This Cranberry Cake is an easy one-layer vanilla cake with fresh cranberries, bright orange flavors and drizzled with a creamy dairy-free white chocolate drizzle making it perfect for the holidays! It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, refined sugar-free with low carb & keto sweetener options.
Cranberry Cake Recipe for the holidays
Looking for an easy and festive cake to have in your back pocket for all the December festivities? This Cranberry Cake is a delicious one-layer vanilla cake with fresh cranberries, almond and orange zest. It comes together easily in just one bowl and my family says it makes the perfect no-fuss dessert that is sure to make your holiday table shine or for your next holiday dinner party!
Looking for other ways to use up those seasonal cranberries? Other cranberry recipes we love include our Apple Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Shortbread Bars, Cranberry Truffles and Cranberry Christmas Cake
Why we love this holiday cake recipe
- The best part about this moist and decadent paleo cake is that it comes together so quick and easy. Just ONE bowl and NO mixer required.
- This cranberry recipe is also grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free and includes a option to make this a vegan cake
- Another bonus is that this cake is refined-sugar free and can easily be low-carb or keto using your favorite sugar-free substitute and can be served for breakfast, an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee or dessert after Christmas dinner
- This cranberry cake can easily be made ahead of time as a healthy and delicious breakfast with your morning cup of coffee — or toss a few of these into your lunchbox to enjoy throughout the day.
Many cranberry cake recipes call for all purpose flour, butter, heavy cream and baking powder. Since we are trying to keep our cranberry cake grain-free and paleo-friendly, you are going to need:
- Eggs: Bring your eggs to room temperature. Want vegan cranberry cake? Try swapping the eggs with flax eggs to make this cranberry cake vegan.
- Unsweetened almond milk – you may also sub with any other dairy-free milk you like.
- Coconut oil – be sure to use organic refined coconut oil to avoid the coconut flavor if you are not a fan. You may also sub with vegan butter (not paleo) or ghee or grass-fed butter (if not dairy-free)
- Fresh orange juice and orange zest – Adds a bright citrus flavor to make this cranberry cake delicious
- Pure maple syrup – Adds natural sweetness and extra moisture. You can sub with another liquid sweetener of your choice such as coconut nectar syrup, Lakanto Sugar-free maple syrup for low carb or honey if not vegan.
- Vanilla – adds flavor and makes this gluten-free cranberry cake delicious
- Baking soda: a paleo leavener that helps the paleo cranberry cake rise
- Super fine almond flour and coconut flour: our favorite combination of gluten-free flours to use in place of all purpose flour
- Ground cinnamon and sea salt – add flavor and balance out the sweetness
- Fresh Cranberries
- Raw cacao butter + 2 teaspoons maple syrup – melted down for our dairy-free white chocolate drizzle. You may also sub with 1/4 cup melted dairy-free White Chocolate Chips (from Walmart of Nestle Tollhouse) or melted Lily’s Sweets White Chocolate Chips if not dairy-free or paleo.
- Sugared Cranberries
How to make Cranberry Cake
- Prepare for Baking: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13-inch rectangle cake pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang.
- Mix the Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs until smooth. Add the almond milk, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Add the Dry Ingredients: Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and sift in the baking soda, cinnamon, almond flour, coconut flour. Mix until batter is combined. Fold in 1/4 cup of the cranberries.
- Assemble: Transfer batter to the prepared pan, spread the top evenly using an offset spatula. Top with remaining cranberries.
- Bake: Bake in preheated oven for 35-38 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let Cool: Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut and slice into squares.
IF MAKING THE OPTIONAL WHITE CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
Tips for the Best Cranberry Cake
- Let Cake Cool Before Slicing: If your cake hasn’t completely cooled before you slice it, it could be too crumbly. Let it cool before serving so it’s nice and firm.
- Use Fresh Cranberries: This recipe is perfect during the fall and winter during fresh cranberry season! Frozen cranberries may also be substituted but be sure to add them frozen and not thawed as they may add too much moisture. You may also have to reduce the amount of frozen cranberries to 1/3 cup instead.
Want to switch up this cranberry recipe?
- Fresh or Frozen Berries – we love adding blueberries to add some extra moisture and sweetness.
- Nuts. We love adding chopped walnuts or pecans
- Spread a dollop or a smear of nut butter or dairy-free cream cheese on a slice for a delicious afternoon snack or after-dinner dessert
Make ahead and Storage
The great thing about this healthy cranberry cake is that it can easily be made ahead of time. Once the cake is fully cooled at room temperature, you can wrap the pan in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To store any leftover cake, simply transfer the cake to an airtight sealed container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
How to Freeze Cranberry Cake
If you want to freeze gluten free cranberry cake, I recommend wrapping it in a layer of aluminum foil followed by a layer of plastic wrap. It will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months! When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen cake, just thaw it on the counter overnight before serving.
More holiday cake recipes:
This Cranberry Cake is an easy one-layer vanilla cake with fresh cranberries, bright orange flavors and drizzled with a creamy dairy-free white chocolate drizzle making it perfect for the holidays! It's gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, refined sugar-free with low carb & keto sweetener options.
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup OR may sub with Lakanto maple syrup for low carb / keto
- 1/4 cup organic refined coconut oil , melted and slightly cooled - may also sub with vegan butter (not paleo), ghee or unsalted grass-fed butter if not dairy-free
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon , optional
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 1/3 cups superfine blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries + more sugared cranberries for garnish, if desired
- 1/4 cup 1/4 cup raw cacao butter, chopped + 2 teaspoons maple syrup , you may also sub with 1/4 cup melted dairy-free White Chocolate Chips (from Nestle Tollhouse or Walmart's Great Value brand) or Lily's Sweets White Chocolate Chips if not dairy-free or paleo)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch rectangle cake pan, leaving a slight overhang.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs until smooth. Add the almond milk, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and sift in the baking soda, optional cinnamon, salt, almond flour and coconut flour. Mix until batter is combined. Fold in 1/4 cup of the cranberries.
Transfer batter to the pan, spread the top evenly using an offset spatula.
Top with remaining cranberries and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the white chocolate drizzle if using homemade.
- In a small saucepan over very low heat (or alternatively in a heat-safe bowl over a double-boiler) melt the cacao butter and coconut oil until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla. Allow to cool down then drizzle over cake.
Cut and slice into squares.