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This festive Cranberry Swirl Bundt Cake is a delicious choice at any time of day or night. This delicious cake is a fabulous way to make use of leftover cranberry sauce.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend, friends!
I have a fun holiday cake to share with you today. This Cranberry Swirl Bundt Cake is what I like to refer to as an “all day cake”. It’s just as delicious served with scrambled eggs in the morning as it is when served for dessert. It’s also a fabulous way to make use of that can of cranberry sauce that might be lingering in your pantry after Thanksgiving.
I’m writing this post right after celebrating our first Thanksgiving in our new Oregon home. Our oldest flew in from California so we had the whole family together for the holiday. This home and the state of Oregon have exceeded all of our expectations. It is stunningly beautiful and I feel inspired every time I walk out my door. We are truly blessed and so thankful.
We were prepared for grey skies and rain and instead we’ve had chilly temps but brilliant blue skies and plenty of sunshine; very unusual weather here at this time of year. I’m feeling for those of you out there experiencing severe weather conditions but hope that you are cozy in your homes this long holiday weekend.
I love a good old-fashioned Bundt at this time of year. They are simple and evoke a vintage feel. It’s so nice to have a cake like this on the kitchen counter so that everyone can help themselves to a sweet treat any time of day or night.
How to Make Cranberry Swirl Bundt Cake
A made from scratch batter is layered with canned cranberry sauce to create this pretty cake. Let’s make it together!
The creamed mixture consists of butter, sugar, eggs, and a little almond and vanilla extract. The dry mixture is added to the creamed butter mixture alternately with sour cream to create the tender cake batter.
You’re going to need a can of whole berry cranberry sauce and some chopped walnuts for the next steps.
What Size Bundt Pan Do I Need?
I used my pretty Nordic Ware Metallic Blue Bundt Pan which is a 10- to 12-cup pan. This recipe will work in a slightly smaller capacity pan as well. Just watch the baking time closely towards the end.
How to Grease a Bundt Pan
Nordic Ware advises against coating Bundt pans with regular non-stick cooking spray as they say it can build up a residue that’s difficult to remove over time. You may see this type of residue on the tops of your muffin tins which is why I always recommend wiping down any excess spray from exposed surfaces before putting muffin tins in the oven.
I have used regular non-stick cooking spray from time to time, with no issues, but I like to keep a can of Baker’s Joy in my pantry specifically for this purpose. It is a cooking spray that includes flour and it’s a quick and easy way to ensure your cakes will not stick. I’ve been more careful about this since I purchased my pretty metallic blue Bundt pan (affiliate link). I want this pan to last forever!
If you prefer, you can melt butter and use a pastry brush to get it inside all the nooks and crannies of your Bundt pan and then dust it with flour.
Scatter chopped walnuts on the bottom of your greased Bundt pan.
Drop one-third of the cake batter over the chopped nuts and use the back of a spoon to lightly spread it out.
Spread one-half of the cranberry sauce over the top and then drop another one-third of the cake batter on top of the cranberry sauce.
You’ll repeat this layering process one more time, ending with the last third of the cake batter.
It might seem like there isn’t enough batter to cover all the cranberry sauce so just dollop it on and slightly smooth it out and don’t worry if it doesn’t completely cover the sauce. When it the cake bakes it will rise and spread but some of the cranberry sauce is going to ooze out to the edges. Delicious!
Bake your Cranberry Swirl Bundt Cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. See the printable recipe card below for the temp and times.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a butter knife to carefully separate the cake from the edges of the pan and then invert it on to your serving platter to cool completely.
Don’t be tempted to glaze the Bundt cake before it is completely cooled or the icing will thin out and roll right off the warm cake.
This is a cake you can make the night before if you are planning to serve it in the morning. Just cover it once it has mostly cooled and add the glaze in the morning.
How to Make the Powdered Sugar Glaze
I’ve done this simple powdered sugar glaze with both whole milk and heavy cream and both are delicious.
Heavy cream is much thicker than whole milk so you’ll need to use more to get a good pourable consistency. It also results in a thicker, more luscious glaze like the one you see here. Just start with a small amount of either heavy cream or whole milk and add more in small increments until you reach the desired consistency. A small amount of vanilla extract does a lot to add some warmth and flavor.
For another great holiday choice check out my Sweet Potato Bourbon Bundt Cake.
Stay warm and eat cake!
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Cranberry Swirl Bundt Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 can 14 ounces whole-berry cranberry sauce
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 to 5 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan with Baker's Joy (see Recipe Note) or brush with butter and dust with flour.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in almond and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture in increments, alternating with the sour cream. Beat well after each addition.
- Sprinkle the walnuts into the prepared Bundt pan. Drop one-third of the batter in small spoonfuls over the nuts. Spoon half of the cranberry sauce over the batter and use your spoon to lightly spread it out. Repeat layers, ending with the final third of batter.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a serving platter to cool completely.
- Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cooled cake. Whole milk is quite a bit thinner than heavy cream so you will need less to reach a nice drizzling consistency. Start with a small amount and add only as much as needed.
Adapted from Taste of Home