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  • Writer's pictureAlana Wynn

Cranberry Spiced Pound Cake with Candied Oranges

Pound cake filled with warm spices and tart cranberries, topped decoratively with homemade candied oranges and a vanilla glaze.

A slice of pound cake on a dark plate, with a side of candied orange and fresh cranberries.

Coffee Shop vibes

As the months get colder I want my mornings to be easy and feel like I am relaxing at a coffee shop. And of course what pairs best with coffee than a lil something sweet! This cake is like a bite of seasonal joy that makes you want to curl up by a fire place, or space heater! This cake lasts for several days wrapped up on your counter thanks to the sweet glaze that helps lock in moisture.

Fresh local cranberries

Besides the fact I made this because I had a hankering for something cranberry orange, but the cool thing about living out on the cape is all the cranberry bogs. Local markets are selling tons of cranberries that come from right around the corner and what better way to shop local. Though these were fresh, this recipe will also work with frozen or dried cranberries depending on what you can get a hold of.

In this recipe you will also note I have you toss the fresh cranberries in flour before adding to your batter. This trick works for any baking recipe where fresh fruit is involved as it prevents it from sinking to the bottom of your loaf/muffins/cake you name it! Fruit will typically sink since it is heavy and your batter is light and fluffy. Tossing the fruit in a little flour allows the fruit to spread out evenly for a pretty slice.

A loaf cake sliced open to expose the cranberries with in. It is topped with candied oranges and a vanilla glaze that is dripping down the slice.

Warm spices

This recipe uses a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. I did a riff on the blends from my cranberry muffin recipe from last year because I just felt it paired so well! I use a bit more cinnamon because it helps to round out the other flavors.

Why Are Room Temperature Ingredients So Important

When it comes to a recipe that requires a lot of butter and eggs (loaf or pound cakes) having one ingredient much colder than the others can prevent them from incorporating evenly. This happened to me once with a pound cake. I was so focused on the butter being soft that I forgot about the eggs! I added all my cold eggs to the butter, which immediately made the butter turn chunky, no longer smooth and fluffy. I thought I could just keep plowing forward in my recipe, but those butter chunks never fully mixed in. The result was when the cake went to bake, those butter chunks melted and make huge holes in my final product. It was not very cute...If you are ever in a rush to bring your eggs to room temperature just place them in a warm water bath for a few minutes. Always does the trick!


Cranberry spiced pound cake with candied oranges

Makes 1 loaf cake

Equipment: 9x4 loaf pan

2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter (room temp)

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

Zest of 2 Clementines

3 Eggs (room temp)


1¾ Cup AP Flour

1½ Tsp. Baking Powder

½ Tsp. Kosher Salt


6 Tbsp. Whole Milk


1½ Cups Cranberries


1½ Cups Powdered Sugar

1-2 Tbsps. of Milk

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350℉.

  2. Using a stand mixer cream together your butter, sugar and clementine zest until the mixture is light in color.

  3. One at a time, add each egg, mixing until fully incorporated. Scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

  4. To the same bowl sprinkle in all of your dry ingredients.

  5. With your mixer on low, combine your dry ingredients and at the same time slowly pour in your whole milk. Mix until just combined and no flour lumps remain.

  6. In a separate small bowl add your cranberries and a tablespoon of flour. Toss until cranberries are coated in flour.

  7. Add cranberries to your batter, mixing on low until just combined.

  8. Pour mixture into a parchment lined loaf pan. Smoothing out batter so it lays even.

  9. Bake for 45-50min or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To make your glaze, combine the powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp. of milk to combine. If the mixture still feels too thick, add the additional tablespoon of milk. Do not add to your pound cake until completely cooled or it will all run off!

Candied Oranges

1 Thinly Sliced Clementine

½ Cup Sugar

1 Cup of water


¼ Cup Sugar

  1. In a small stock pot add your ½ cup sugar and water.

  2. Set the stove to medium heat and bring your mixture to a simmer or until the sugar has dissolved.

  3. Once you no longer see the sugar, add your orange slices and turn the heat on low.

  4. Boil your slices until clear, turning occasionally to cook evenly on both sides. This will take approximately 30-40min.

  5. Once orange slices are clear. Remove pot from heat and transfer slices one at a time to a bowl with your remaining sugar. Tossing to coat.

  6. When they have cooled add to the top of your dessert!

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