Annika Eats

Cranberry Orange Loaf

Tender and fluffy, this loaf is not only a good tea cake but the perfect celebration cake as well. Filled with orange and cranberries it makes for a deliciously festive bake. 

This cake needs no introduction as it is one of those cakes that you just need to make every single year. I say every single year because the flavors are that of the holidays with orange and cranberries. I love adding a dusting of cinnamon powder on top to cut the sweetness of the cranberry icing. I will not lie to you, I’ve made this recipe for the last 6 years during December and it has been demolished every single time. It also makes for a good edible gift for family, friends and loved ones.

One of the main highlights of making a cake like this is, the fresh cranberries don’t sink to the bottom. In most fruit cakes you will notice while baking the fruit sinks to the bottom making an uneven fruit dispersal once sliced into. In this recipe you will not face this issue as we will walk through a few important points ensuring a perfect outcome. 

What ingredients do you need to make this loaf?

For the wet ingredients you will need egg, vegetable oil, vanilla, milk and orange juice. For the dry ingredients you will need all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon powder, orange zest, castor sugar, granulated sugar and icing sugar for the icing on top. You will need cranberries, either fresh of frozen , for the cake and the icing. 

What equipment do you need?

A large mixing bowl for the cad batter, a small mixing bowl for the icing. You will need a whisk and rubber spatula to mix the cake batter. You will also need a sifter to remove any lumps from the dry ingredients. I like making the icing in a blender, I use the Nutribullet to do so. You will need a loaf tin to bake this cake, I use a 9×4 inch. You can use an 8 inch or 7inch round tin as well to bake the cake. 

What substitutes can you use?

To make this cake eggless, you can use 2 flaxseed eggs (2 tbsp flaxseed powder + 4tbsp water mixed until gloopy) or you can use 50 gm full fat yogurt. The flaxseed eggs or the yogurt will be added at the same time like the eggs. I have made this recipe gluten free using a combination of gluten free flour mix and almond flour in the ratio 75/25 respectively. You could keep this cake vegan and replace the milk with any lactose free milk alternative you like. I like using fresh oranges in this recipe for the zest and the juice, nothing compares to it. As for the cranberries you must use fresh or frozen, dried are just not going to work in this recipe. 

Mixing the cake

This recipe is a simple one. The oil, sugar, eggs, orange juice, milk and vanilla gel mixed together until combined. The orange zest is added and mixed again. We sift over the dry ingredients but save 1 tbsp of the flour for later and start mixing the batter gently. Once all the dry ingredients have been incorporated add the cranberries into the batter, add the 1 tbsp of flour and using a spatula fold together. This will ensure the cranberries don’t sink to the bottom once baked. I like to sprinkle over granulated sugar on the top so when the cake bakes it forms a crust. 

Baking the cake

I like to line my loaf tin with a brush of oil and place a piece of baking paper at the bottom. This will ensure the cake comes out easily once baked. I wouldn’t recommend skipping this step as the cranberries could get stuck to the tin. The cake is baked for 55-60 mins at 180℃ however this depends on the size of tin you use. Once it is baked, let it cool completely before icing the top. 

Storing the cake

Once the cake is baked, honestly it tastes better the next day so it is a great cake to make the night before, like new years eve for example. It will last up to 4-5 days in the fridge as there is fresh fruit in the cake it cannot be stored at room temperature for a long period of time. Once sliced you can wrap up each slice with cling wrap and aluminium foil, place it in the freezer for upto 1 month. Thaw it for 30-45 mins before serving. If you have not glazed it you can warm up the loaf in the microwave, however if you have glazed the whole cake it cannot be warmed in the microwave. 

Now that we have covered all the elements of the cake, let us get down to making it. Happy Almost 2022 Ninjas!

Cranberry Orange Loaf

Tender and fluffy, this loaf is not only a good tea cake but the perfect celebration cake as well. Filled with orange and cranberries it makes for a deliciously festive bake.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Cake, Celebration, Dessert, High Tea, Party, Sweet tooth, tea time
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Slices


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Sieve
  • Loaf tin (9x4inch)
  • Baking paper
  • Blender



  • 2 Eggs
  • 125 ml Oil
  • 130 ml Milk
  • 50 ml Orange juice
  • 5 ml Vanilla
  • 180 gm Castor sugar
  • 280 gm All purpose flour
  • 5 gm Baking powder
  • 5 gm Baking soda
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 10 gm Orange zest
  • 200 gm Cranberries fresh/frozen
  • 30 gm Granulated sugar optional


  • 10 fresh Cranberries
  • 150 gm Icing sugar
  • 5 ml Lemon juice


  • 5 gm Cinnamon powder


  • Preheat the oven to 180℃, line you loaf tin with oil and baking paper. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the eggs and castor sugar. Whisk until combined. Add the oil and whisk again. Add the milk, vanilla, orange juice and zest, whisk until combined.
  • Save 1 tbsp of flour for later and sift the rest of the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt over the mixing bowl. Whisk gently at first and then give it a few vigorous whisks ensuring all the dry ingredients have been added.
  • Add the 1 tbsp of flour that you saved into the cranberries and stir around, add it into the batter and fold together using a rubber spatula. This will ensure the cranberries don’t sink to the bottom.
  • Pour into prepared tin and sprinkle over the granulated sugar, this will give it a crus as it bakes.
  • Bake for 55-60 mins until tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let it cool in it tin for 30 mins before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the icing blend all the ingredients together until smooth, if it is thick add more lemon juice, if it is thin add a few more cranberries and icing sugar.
  • Drizzle the icing over the loaf and let it drip and set. Dust over the cinnamon powder, slice and serve.


  • Don’t use dried cranberries for this recipe.
  • You can make the cake ahead of time and add the icing on top just before serving.