Christmas Cranberry Cake – Basic

Cake for the holidays, sliced open with warm cranberries

Christmas Cranberry Cake

What’s the difference between Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake & Christmas Cranberry cake? Proportions of ingredients. The pound cake has an almost 1:1:1 ratio of flour, sugar, butter etc… The regular version has more flour making it a fluffier and lighter cake, compared to the heavier pound cake.

Basic Cranberry Pound Cake Recipe


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • *** Optional: Store bought white icing


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a standard-sized loaf pan.
  • Rinse the cranberries and chop them coarsely. If you’re using frozen cranberries, make sure to thaw and drain any excess liquid.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This can be done with a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  • Gently fold in the chopped cranberries into the batter. Be careful not to overmix; you want the cranberries evenly distributed.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Keep an eye on it in the last few minutes to prevent over-baking.
  • Allow the cranberry cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cake has cooled, you can spread the top with icing for a festive touch.
  • Slice the Christmas Cranberry Loaf Cake and serve. This delightful, simple recipe is perfect for holiday gatherings or a cozy treat by the fireplace.

The History of the Cranberry Cake

Classic Holiday Xmas Cranberry cake

The Loaf Cake goes back in Time

Ancient Egyptians are credited with creating the earliest form of sweet bread, laying the foundation for what would later become known as cake.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, as trade routes expanded and exotic spices became more accessible, sweetened breads gained popularity. These treats, often enriched with honey, dried fruits, and spices, bore a closer resemblance to what we now recognize as fruitcakes.


The Renaissance period marked a pivotal shift in baking techniques. Bakers began to move away from reliance on yeast as the primary leavening agent, exploring alternatives such as beaten eggs. Butter also made its entrance into the baking scene, transforming the texture and flavor of these early cakes.

The Birth of Pound Cake

The 18th century witnessed the emergence of the pound cake, a precursor to the modern loaf cake. The name “pound cake” reflects the original recipe’s straightforward proportions: a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. These dense, rich cakes became a symbol of celebration and were often reserved for special occasions.

Industrial Revolution

As the Industrial Revolution unfolded, advancements in technology transformed the landscape of baking. The availability of baking powder in the 19th century revolutionized cake-making, providing a quicker and more reliable leavening agent. This accessibility paved the way for the widespread production of cakes, including the evolution of the loaf cake.

The Twentieth Century

The 20th century saw the loaf cake firmly establishing itself as a versatile and accessible treat. With the advent of electric mixers and precise ovens, home bakers could experiment with a variety of flavors and ingredients.

The Rise of Banana Bread

In the latter half of the 20th century, one particular loaf cake rose to iconic status: banana bread. Fueled by the surplus of overripe bananas and an increasing interest in quick and easy recipes, banana bread became a staple in many households. Its popularity endures today, a testament to the enduring appeal of the loaf cake.


When people think of cranberry cakes they generally think of the pound cake version, but because baking is a free for all right now people choose to make Christmas desserts however they like and the Christmas Cranberry Loaf Cake is now part of the crowded table that is Christmas Desserts.


Happy Holidays!

Cranberry Santa

Happy Holidays

Dried Cranberry Powder

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