A cranberry cake loaf is one of our favorite holiday treats. You’ll often see a variation of this at those national coffee chains or at your local coffee shop because it is delightfully sweet and seasonally festive. We thought, why pay for this when we can make our own cranberry loaf cake at home? It’s super easy and delicious – here’s how we do it!
Cranberries are a holiday staple from Thanksgiving to Christmas, so when we’ve got fresh fruit like this in season, we’ve got to start baking. We love the ruby-red cranberries that float throughout each slice of the cake loaf, and that tart flavor is paired with the bright citrus of fresh orange juice and orange zest for a nice balance of tart and acidity. The most important function of the orange juice is to keep the cake moist, and it tastes pretty darn good in here too! We like to amp this up by folding chopped walnuts into the batter but feel free to skip nuts if necessary, or to try a different nut like pecans or pistachios.
A cranberry cake loaf pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning (we’ve been known to sneak a slice or two in the evening too). It’s also a lovely hostess gift or part of a care package to a family member, friend, or neighbor. We know, there’s so much cooking and baking to do for the holidays, but don’t let an amazing baked good like this cranberry cake loaf pass you by! It’s easy, delicious, and super festive, and just in time for the holidays.
Cranberry Cake Loaf
1 hour 20 minutes to prepare serves 10-12
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup orange juice
- Zest from 1 orange
- 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Sift flour, baking powder, salt into a bowl. Set aside.
- Beat sugar and butter in a separate bowl until smooth. Add eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
- Slowly add flour mixture until batter forms. Fold in cranberries and chopped walnuts. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool 5-10 minutes in pan then use parchment paper to lift loaf out to finish cooking on a wire rack.
Recipe adapted from Melanie Cooks.