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Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

1 hour
1 hour 15 min
8-10 slices

I bought a bag of fresh cranberries at Target. A big bag. Okay, I bought two. I had no clue what I was going to do with them but it’s Target and that is what we do at Target. Then proceeded to pour some in a giant jar to decorate and then used a bunch for this amazing pound cake. I still have half a bag left. But I think more Cranberry Orange Pound Cake is in our future.

Dave and I may have eaten half a loaf of this pound cake in one day. Not even one day, like 8 hours. It’s so incredibly good and…moist. Yes, I said it. But it’s true. Filled with major vanilla and orange flavor plus packed with fresh cranberries that burst when you take bites. I need to go down to the kitchen to cut off another bite. So good!!

There’s not a ton of cranberry dessert recipes out there. And even fewer fresh cranberry dessert recipes! But they’re such a great flavor for the holiday season. I can see this pound cake as a Thanksgiving dessert or Christmas dessert – or really an anytime of the year dessert!

Check out the recipe and let me know what you think!

How to Use Fresh Cranberries in Baking

As I mentioned before, I originally bought these fresh cranberries for decor. I figured I could probably use them in a recipe too, but I had no idea what I was going to do with them. I mean, can fresh cranberries be used in baking?

Why yes, yes they can. And this holiday dessert recipe proves it! I just needed to explore how to best use this tart fruit to bring out its best.

How to prepare fresh cranberries for baking

There’s really not much you need to do to prepare fresh cranberries for baking. I just soaked and rinsed my berries to wash them off and then folded them into my cranberry orange pound cake batter. 

Pro tip: toss your fresh cranberries with a little flour so they won’t sink in the batter! The flour helps them stick to the batter surrounding the berries so they stay better distributed through the cake.

Should you chop cranberries before baking?

You definitely don’t need to! I used whole cranberries in this recipe because I wanted the bright pops of color and big, tart bites to balance out the sweet orange flavor of the cake. If you’re feeling a little nervous about the tartness of the cranberries, though, you could definitely chop them up to create smaller pieces throughout the cake.

Do I need to cook cranberries before baking?

Nope! While cooking cranberries generally brings out their sweetness (especially if you cook them down with plenty of sugar), they’ll be perfectly sweet on their own – and hold up better during baking – if you put them in the batter whole. It’s also a whole lot easier and saves time – both things I can definitely get on board with when making this cranberry orange pound cake.

What else can I do with a bag of fresh cranberries?

If you, like me, are faced with way too many fresh cranberries this Thanksgiving or holiday season, here are a few other ways you can put them to good use in your kitchen.

Turkey Cranberry Sliders: This recipe uses leftover cranberry sauce but if it’s not the day after Thanksgiving then why not make your own? These turkey cranberry sliders are a simple and delicious way to use up the cranberries sitting in the back of your fridge after the holidays.

Caramel Apple Sangria: This is one of my favorite fall cocktails and it’s perfect for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations! While the original recipe doesn’t call for fresh cranberries, they would be great to add for a pop of festive color! Bonus points if you freeze the cranberries and use them to keep your drink cool without watering it down!

Sour Cream Cranberry Muffins: This muffin recipe originally calls for blueberries, but you could easily substitute cranberries instead. The tartness of the cranberries mixed with the flavors of sour cream and sugar would make for a really interesting flavor profile!


Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

Super moist, vanilla pound cake filled with bursting fresh cranberries and orange zest plus a sweet orange glaze that makes each bite perfect!


Prep time: 15 min  |  Cook time: 1 hour  |  Total: 1 hour 15 min

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1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon orange zest

3 eggs, room temperature and divide the yolks from the whites

1 1/2 teaspooon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt (full fat)

1 cup fresh cranberries

Orange Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon orange juice

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment and leave overhang over the sides so it’s easy to remove.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and orange zest together until fluffy. About 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract then one egg yolk at a time and mix after each addition.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Then alternate adding the flour mixture and the yogurt, mix after each addition. Use a low speed, careful not to overmix.
  4. In a medium size bowl, add the egg whites and whip them until stiff peaks form. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer, much easier than doing this by hand.
  5. With a spatula, gently fold in the cranberries then the egg whites until all mixed in. Careful not to overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. While cooling prepare the glaze.
  7. Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla. After loaf has cooled for at least 20 minutes, then drizzle the glaze over top the loaf. Allow glaze to harden then slice and enjoy!



Tag @LOLOHomeKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #lolohk


10 Responses

  1. I would make this asap because I bought fresh cranberries to make cranberry-orange nut bread from a recipe I got from a college professor who invited us to her home; however, the yogurt I just bought is fat free and reduced sugar vanilla. Do you this this would work. I love her recipe for breakfast.

  2. Hi, Laura. Your recipe sounds delicious. I submitted my previous comment before I noticed my last name was not on there. So put 2+2 together and you get Amy’s mom!

  3. I made this into mini loaves – absolutely delicious! I even forgot the glaze on top 😬but they were still yummy!!

  4. This recipe is delicious! I had some fresh cranberry’s from the holiday and decided to make this one. Followed the recipe with the exception of Greek yogurt. I didn’t have so replaced with sour cream. Super moist and the sourness of the cranberries and orange really compliments each other.

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