Looking for a special cake for Thanksgiving or Christmas?

Not only is this cranberry almond cake pretty. It’s also easy to make (really) and it tastes great. The rich, buttery almond cake is studded with tart cranberries and fresh orange flavor. The sweet icing, freshened with orange rind, brings it all together.

Cranberry almond cake with orange zest: Refreshing and tart! Click through for recipe.

Is This A Norwegian Recipe?

Kind of. The base of this cake is reader favorite Norwegian almond cake. This is a buttery pound cake made in a special ridged pan.

To make it festive and appropriate for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert table, I added cranberries and orange zest. What started out as an experiment has turned into a recipe my family requests over and over!

Cranberry almond cake: Click through for recipe!

Do I Need A Special Pan To Make This Cranberry Almond Cake?

While I recommend using a Norwegian almond cake pan to make this pretty ridged cake, it is not completely necessary. You can use an 8×8-inch cake pan instead.

Cranberry almond cake with candied cranberries: Click through for recipe.

Making Sugared Cranberries

The star of this recipe is the sugared cranberries.

They’re tart, sweet, and burst delightfully in your mouth. And they are easy to make (see recipe below for detailed instructions):

  • Heat sugar and water in a saucepan until sugar dissolves
  • Add cranberries and stir to coat
  • Place on a parchment-lined pan for an hour to dry
  • Roll the cranberries in granulated sugar

Cranberry almond cake topped with candied cranberries.

More Norwegian Desserts And Sweets

Cranberry almond cake, with sugared cranberries. Click through for easy, festive recipe.

Cranberry almond cake with candied cranberries: Click through for recipe.

Cranberry Almond Cake

Yield: 18 small pieces
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • Zest from 1/2 orange

For sugared cranberries

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

For icing

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Zest from 1/2 orange


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a Scandinavian almond cake pan generously with non-stick cooking spray, and flour the pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, egg, almond extract, and milk until smooth. Add flour and baking powder. Stream in melted butter and beat until incorporated.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until cake is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely.
  4. Make icing: In a large mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, cream, and almond extract. Mix until smooth.
  5. Make sugared cranberries: Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Turn on heat to medium and heat until sugar is dissolved - do not boil. Add cranberries and stir until evenly coated. Remove cranberries and place on a parchment-lined plate or pan. Dry for one hour. Roll cranberries in remaining 1/2 sugar until evenly coated.
  6. To serve, drizzle icing over cake and top with sugared cranberries. Cut cake along ridges.

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