This orange cranberry cake is a moist and fluffy cake loaded with fresh cranberries, sweetened with orange juice, and topped with a simple vanilla frosting! No eggs, butter, or milk needed, it’s one showstopping holiday dessert!
Orange Cranberry Cake
I love a good vegan cake with fruit- Lemon blueberry cake and strawberry cake are some of my all time favorites. During the festive season, I love to use seasonal flavors and whip up this easy cranberry orange cake.
When cranberries become available in my supermarket, I try and use them in as many ways as possible. To be quite honest, I wouldn’t choose to eat cranberries on their own. They are tart and thick, and unlike other berries, don’t really have a sweet note. However, unlike other berries or fruits, they are PERFECT to incorporate in baked goods and sweets, to give them a subtle juicy and tart flavor. Add some orange flavor to it and your asking for a winning combination!
I’ve been meaning to share a cranberry orange cake recipe for quite some time. Ironically, what was holding me back was fresh cranberries! In Australia, our grocery stores stock them at the end of November. Not one month earlier. Essentially, if you are a cranberry lover, you either go crazy with them in December or stockpile them.
Anyway, the reason for such a delayed recipe was just that- It only became available now! This cake may look incredibly fancy, but I promise you, it is one of the most foolproof cakes you’ll ever make.
No eggs, no milk, and no butter is needed, but you’d never tell. The cake is moist and fluffy, and filled with plenty of cranberries. It’s sweet with a hint of orange and some tartness from the cranberries, without being overpowering.
Now that I’m very well stocked with cranberries, I can’t wait to make this cake for all my friends and family- It’s such a foolproof recipe!
How do you make an orange cranberry cake?
- All purpose flour– Sift your flour very well, to ensure there are no clumps. See my tips below for a gluten free option.
- Sugar– I used white sugar, but you can also use brown sugar, coconut sugar, or a combination of them all. Be wary though, using brown or coconut sugar will yield a darker cake.
- Baking soda– Gives the cake some rise and fluffiness. It also reacts with the vinegar to hold the cake together (without needing any actual eggs).
- Salt– A pinch to bring out the sweetness of all the ingredients.
- Oil– I used vegetable oil, but any neutral flavored oil can be used.
- Vanilla extract– Every good cake needs a touch of vanilla in it.
- Vinegar– White or apple cider vinegar. Do not use red wine or rice malt vinegar, or else your cake will be inedible.
- Water– Mix everything together.
- Orange juice– Adds some delicious sweet orange flavor!
- Cranberries– Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used. Please don’t use dried cranberries as it will dry out the cake. If you can’t find fresh cranberries, you’d be best to use another berry, like strawberries.
- Vanilla or cream cheese frosting– Either of those frostings can be used.
Start by mixing together your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Next, add your wet ingredients and mix well until combined. Finally, fold through your cranberries using a rubber spatula.
Now, transfer the cake batter into a greased, 8-inch cake pan and bake for around 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely, before frosting.
Tips to make the best cake
- The ingredients provided yields a single layer cake with frosting. If you’d like to make a layer cake, simply triple the ingredients. Alternatively, if you have a steady arm, you can carefully slice the single cake into three thin cakes.
- If you use frozen cranberries, do not thaw them out before adding them in. When thawed, they react in a similar way to dried cranberries, which will dry out the cake.
- For even distribution and to avoid cranberries sinking, toss them in some flour first.
- For a gluten free cake, replace the all purpose flour with gluten free flour. Use one that already contains xanthan gum (usually a baking flour).
How to store and freeze the cake
- To store: Leftover cake should always be stored in the refrigerator, covered. The cake will keep well for at least a week, and be sure to let the refrigerated cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before enjoying.
- To freeze: Place slices of cake in a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. The cake must be thawed completely. Do not microwave it from a frozen state, or it will crumble and dry out.
More vegan Christmas cake recipes to try
- Mint chocolate chip cake
- Hot chocolate cake
- Caramel chocolate cake
- Applesauce cake
- Caramel apple cake
Cranberry Orange Cake
- Preheat the oven 180C/350F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients and mix well. Add in your wet ingredients and mix until combined. Fold through your cranberries.
- Transfer the cake batter into the greased cake pan. Bake the cake for 25-27 minutes, or until a skewer comes out mostly clean.
- Let the cake cool completely, before frosting.
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