: 16gCalories: 243kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 3gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 13mgPotassium: 31mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 310IUCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenfunwithmy3sons or tag #kitchenfunwithmy3sons!


Cranberry Christmas Cake Recipe

about me


I am a mom of 3 awesome boys that love to get crafty with me in the kitchen. Our blog is full of all sorts creative food ideas for the Holidays, Party Ideas, Free Printables, Featured DIY Ideas, Recipes, & Kids Craft Ideas! Read more...

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Could you add pecans? 

is there a keto version of this?

How can you make this cake healthier?

my husband has an ultra sensitive and some things are just to sour for him….could I use blueberries or Cran-raisians? Thank you.

Want to make this our family Christmas cake instead of fruit cake. Can you make this in a Bundt Pan and if so
what temp., and how long.!

I am in my 70’s. My mother died when I was in high school. She had a recipe for a cake that she made for Christmas that had a can of jellied cranberry sauce. She cut the cranberry sauce into small junks and folded them into the cake batter. When the cake was done the junks might have melted down a little bit but you still saw them in the cake. I cannot find that recipe. Do you have any recipes like that. I have asked everyone I know and no one has a clue. Thanks

i have beenmaking a cake for the past 40 + years, called cranberry swirl coffee ckae, ingredients are, oleo sugar eggs, B. soda ,flour sour cream, almond or vanilla extract , can of whole berry cranberry sauce. it is very good
has a glaze on top

Could you put the recipe up. Sounds yummy

How do you think this would work in mini loaf pans? Any tips if so?

This recipe looks great…. The cake is in the oven.
I have a question about beating the eggs and sugar. I could not get the eggs and sugar to a stiff peek. Was it suppose to be just the whites? I may have over beaten because of this.

Soft peaks5 stars

Looks wonderful!

Great recipe, smells delicious. The almond Extract in the ingredients isn’t mentioned in the method, so don’t forget to add it when you add the vanilla extract. 5 stars

Looks amazing, can’t wait to make this for Thanksgiving Dessert

I Love Cranberries!! I’m going to make this for Christmas!!5 stars

Can’t wait to make this….don’t like a lot of icing and powers sugar will be just enough.

Have you frozen this cake?  I would like to make it ahead and freeze, if possible.
It looks delicious!

Everyone loved this cake. Definitely will make again.

Thank you for sharing can’t wait to try it. 

I’ll be making this on Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  Have my fresh cranberries bought and at the ready.  I’m so excited to make my first bake with cranberries.  Neither hubby or I thought we liked cranberries but we’ve discovered what we’ve been missing all along.  Love them now and this cake will decorate our holiday table.  Thanks for sharing the recipe.  Happy Thanksgiving!5 stars

I made this for a “Sugar UP” get together. OMG, this cake is awesome. I absolutely love the texture, and the mix of tart and sweet is just perfect! Thank you so much for this recipe. It will be showing up at many of our get togethers from now on! I do have a question however. Have you tried making this with frozen cranberries, and the results? I am think that might be fine as long as the berries are thawed first. (want to take advantage of all the cranberry sales right now)

What about the almond flavor?

 This cake got rave reviews at Bible Study las week so I’m making it for pot luck this Sunday. My only question is how to get my sugar and eggs to peak? mine just slum down no matter how long I mix them. My eggs are at room temp and are fresh as the market can get them. Am I doing something wrong. The cake taste fine, I’m just wondering.5 stars