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Front view of gluten-free orange cranberry loaf cake sliced, so you can see the soft, fluffy texture inside

Gluten-Free Orange Cranberry Cake

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Emily Dixon, One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This gluten-free orange cranberry loaf cake is full of bright citrus flavor and tangy fresh cranberries. We love the soft texture! 



For The Orange Cranberry Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cup (210 grams) gluten-free measure-for-measure flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons orange zest (from about 3 oranges)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, cut in half
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch

For The Orange Syrup:

  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice (squeeze from the fresh oranges, if you can)
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

For The Orange Glaze:

  • 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 12 Tablespoons cream or milk (cream will look more opaque)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest (from about 1 orange)


Start By Making The Cake

  1. Preheat The Oven & Prep Your Pan. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard-size loaf pan (8 1/4″ x 3.5) with parchment paper. Set prepared loaf pan aside.
  2. Combine The Dry Ingredients. In a medium or small mixing bowl, combine gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. Rub Orange Zest Into The Sugar. In a large bowl, combine 3 Tablespoons fresh orange zest with granulated sugar. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar. This releases the essential oils in the zest and distributes them into the sugar, which gives a more vibrant citrus flavor.
  4. Stir In The Oil & Yogurt. Next, pour in the oil and stir to combine. Add the yogurt and mix until the mixture is cohesive and well-blended.
  5. Beat In The Eggs. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
  6. Add Vanilla And Almond Extract and stir to blend in.
  7. Stir In The Dry Ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just a few powdery sections are left.
  8. Coat The Cranberries. In the bowl you used for the dry ingredients, toss the cranberries with cornstarch and stir to coat.
  9. Fold In The Cranberries. Add the cornstarch-coated cranberries to the cake batter and fold in gently until just blended and the cranberries are well distributed. Try not to over-mix.
  10. Bake The Cake. Pour the cake into your prepared loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 65-75 minutes, or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with perhaps just a few small moist crumbs (no batter). The interior temperature should be around 200 degrees in the center. Cool 10 minutes in the pan and brush with the orange syrup before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.

Then, Make The Orange Syrup

  1. Melt The Sugar & Orange Juice Together. When the cake is almost done, combine the sugar and orange juice in a microwave-safe bowl (I use a glass liquid measuring cup). Microwave 30-60 seconds, or until the sugar is dissolved. Alternatively, you can use a small saucepan on the stove.
  2. Brush Syrup On The Warm Cake. When the cake is cooling in the pan and still very warm, brush with the orange syrup. (It may feel like a lot, but it’ll keep the cake ultra-moist and play up the orange flavors in the cake.)

Finish With The Orange Glaze

  1. Cool The Cake & Mix Up The Glaze. When the cake has cooled completely, make the glaze. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine powdered sugar, orange juice, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla, and orange zest. Whisk until smooth, adding more cream, as needed (I usually need 2 Tablespoons).
  2. Glaze The Cake. Pour or drizzle the orange glaze over the cooled cake. (Do NOT try to glaze a warm cake, or the glaze will simply melt off of the cake.)
  3. Let The Glaze Set Before Slicing. Let the cake sit for 30 minutes or so, until the glaze has set before cutting into slices. Store cake covered at room temperature 2 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
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