Bake this festive cranberry cake, then check out our classic Christmas cake, stollen, Christmas rocky road and cranberry blondies, plus discover more Christmas baking ideas and cranberry recipes.

Recipe tips:

  • Line the tin with two sheets of baking paper hanging over the edges, so it’s easier to remove.
  • You can swap the lemon for oranges if you have any, it will change the intense citrus flavour to a more subtle one.
  • You can make the sponge up to a month in advance, wrap it and freeze. When you’re ready to serve, defrost at room temperature and then decorate.


Store in an airtight container at room temperature for three days.


This sponge can also be eaten warm with custard – pure comfort food.

Cranberry cake recipe


  • 200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to for the tin
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 lemons, zested, plus extra to garnish
  • 125g fresh or frozen cranberries, plus 2 tbsp extra defrosted to garnish
  • handful of pistachios, roughly chopped (optional)


  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 900g loaf tin with butter and baking paper, hanging the paper over the edges slightly. Put the butter and caster sugar into a bowl, and beat with an electric whisk until smooth, pale and fluffy. Scrape down the edges of the bowl and gradually whisk in the eggs. Tip in the flour, milk, lemon zest and 110g cranberries, and fold in until you have a smooth batter.

  • STEP 2

    Tip the batter into the loaf tin and smooth the top so it’s level. Dot over the remaining cranberries and press them lightly into the mixture. Bake for 55 mins-1 hr or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 mins in the tin, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat together the butter and icing sugar with an electric whisk for 5 mins until pale and fluffy, and then beat in the lemon juice.

  • STEP 4

    Once the sponge is cool, put on a serving platter. Spoon the lemon icing on top of the loaf and swirl so the top is coated. Finish with a few more cranberries, chopped pistachios and some lemon zest.

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Liberty MendezRecipe developer

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