This festive cranberry bliss cake is perfect for the holiday season! It’s garnished with sugared cranberries and mint leaves and looks oh-so-beautiful! This Christmas cake is made with super moist sour cream cake layers full of cranberries! The sour cream adds a bit of tangy flavor and tons of moisture to keep this cake delicious. The layers are filled with sweet and sour homemade cranberry sauce to pair with the cranberry layers. And to frost it all off, an orange-flavored cream cheese frosting! A delightful cranberry cake that’s perfect for the holidays or any time of year!
My Cranberry Cake Video Tutorial
Watch my YouTube video for step-by-step instructions for making this cranberry bliss cake! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Ingredients for Cranberry Bliss Cake
Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make this festive holiday cake:
- Eggs, Sugar, Flour: for making the sour cream cranberry cake layers.
- Sour Cream: for making the cake layers. The sour cream makes the cake layers extra moist and delicate.
- Cranberries: use fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries for the cake layers and for making the cranberry sauce. You’ll need fresh cranberries for making the sugared cranberries.
- Butter: use softened unsalted butter for the cream cheese frosting. Soften the butter for 30 minutes prior to using.
- Cream Cheese: soften the cheese for 30 minutes prior to making the frosting.
- Confectioner’s Sugar: for cream cheese frosting.
- Orange Oil: this fragrant oil will add tons of incredible flavor to the frosting. If you don’t have orange oil, try adding the zest of 1 orange.
Sour Cream Cranberry Cake Layers
This incredible cranberry bliss cake starts with delicate and moist sour cream cake layers! Sour cream is often used in Eastern European desserts and I love the texture and flavor that it helps create!
- First, I combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla and mix the eggs for a few minutes until they’re well-beaten.
- Then it’s time for the sour cream. I recommend using a full-fat sour cream for best results. Alternate adding the sour cream with the dry ingredients: flour and baking powder.
- Make sure you don’t over mix the batter! Mix just until the flour and sour cream are well incorporated.
- Once the sour cream cake batter is ready, it’s time to add the cranberries! I like to use fresh cranberries for this recipe for the best flavor! I cut the cranberries in half and coat them lightly with flour. The flour will help keep the berry juices together, forming a jelly.
- Bake the layers for about 45 minutes at 350F until the cake is baked. Make sure to cool the cake layers completely before frosting and assembling the cake!!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
To fill the cranberry cake layers, I made my own simple cranberry sauce! It’s made with just sugar and cranberries and cooked over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, until the juices are reduced. This simple sauce is so great for this cake! You can also use my Orange Cranberry Sauce with orange flavor for this recipe. It’s a great way to add even more orange flavor!
Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting
My Christmas cake with cranberries is frosted with the creamiest and most delicious creamy cream cheese frosting! I flavor it with a little bit of natural orange oil for intense orange flavor! You can also add the zest of 1 large orange for even more flavor! I also have a separate video recipe for making this incredible frosting HERE. Make sure to check out for in-depth instructions!
Assembling the Cranberry Bliss Cake
Here’s how to assemble this delicious cake:
- Once the sour cream cake layers are completely cooled, it’s time to put this stunning cranberry bliss cake together! Before assembling the cake, use a serrated knife to split the cake layers in half.
- First, I spread a generous amount of the cream cheese frosting onto each cake layer, then I add the homemade cranberry sauce. Repeat this process for the next cake layers.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
- Garnish the top of the cake with sugared cranberries and dollops of cream. Refrigerate the cake for a couple of hours, or overnight, for best results.
How to Make Sugared Cranberries
To make the sugared cranberries, I first sprayed the berries with a simple sugar syrup. To make the syrup, combine 3 tablespoons of corn syrup with 3 tablespoons of water in a spray bottle. Spray the berries with the syrup and then allow the syrup to dry until it’s sticky. Repeat this process a couple of times, then sprinkle the berries with granulated sugar. The sticky syrup will help the sugar stick well!
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Enjoyed this delicious Christmas cake with cranberries? Make sure to check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Cranberry Orange Holiday Cake – another stunning cranberry and orange cake, this one is frosted with a whipped cream frosting!
- Orange Cranberry Bread – the easiest and most delicious cranberry bread with orange zest and orange glaze! Extra soft and moist!
- Cranberry Cheesecake – you’ll love this creamy and tart cranberry cheesecake, garnished with a delicate cranberry swirl design!
- Cranberry Pear Cake – this warming and delicious cake is dotted with cranberries and chopped pears.
- Cranberry Apple Piroshki – one of my favorite winter desserts are these Russian hand pies filled with apples and cranberries!
Cranberry Bliss Cake Recipe (video)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups cranberries, halved
For Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange oil or vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half or cream
For cranberry sauce:
- 3 cups cranberries, halved
- 1/2 cup sugar
- additional cranberries for garnish
For Cake Layers:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line with parchment paper the bottom of 2, 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.
- In large mixer bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. In separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add the sour cream and dry ingredients to the eggs, alternating. Beat batter just until smooth. Be careful not to over beat the batter as this will cause gluten to develop, resulting in a gummy cake.
- Toss the cranberries in flour to coat. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of your cake rounds. Fold in cranberries.
- Divide batter into prepared cake pans and bake in preheated oven for approximately 40-45 minutes until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and from pans onto cooling racks. Let cake layers cool completely; use to split the layers in half.
For Cranberry Sauce:
- For cranberry sauce: place cranberries and sugar into small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until berries split open. Continue to cook until sauce is reduced in half and thickened. Cool before using.
For Cream Cheese Frosting:
- For frosting: whisk softened butter in mixer bowl for about 5 to 6 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the softened cream cheese, orange oil and 2 tablespoons cream; whisk again for about 5 minutes, until smooth. If you cannot find orange oil, a tablespoon of orange zest will also work. Begin adding powdered sugar, adding 1 cup at a time. Whisk after each addition. Adjust sugar and cream as needed: use more sugar for thicker frosting, less sugar and more cream for a frosting with thinner consistency. If the frosting is too soft, refrigerate it for 30 minutes to an hour.
Assembling the Cake:
- To assemble cake: split the cake layers in half to have 4 layers. Reserve a small portion of prepared frosting in a piping bag for garnishing the top. Spread a layer of frosting on each cake layer, then top with cranberry sauce; repeat the process for the remaining layers. Spread the remaining frosting on edges and sides. Garnish the top with sugared cranberries and mint leaves. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 -3 hours before serving.
- To make the sugared cranberries, I first sprayed the berries with a simple sugar syrup. To make the syrup, combine 3 tablespoons of corn syrup with 3 tablespoons of water in a spray bottle. Spray the berries with the syrup and then allow the syrup to dry until it's sticky. Repeat this process a couple of times, then sprinkle the berries with granulated sugar. The sticky syrup will help the sugar stick well!