Cranberry Cake

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A quick and delicious cranberry dessert that looks impressive yet takes literally no skill and barely any time to make? This Cranberry Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Sugared Cranberries totally fits the bill!

Sugared cranberries and vanilla buttercream on top of a perfect moist and crumbly Cranberry Cake - this is the perfect fall cake for kids to help make

Cranberry Cake Recipe

The irony of holiday baking is that there are always so many gorgeous ideas for decorating and presenting your desserts, but for many of us it’s one of the busiest seasons, so spending hours trying to craft the perfect fondant poinsettas or edible snowglobe cupcakes is just not always feasible.

While I do love being a bit “extra” and going all out during the holidays, the reality is that I don’t always have that much time, so I rely on simple entertaining recipes like this Sugared Cranberry Cake when I need to come up with something pretty during a busy week.

This is a simple one-layer cranberry cake that I just like to swirl some frosting around the edges of, and then cover the rest of the top with easy sugared cranberries. Sugared cranberries help make just about any holiday dessert look fancy – and are easy enough that the kids can help!

Ingredients for Cranberry Cake

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange or lemon peel

For the sugared Cranberries:

  • 1 Cup cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • ½ Cup sugar

For the vanilla buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2-3 cups powdered icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cream

Tip: coat your cranberries in flour or use frozen cranberries to prevent them from breaking and “bleeding” all over the batter.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • 8″ x 8″ cake pan

How to Make a Cranberry Cake with Sugared Cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a small cake pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Beat in egg, then set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and nutmeg.

Alternatively add half of the milk and half the flour mixture into the batter until fully incorporated.

Stir in cranberries and orange peel, if using.

Pour the batter in the prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let it cool as you prepare the vanilla buttercream.

For the frosting, combine the butter, vanilla and sugar in a medium-sized bowl, beating for two minutes before adjusting the consistency with a bit of cream. Add more sugar or cream, as desired, to achieve your preferred consistency. Scoop into a piping bag fit with a pretty piping tip.

If desired, frost the top of the cake with a small scoop of frosting to help the cranberries stick.

Swirl the frosting onto the cake along the outer edge using small rotations of the wrist.

To make the sugared cranberries, dip the cranberries in water and then roll in the sugar. Top the cake with the finished cranberries.

Serve and enjoy.

 

Pin this Simple Sugared Cranberry Cake for your busy holiday baking:

A simple cranberry cake with sugared cranberries and vanilla buttercream - this cake is super simple and perfect for busy holiday schedules

Grab your free printable for our easy cranberry cake recipe:

Cranberry Cake

Cranberry Cake

Ingredients

For the cranberry cake:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange or lemon peel

For the sugared Cranberries:

  • 1 Cup cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • ½ Cup sugar

For the vanilla buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2-3 cups powdered icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cream

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a small cake pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Beat in egg, then set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and nutmeg.
  5. Alternatively add half of the milk and half the flour mixture into the batter until fully incorporated.
  6. Stir in cranberries and orange peel, if using.
  7. Pour the batter in the prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool as you prepare the vanilla buttercream.

For the vanilla buttercream:

  1. combine the butter, vanilla and sugar in a medium-sized bowl, beating for two minutes before adjusting the consistency with a bit of cream. Add more sugar or cream, as desired, to achieve your preferred consistency. Scoop into a piping bag fit with a pretty piping tip.
  2. If desired, frost the top of the cake with a small scoop of frosting to help the cranberries stick.
  3. Swirl the frosting onto the cake along the outer edge using small rotations of the wrist.

To make the sugared cranberries:

  1. Dip the cranberries in water and then roll in the sugar. Top the cake with the finished cranberries.
  2. Serve and enjoy.

Pin this Recipe for Later

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

This super simple cranberry cake is topped with a delicious vanilla buttercream and plenty of sugared cranberries for a pretty Christmas or Thanksgiving cake with little effort.

For more delicious holiday desserts, check out our Fluffy Eggnog Cake with Eggnog Buttercream or our Magical Pumpkin Cake.

 

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