Cranberry Christmas Cake

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Tart cranberries pair perfectly with a tender, sweet cake in this delicious Cranberry Christmas Cake. This recipe is a keeper and perfect for the holidays!

Cranberry Christmas Cake in white cake pan

*This recipe was originally published in December 2016. The photos have been updated and the post has been modified to include more recipe information.

First of all, let me start by saying – this is my kind of recipe! A Cranberry Christmas Cake that only requires a few simple ingredients. How fabulous is that?  And, look how beautiful and festive this cake is – It’s the perfect Christmas treat.  I was so excited to make this cake and once I took my first bite, it became my absolute favorite cake.

Recipe Ingredients

If you make one recipe this Christmas, it has to be this Cranberry Christmas Cake. It’s festive and perfect for this time of year. Simple ingredients transform into a festive holiday dessert that everyone will love! To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Butter – softened
  • Vanilla
  • Almond extract (optional)
  • Flour
  • Cranberries
Cranberry cake for Christmas

It’s the perfect cake for so many reasons. It requires little effort and no icing is required.  The tart cranberries compliment the sweet cake and you can make it for breakfast or dessert.  It’s a great sweet treat if your headed to a work luncheon or holiday party. I will tell you one thing – everyone will love it and want the recipe so be prepared when they ask.

Make sure you stock up on lots of cranberries so you can make this Cranberry Christmas Cake.  I’m headed back to the store today so I can make this cake for breakfast on Christmas morning.  Who ever said you can’t eat cake for breakfast?

Cranberry Cake cut into bars on spatula

Recipe Notes

  • It is better to use fresh cranberries.  If you only have frozen cranberries, I recommend letting them thaw for a bit before preparing the cake. Just take them out with the butter and let them both soften up a bit.
  • There is no baking soda or baking powder in this recipe. You will see that the most important step is to beat the eggs for 5 minutes. This provides the necessary leavening for the cake.
  • The almond extract is optional. If you don’t want to add, you don’t have to.
  • This cake also tastes great with walnuts, pecans, and almond slices added.
  • Sit back and enjoy this recipe because it tastes amazing! And don’t worry if you eat most of it without sharing. You can always bake another cake.
  • Substitute the cranberries for blueberries, blackberries and other berries to enjoy this dessert all year long.
  • I recommend making two cakes. One for yourself to enjoy and one to share.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen cranberries?

Yes. This cake can be made with frozen cranberries. Let them thaw for a little while so they don’t freeze the batter when mixing them in.

How should I store the cake?

This is a great cake to make ahead of time. Cover and store the cake at room temperature for 3 days, or refrigerate for up to one week. This cake also freezes well. Wrap tightly and freeze up to 3 months.

Can I use different size pans?

Yep! Feel free to bake this recipe in different size pans. You can even use a muffin pan and mini loaf pans. Just make sure to adjust cooking times.

Cranberry Cake bars stacked

More Easy Holiday Desserts

Cranberry Christmas Cake bras stacked on white plate

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Tart cranberries pair perfectly with a tender, sweet cake in this delicious Cranberry Christmas Cake. This recipe is a definite keeper!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 255 kcal


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 bag 12 ounces cranberries


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Beat eggs and sugar in large mixing bowl for 5 minutes. This is the most important step. Please do not skip. The mixture should almost double in size and will thicken.
  • Add butter and vanilla and continue to mix.
  • Mix in flour until well combined.
  • Stir in cranberries.
  • Spread batter in baking pan.
  • Bake 40 – 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let cool before cutting. Enjoy!


Calories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 5gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.004gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 79mgPotassium: 68mgFiber: 1gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 84IUCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. I made the cake on Christmas day and I meant to take a picture of it before we ate it. It turned out just like the picture on the website or on Pinterest. It’s a beautiful cake and I thank you for the recipe. We loved it. I will make definitely make it again and next time I will take a picture and upload it so everyone can see it. Thank you again

  2. Hello, I want to make these in a mini loaf pan, 5 23/32in by 3 5/16in x1 7/8in
    How full do I make them and how long should I bake them? Thank you

  3. Hello, how full and how long to bake to make muffins with this recipe? Thank you for your time. I’ve made this recipe in a 13×9. And it is one of my favorites!

  4. Absolutely delicious~ Hard to gift a 9×13 and trying to make breads is not working. Any suggestions for how long to bake and HOW TO GET OUT OF PAN WITHOUT DIGGING IT OUT?

  5. I should have taken the advice to make 2 cakes! I baked one for a party and we really want to keep it home! So good! I used Smart Balance instead of butter and it was delicious! Going to hunt for more cranberries while they’re available.