This gluten free cranberry orange bundt cake has bright holiday flavors wrapped up in a stunning cake that’s impressive, but easy to make!
I love citrus flavors in the colder months. They somehow brighten up these days where we see very little sunlight. And the pairing of cranberries and orange has been a long-time duo. The cranberries are just sweet and tart enough running through the cake, while the orange in both the cake and the glaze makes everything pop.
I got the bundt cake pan for this cake from a garage sale a few years ago. I thought it would make a beautiful winter cake and I was right! The funny thing is that when I went to look up this same pan on Amazon so that I could link it if anyone was interested in buying it, there is one left and it’s $75.00!! Idk who in the world would buy a bundt pan for that much money, but if you’ve got money to burn, then here is the link. Haha!! Otherwise, here is a link for another similar style bundt pan that’s way cheaper.
Ingredients for Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake
This cake, like most bundt cakes, is very simple to make, uses typical cake ingredients, and comes together in no time.
- Kim’s gluten free flour blend–you can substitute with a store bought blend if you’d like (I only tested with my blend).
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Granulated sugar
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Fresh cranberries
- Orange zest and juice
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
Getting the Most Flavor From Orange Zest
To make your orange zest really pop in this cake, add it to the sugar and beat them together for a few minutes. This will release the oils in the zest, which will permeate into the sugar and ultimately flavor the entire cake. You’ll be adding the eggs to the sugar right off the bat anyway, so you’ll already have the sugar in the bowl ready to go!
Keeping Cranberries from Sinking
As is nearly always the case, when you add something into a batter, such as blueberries, cranberries, even nuts, to keep them from sinking into the batter, coat them with a little bit of flour. For this cake, coating the cranberries with a tablespoon of flour will keep them suspended in the batter instead of allowing them to sink to the bottom, which will ultimately be the top of this cake.
Making the Icing for Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake
I love a really thick icing on a bundt cake. It tends to stay on the cake instead of dripping all the way off the cake into large puddles. Start with the usual culprits for making icing, but instead of using milk or water to mix in with the powdered sugar, use the juice from the oranges you zested earlier.
But to make this go from a thin icing to a thick fluffy white icing that slowly drips like lava, add a teaspoon of meringue powder and mix it with a mixer. It’s similar to a royal icing in texture, but less sweet and doesn’t dry to a rock hard finish.
Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary for Garnish
You certainly don’t need to make these sugared cranberries and rosemary, but once you see how easy it is (and how yummy the cranberries are), you’ll regret it if you don’t. Plus, the recipe makes a TON of cranberries, which will stay sugared and crusty if you want to add them to other desserts (or just pop them one after another in your mouth)!
In a small saucepan, heat equal amounts of water and sugar to boiling and boil for 3 minutes. Add the cranberries and toss to coat with a slotted spoon, allowing them to sit in the syrup for 1 minute. Remove them with the slotted spoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let them cool for one hour and then dredge them in a bowl of granulated sugar.
You can do the exact same with the rosemary, just don’t put it into the saucepan at the same time as the cranberries or they’ll likely stick to one another. There should be enough syrup left in the pan from the cranberries to add the rosemary and fish it out with tongs (not your fingers–it’s super hot!). Let it dry right along with the cranberries on the very same baking sheet.
If you love cranberries and orange, make this cake. It’s fun, it’s festive, and it tastes delicious!!
Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake
- 3 cups (420 g) plus 1 tbsp Kim's gluten free flour blend, separated (a store bought blend can be substituted, but hasn't been tested in this recipe)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks or 170 g) butter, melted
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups (30 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- orange zest from 2 oranges (save juice for icing)
- 2 cups (250 g) powdered sugar
- 3-4 tbsp orange juice (from zested oranges)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp meringue powder, optional
Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar, separated
- ½ cup water
- 1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour bundt cake pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the 3 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat sugar with orange zest until the zest releases its oils into the sugar, about 30 seconds. Add eggs and increase speed to high and beat for 3 minutes, until pale in color.
- With mixer running on low, add oil, butter, and vanilla extract, followed by buttermilk. Slowly add the flour mixture until no streaks of flour remain.
- In a small bowl, add the remaining 1 tbsp of flour to the cranberries and toss to coat. Fold the cranberries into the batter and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (with only a few crumbs attached).
- Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto wire rack and cool completely. Make icing and spoon over the top of the cake, allowing to slowly drip down sides. Add sugared cranberries and rosemary if desired.
Make the Orange Icing
- Beat all icing ingredients, beginning with 3 tbsp of orange juice, until fluffy and thick, adding another tbsp of orange juice as needed to make a thick icing. This can be done by hand or with a mixer.
Make Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary
- In a small saucepan over high heat, combine ½ cup of sugar and ½ cup of water until boiling. Boil for 3 minutes and remove from heat. Add cranberries to syrup and stir for one minute. Remove cranberries from syrup with slotted spoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Next, add the rosemary sprigs to the rest of the syrup and gently stir. Remove with tongs and place on the same parchment-lined baking sheet, not touching any of the cranberries.
- Allow cranberries and rosemary to cool and dry for one hour. Dredge both in one cup of sugar and place back on parchment to harden. Use to garnish cake as desired.
Adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen Cranberry Bundt Cake