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Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake

This Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake is perfect for brunch or snacking!  A tender vanilla cake with flavours of orange, and bites of tart cranberries.

Imagine yourself, cup of coffee or tea in hand, under the glow of the Christmas tree, with a square of this delicious Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake.  Yes.  A perfect holiday season treat.  A flavourful orange vanilla cake with beautiful bites of tart cranberries…SO good.

A pan of Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake on a table with a plaid napkin

A Delicious and Versatile Cake Base!

Everyone should have a delicious and versatile basic cake recipe in their recipe box. The kind of recipe that can easily handle flavour additions and variations…one like the vanilla buttermilk breakfast cake base that I use in this recipe.  This vanilla cake is the base for some of my most popular breakfast cakes like my Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake and my Cherry Breakfast Cake. It’s such a reliable and delicious recipe that I use time and time again.  And as you might have guessed, I’ve used it once again to make this Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake.

A bowl of cake batter, orange zest, a cut orange and a plaid spatula

Cranberry + Orange = DELICIOUS

One of my most favourite flavour combinations for the holiday season is cranberry and orange.  Truly, they are a match made in heaven.  The sweetness of the orange paired with the tartness of the cranberries, makes them such a perfect pair.

A pan of Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake on a dark table with a plaid napkin and orange slices

So tasty and festive!

And when these flavours are mixed into a delightful vanilla buttermilk cake, you end up with SUCH a delicious cake.  A festive cake that tastes like Christmas.

A close up of Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake

Cake for Breakfast?  YES.

No really, this cake is perfect for breakfast.  And because it’s called a breakfast cake then there should be no guilt about it!  😉 But really though, because this cake has no frosting, it’s a lovely addition to a savoury brunch.  And the brightness of the orange in the cake just says brunch recipe to me!

A close up of a cut square of Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake on a plate with a fork

Just look at those cranberries!  Yum.

A top down view of a Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake cut into squares with a piece of cake on a plate

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

A close up of a cut square of Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake on a plate with a fork

Tips for making a Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake:

  • Cranberries:  This recipe is perfect for those leftover fresh cranberries that seem to gather in the fridge over the holiday season.
  • Fresh or Frozen Cranberries:  You can use either.  If you use  frozen cranberries, don’t thaw them, add them to the batter frozen.
  • Orange:  1 large orange makes enough zest for this recipe.  Use all the zest.
  • Sugar:  Don’t skip the 2 tbsp sugar dusting before baking.  This makes a wonderful, crunchy sugar topping.
  • Line your pan: Make sure to line your pan with parchment paper before adding the batter.
  • Let it rest:  Allow the loaf to rest for at least 1 hour.
  • Storage:  Make sure to cover and wrap this cake tightly so it won’t dry out.
  • Freezing:  This cake freezes well.  Wrap it tightly so it doesn’t dry out in the freezer.

Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake

This Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake is perfect for brunch or snacking!  A tender vanilla cake with flavours of orange, and bites of tart cranberries.  So delicious.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cake 1x
  • Category: Cake


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 tbsp sugar for garnish


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, use a mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs, and one at a time. Mix until smooth.
  5. Add the vanilla and orange zest.  Mix well.
  6. To the butter mix, add 1/3 of the flour mix, then 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat until all combined.
  7. Gently stir the whole cranberries into the cake batter. Don’t use a mixer, just hand mix it with a spoon, being careful not to mash the cranberries.
  8. Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper, then press the batter into the pan.
  9. Sprinkle the top of the cake with 2 tbsp of granulated sugar.
  10. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Let the cake rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
  12. Enjoy!

Keywords: breakfast cake, cake, cranberry orange

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More Delicious Cranberry Orange Recipes:

If you love Cranberries, here are more delicious recipes:

Have a delicious day!

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