This orange cranberry chocolate chip bundt cake is a fun and oh-so-simple to make alternative for your holiday dessert table. Or, your anytime table!
Who’s with me on the gloriousness of a good bundt cake? I mean, it’s cake, and who doesn’t love cake?
There’s just something so comforting about bundt cake, isn’t there? Like, snuggle-up-under-a-blanket-with-coffee-and-cake comforting.
Easy Bundt Cake
Bundt are known to be a low-maintenance cake too. You typically just dump the batter in the pan and bake. No fussing over cake layers and parchment rounds and frosting.
Not that I don’t loooove frosting.
The ingredients for this orange cranberry chocolate chip bundt cake are fairly basic but when combined, they make for a fabulous cake worthy of being on your Thanksgiving dessert table.
For the cake you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Table salt
- Granulated sugar
- Orange zest
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract or vanilla paste (either will work)
- Grand Marnier – This is an orange-flavored liqueur which adds a beautiful layer of orange to the cake. It is an optional ingredient and if you choose not to use it, add extra orange juice.
- Fresh orange and lemon juices
- Heavy cream
- Fresh cranberries
- Chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
For the glaze you’ll need:
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Clear vanilla extract – Also known as imitation vanilla, a clear extract will keep your glaze white. Pure vanilla extract works fine here too but the glaze will be tinted on the brown side from the color of the extract.
- Table salt
A few things to note about this recipe:
- The fresh cranberries give a fresh pop of tartness and they balance the sweet chocolate in the best way possible. Frozen whole cranberries will work in this cake too. Don’t thaw them before adding them to the batter or the juices will bleed into the cake and turn it pink.
- This recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter and 5 eggs which, at first glance, I thought was an error but I went with it. And to my surprise and delight, the cake was perfect! It’s a BIG cake so the measurements work.
The Best Part of a Bundt
To me, picking at the crunchy top before you oh so gracefully – with a wince and one eye snapped shut – flip the cake out of its pan onto a wire rack is quite possibly the best part of the whole cake.
I made an orange chocolate chunk version MANY years ago with the same level of enthusiasm but this cake is different.
It’s dense, buttery, sweet but also bright and refreshing. The glaze adds a little extra sweetness but it doesn’t overpower the flavors of the cake.
It’s a lovely cake and would be stellar addition to any holiday table, especially if you’re looking for easy Thanksgiving dessert recipes that aren’t pumpkin desserts!
For the cake:
- 3 cups (426 g) all-purpose flour plus 2 tsp
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp table salt
- 2 ¼ cups (446 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
- ¾ lb (3 sticks, 339 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur (optional but delicious)
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from the zested orange)
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips or chunks
For the glaze:
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (clear, if possible)
- Pinch of table salt
- To make the cake: Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with baking spray; set aside. Whisk 3 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, work the orange zest into the sugar until fully incorporated; set aside.
- Beat the butter at medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Add the sugar-zest mixture and beat for 2-3 minutes at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla and liqueur.
- Add one-third of the flour mixture to the bowl and stir on low speed until just incorporated, then stir in the orange and lemon juices. Repeat with another third of the flour, then the heavy cream. Stir in the remainder of the flour and mix just until no streaks remain. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and give the mixer another spin for a couple of seconds just to combine everything.
- In the bowl you mixed the dry ingredients in, toss the cranberries and chocolate chunks with the remaining 2 teaspoons flour. Fold cranberries, chocolate chunks, and any residual flour into the cake batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and level off the top.
- Bake for 60-75 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a long wooden skewer comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it when inserted into the center of the cake. (Note: my dark pan needed the full amount of time. You may need more time for a lighter colored pan.) Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 25 minutes. Flip the pan out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
- To make the glaze: Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth.
- To assemble: Place a large piece of parchment paper or foil under the cake (keep it on the rack). Pour the glaze evenly over the cake so it drips down the sides and interior hole. Allow the glaze to set for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Storage: Cake will keep covered or wrapped tightly, at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. The cake is better on the second day after the flavors have a had a chance to mingle so any leftovers will be delicious.
adapted from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book by Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog
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