Orange Cranberry Pound Cake is a moist, buttery, fragrant sour cream cake infused with orange zest and dotted with juicy cranberries!
The sweet burst of citrus combined with the bright tartness of cranberries in such a perfectly balanced sour cream pound cake makes this a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Special enough for a Holiday Dessert Centerpiece, but easy enough for a Weeknight Treat!
I absolutely love to bake. The smells, the sense of accomplishment, and the almost immediate gratification. But most importantly? The oh so satisfying yumminess that titillates the sweet tooth on mine and my friend’s and family’s plates!
Sour cream tends to be one of my go-to favorite baking additions because of the delightful moistness and subtle flavor it imparts to baked goods. My Blueberry Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake makes regular appearances in our house when a dessert is called for. But for breakfast, we eat the heck out of muffins! Especially the 30 minute, mixing-bowl-to-table varieties like Double Chocolate Banana Muffins, which are also super healthy, and Blueberry Sour Cream Streusel Muffins, that will disappear before they even have a chance to cool.
How to make Orange Cranberry Pound Cake
Begin by whisking together the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together room temperature butter with the sugar. It’s very important that the butter be room temp and not melted. Cream them for 3-6 minutes until they are EXTREMELY light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, then the full-fat sour cream, orange juice, and orange zest. Once the eggs are added, be careful not to over beat the batter, mixing just to combine ingredients.
Gently stir in the dry ingredients and then fold in fresh cranberries that have been tossed in a bit of flour. I cut my cranberries in half so there is more cranberry dispersed throughout the cake and to make them lighter so they do not sink quite as easily.
Sprinkle a few reserved cranberries on top and then bake the cake.
After the cake has cooled to room temperature, make a simple glaze from powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest and drizzle over the top. I like to garnish with orange zest and fresh berries for more color.
Tips for making the perfect pound cake.
- Make sure the butter and eggs are room temperature.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until they are EXTREMELY light in color and fluffy.
- Do not substitute with margarine or low-fat sour cream. Both will affect the taste and texture of the cake.
- Thoroughly grease and flour every corner of the pan as pound cake can stick easily causing the crust to tear.
- Tossing the cranberries in flour before adding to the batter helps them to not sink to the bottom of the cake.
Can I substitute dried or frozen cranberries?
Yes. My preference is fresh cranberries, but they are only available seasonally. Frozen cranberries may be substituted with no recipe changes.
To use dried cranberries, microwave them in a covered container with enough water to cover the cranberries for two minutes. Drain the excess liquid. This re-hydrates the berries and makes them juicier then not doing this.
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Orange Cranberry Pound Cake
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 2 cups cranberries, fresh and cut in half optional: leave berries whole
- 2 teaspoons flour
Orange Zest Glaze
- 1.5 cups powdered confectioners sugar
- 3 tablespoons orange juice, fresh squeezed
- 1.5 tablespoons orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Grease and flour a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 3-6 minutes until extremely pale and light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing just until the yellow yolk is combined after each addition.
- Add the sour cream, orange juice, and orange zest and continue mixing just until combined.
- Fold in the dry flour mixture by hand, stirring only until just combined.
- Toss the cranberries in 2 teaspoons of flour and DIVIDE. Gently fold in 1.5 cups of berries into the batter just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cranberries over the top of the batter.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes, run a knife around the outside edge, and then turn out to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Orange Zest Glaze
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest.
- Drizzle over the cooled cake.
- Garnish with orange zest and fresh berries if desired.