Cakes Christmas baking

Orange and cranberry butter cake

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”- Henry James

I like citrus in my cakes . Just that freshness and lightness that it brings to the table . Especially in tea time cakes and loaves, which yield so well to experimentation with flavours.

This cake is outrageously buttery and soft, it ought to be- it has a whole cup of butter in it ! To spruce things up a bit, I dumped in the zest of a vibrant orange and a healthy shot of its juice. In went a handful of dried cranberries at the end ..just to keep things colourful and interesting .

The outside is wonderfully brown , but when you carve a slice – that pale hue of orange with the occasional scarlet of the cranberries is equally inviting . The cake feels light and tender , the orange flavour is pleasant (without being overpowering) and the cranberries reins in the sweetness perfectly.       


A nice crust with a lovingly tender and moist crumb, a strong hint of the refreshing citrus and the tart punctuation of the cranberries . This cake will sing out to you with every bite. Go ahead and use your favourite citrus or dried fruits. This one is a winner for sure!

Some cranberries left over ? Pair them with white chocolate in some yum biscotti or throw in some to make chocolate salami !

Print Recipe
Orange and cranberry butter cake Yum
A moist and tender Orange cake with dried cranberries!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
10-12 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
10-12 servings
  1. Preheat your oven to 160 C/ 325 F. Grease a 9 x 3 inch loaf cake pan well and dust with flour.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. Mix the dried cranberries with a tablespoon of the flour mixture. Keep aside.
  4. Rub the orange zest and sugar for a minute or two.
  5. Beat the zested sugar and butter using an electric mixer or whisk for a few minutes until light , fluffy and creamy.
  6. Beat in the eggs and orange juice.
  7. Add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the milk in two additions . So , 1/3 of the flour- 1/2 of the milk -1/3 of the flour- 1/2 of the milk- 1/3 of the flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  8. Fold in the floured cranberries with a spatula.
  9. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle a few cranberries on top.
  10. Bake for 50-55 minutes at 160 C/ 325 F until the cake spring back when touched or a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  11. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove from pan to cool completely, right side up on a wire rack.
Recipe Notes


  • This can be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
  • I have used dried cranberries but you can use fresh as well. The dusting with flour is so that they don't sink to the bottom.


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12 thoughts on “Orange and cranberry butter cake”

  1. Hi Aarushi… instead of the two eggs, you can use 1/2 cup thick room temperature curd/ yoghurt and instead of the 2 tsp baking powder, use 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda. If you try it , please do let me know !

  2. Hi… love this cake…u want to bake a chocolate orange cake so can I substitute part of flour with cocoa or add in addition to the flour. If yes, how much would you recommend and any other changes in the liquid ingredients ?

  3. Hi Swati, I haven’t tried it , but substituting 1/2 cup of the flour with half cup cocoa should work. You can add one tablespoon cornflour to keep the cake moist 🙂

  4. Hi,

    I tried this cake and thoroughly loved it so my that I baked the second time in the same week. 🙂

    Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Lovely Nithya ! So happy to know that you loved it so much. Thanks for trying and that awesome feedback !!

  5. Hi, I’ve tried out this recipe and yes, it’s so moist and delicious! I reduced the sugar to 200gm, however still find it too sweet. Perhaps I could try to reduce again next time, since chocolate & cranberries are both sweet.

    1. Thanks Irene for trying the cake and that feedbavk. Glad you liked the taste. Have noted the sweetness issue you have had! You could try to reduce the sugar again but just wondering what chocolate you are talking about ?

  6. Hii for the orange zest do we freeze the orange and use it for zest?? Also wat juice do u recommend fresh or tetra? And if tetra which one do u recommend?? What would be the shelf life when fresh orange juice is used in the cake??

    1. Hi Anuja…Sorry for the late reply ! I usually don’t freeze the oranges, just use firm ones. I recommend freshly squeezed or a 100% tetra pack like Tropicana 100 %.. it lasts 2 or 3 days regardless of what u use ☺

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