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Cranberry Orange Madeira Bundt Cake

Cranberry orange Madeira bundt cake is my twist on classic British bake Madeira cake. Synonymous with New Year in Scotland, this is a simple cake to bake, not too sweet, doesn't need any decorating so ideal for beginner bakers or Christmas gifting.

Cranberry Orange Madeira Bundt Cake

What Is A Madeira Cake?

Madeira cake is a popular British cake. A classic that is usually in loaf cake form, with a closer texture than a Victoria Sandwich cake. It is similar in composition to American Pound Cake, but has the addition of ground almonds (almond flour), and a very golden crust to it.

Classic Madeira cake is plain and not overly sweet, but cherry & sultana versions are often around at Hogmanay, along with Traditional Scottish Shortbread.

(Check out all my New Year & Party recipes page.)

Where Does Madeira Cake Come From?

Contrary to common belief, Madeira Cake does not contain Madeira wine and didn’t originate from Madeira in Portugal either. Madeira cake actually first appeared in a published recipe by Eliza Acton, in 1845, called Modern Cookery For Private Families1.

Why Is It Called Madeira Cake?

So why is it called Madeira cake you ask? Well it is thought that the name Madeira cake was given to this cake as it was often served alongside some madeira wine.

Why Make This Madeira Bundt?

  • Quick to make
  • Easy to prepare, so a great beginner recipe
  • No decorating needed
  • Not too sweet
  • No special equipment required
  • Tastes GREAT
  • Use fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Easily adapted with different fruit

Overhead photo of labelled bowls of ingredients for cranberry orange Madeira bundt cake.

Ingredients List & Notes

  • Sugar
  • Butter, unsalted
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Ground Almonds (Almond Flour)
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Orange Extract
  • Orange Juice & Zest (optional)
  • EGGS – UK medium or large sized used, roughly US large or extra large.
  • ORANGE EXTRACT – Valencian orange extract is highly recommended. I buy Asda & Sainsbury’s shop own brand, or Cake Décor brand found in Morrisons & Sainsbury’s. ‘Orange flavour’ bottles not great and orange or even tangerine zest would be better.

**Ingredient amounts are listed in the Recipe Card below.

My comparison shot of 3 types of sugar on black slate - icing/powdered, caster and granulated in the UK.

Caster sugar is used and equivalent is Extra/Super Fine Sugar. Alternatively, you can make your own by processing granulated sugar. See my UK sugar comparison photo.

I have tested the recipe with UK Self-raising flour, & Plain flour. Plain flour requires the addition of the baking powder, & the US equivalent is All Purpose flour. So omit the baking if using Self-raising.

grounds almonds & flour in small bowls and grain size comparison shot.

Ground Almonds give a lovely texture and added moisture to Maderia cake. As a substitute, use Almond Flour or Fine Almond Meal. Alternatively you can grind your own almonds. YouTube has many videos on this, but basically you are bashing the almonds in a food bag, (skins on) & then processing. See my comparison photo of ground almond to regular flour. Read my article about Differences Between UK & US Baking Ingredients.

Fresh Cranberries’ are used but you can also use frozen ones. Just don’t defrost them and coat in flour, just before folding into the cake batter. (More on that tip below).

Close angled front shot of plum muffins and mini bundts on blue Willow plate, with whisky and small Christmas tree to the background and tartin napkin to the front.

Ingredient Substitutes

US & Canadian alternatives are listed above & in the recipe Card. The following alternatives also work well:

Blueberries – are a good substitute for cranberries and work well in Madeira cake.

Red Plums – are my absolute favourite substitute when cranberries are out of season or have none in the freezer. You can get a similar tart taste by using the red plums. Simply chop into small pieces, and coat in flour just like the cranberries. Here is a photo of the Red Plum Orange Madeira Muffins & Mini Bundts.

Lemon Extract or lemon zest, can be used in place of the orange extract & zest.

Overhead shot of a very intrecate designed bundt pan with brushes and mixing bowl to the back.

Recipe Equipment

Full equipment list in the Recipe card, but let’s talk bundt tins, or bundt pans. I used this really fancy one from TK Maxx (like T J Maxx). They had 4 kinds I believe and it was only £14.99 ($18.91 as at December 2023)! Not lightweight and has a slight rose gold colour to it.

It is by Bakers Street, a Pandora Fluted Bundt Pan, size 9.5 inch diameter, by 3.75 inches high (24.2 x 9.5cm). This is technically a 10 cup (2.5 litre) capacity, but for batter nearer to 7.6 cups (1.9 litre), to allow for a good rise.

This bundt tin, as seen in the photo is very detailed & intricate, which makes for a very pretty looking bundt cake.

4 photo collage of homemade lining paste in jar, fancy intricate designed bundt cake with the paste and cake out of the tin.

Greasing Mini Bundts

As beautiful as these detailed bundts are, getting the cake to come out all in one piece is not also so easy. I have the solution however & only ever had a fail when I did not use Lining Paste! Also known as Cake Goop, you can make your own at home and with less expense than cake release or using butter and flour to grease.

Made just from flour, vegetable shortening & oil, you store in the fridge for whenever you need to grease something. Be sure to brush the lining paste on, in upward strokes, and take your time going all over the little nooks and crannies, applying it really well.

Recipe Yield – you will get 16 to 18 slices from the cake.

4 photo collage of bowl of fresh cranberries, on tea-towel after washing, adding in flour and coating.

Experienced Bakers

Experienced bakers can skip the detailed step-by-step recipe instructions by clicking the link – Jump to Recipe

Top Tips

  • To stop all of the cranberries sinking to the bottom of the cake tin, here is a great tip. Wash them in warm water, pat dry with kitchen paper/paper towel, before coating in 1 or 2 tbsp of flour. When you come to add to the cake batter, gently fold the cranberries in, in 3 increments to ensure even distribution. You can also hold a few flour-coated cranberries back, and place on top of the batter when already in the muffin case.
  • If using frozen cranberries, no need to defrost or wash them, and coat in flour, immediately before adding to the cake batter.

Step-By-Step Instructions

2 photo collage of washed fresh cranberries on teatowek to dry and in bowl dusted with flour - photo 1.

1. Begin by washing your fresh cranberries in some warm water. Then gently pat dry with a tea-towel or some kitchen paper/paper towels. Add to a bowl with a few tbsps of flour & coat the cranberries, before leaving to the side. This stops all the cranberries sinking to the bottom of the cake.

**Note for frozen cranberries – only flour the frozen cranberries immediately before adding to the cake batter.

2. Weigh/measure out your ingredients (grams, ounces & cup measurements found in the Recipe Card below). Cube the butter about ½” (1¼ cm) & the smaller surface area will mean the butter softens quicker. If you forget, try this hack for softening butter in about 12 minutes.

3. Once the butter is soft & room temperature, ‘cream’ the butter with the sugar, by beating with a hand-mixer or stand-mixer, until smooth, spreadable and paler in colour. (See Photo collage 2).

4. Now add in one egg at a time, mixing well in-between each addition.

5. Sieve in the flour & baking powder (no need for baking powder if using UK Self-raising flour). Then add in the ground almonds (almond flour/fine almond meal), orange extract & juice of the orange.

6. Mix together, but only just until combined and no flour pockets remain. Do not overmix.

7. Finally fold in ½ of the flour-coated fresh cranberries by hand, with a spatula, only until covered with batter. Repeat with the remaining cranberries.

**Note for frozen cranberries, don’t defrost them and flour coat immediately before adding at this stage here. See Photo collage 3.

8. Heat the oven to: 180°c/160°c Fan Oven/350°f/Gas Mark 4.

9. Next stage is to grease the bundt pan. Well grease it! Better do right when ready to use. Here I have used homemade ling paste (Cake Goop), like a cake release spray but in paste form. (See more about this before the instructions or go to Lining Paste review).

To use the paste, remove 2 tbsp from the jar and place in a small dish, from that you can brush onto the insides of the bundt tin, in upward strokes. Pay particular attention to applying well on the inner tube section. For the intricate detail of this pan, that is a little more tricky, so being sure to cover all areas and then doing a second coat with the remaining paste is what we are aiming for. It will be really well greased or lined, and do so all the way up to the top of the pan. (See Photo collage 4). Alternatively use a lot of cake release spray, or butter & flour.

10. Now spoon the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. The batter is thick, so take your time spooning it in, trying to avoid rubbing any of the lining paste off of the inner tube section. You can top up with some more paste if needed.

11. Once all the batter is in the pan, use the back of a spoon or spatula to level off the batter as best you can. Give the pan a few taps on the worktop/counter, before placing on a baking sheet/tray & popping in the centre of the oven to bake.

12. Bake for about 40 minutes until well risen, a deep golden colour, cocktailstick comes out clean of crumbs and the cake is starting to come away from the side of the pan (see Photo 5, top right pic). If using a thermometer, you are looking for an internal temperature between 200°f & 210° f (93-99°c).

13. Once baked, leave in the pan on a cooling rack for 30 minutes, before placing a large plate/cake stand/platter on top of the cake. Holding all together, flip over allowing the cake to release onto the plate. Give a few taps if needed. Leave to cool a little longer.

14. You can of course glaze the cake, but that can either look great or ruin the details of the cake. So best to either leave as is, or dust in icing/powdered sugar. Use a very fine sieve or even a tea-strainer to dust all of the cake with the sugar. This is best done before cutting and serving.

15. Slice with a large sharp knife and serve on its own with some hot tea. Alternatively, some blueberry orange curd, lemon curd or your favourite jam one side would go down well.

16. Store the cake under a cake dome and it will last 7 to 10 days. Or store in an air tight container such as a deep cake or cookie tin.

17. You can freeze Madeira cake in individual slices, wrapped in parchment paper and then cling film/plastic wrap or foil and then in a labelled food bag for up to 3 months2.

Close shot of front on of a golden loaf cake with red cranberry pieces, and orange zest and halves on a wooden board - cake Madeira.
Overhead shot of a table with christmas decorations, and drinks and a black slate platter witha Madeira cake sliced.
Ladies hand holding handle of small white cup with cranberry filled muffin and more to the background - photo square ratio.
Close photo of a blueberry filled mini bundt cake halved with blueberry curd in the middle with text 'blueberry bundts and blueberry curd'.

Try some other Madeira cake recipes – (L to R, top to bottom) cranberry orange Madeira cake, the Classic Madeira Cake, Cranberry orange Madeira muffins & Blueberry Madeira mini bundts with homemade blueberry orange curd.

Recipe Card

Cranberry Orange Madeira Bundt Cake

Cranberry orange Madeira bundt cake is my twist on classic British bake Madeira cake. Synonymous with New Year in Scotland, this is a simple cake to bake, not too sweet, doesn't need any decorating so ideal for beginner bakers or gifting.
Caro @ Caroline’s Easy Baking Lessons
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Cooling 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Serving Size 16 Slices*


  • Digital scales or measuring cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Stand/Hand-mixer
  • Sieve
  • Large Bundt Pan (Mine is a 10 cup/24¼cm diameter by 9.5cm deep* – see notes)
  • Cake release spray, cooking spray (Frylight, Lining Paste/Cake Goop* – see notes)
  • Timer
  • Wooden Cocktail stick
  • Cooling rack
  • Extra Fine Sieve (or tea-strainer)


  • 226 grams Butter – unsalted, cubed and softened.  (8 oz, 1 cup)
  • 226 grams Caster Sugar (Extra/Super Fine Sugar, 8 oz,  1 cup)* See above
  • 5 Medium -Large Eggs (US – Large to Extra Large)
  • 290 grams Plain Flour     (10¼ oz, 2⅓ cups All Purpose Flour, or UK Self-raising, less the baking powder* See notes)
  • tsp Baking Powder (omit is using Self-raising)
  • 65 grams Ground Almonds (2⅓ oz, ⅔ cup Almond Flour, ¾ cup fine Almond Meal) * see notes
  • tsp Orange Extract
  • 126 grams Cranberries, whole, fresh or frozen ( 4½ oz, 1¼ cup whole cranberries)
  • Zest of 1 Orange (optional)
  • tsp Orange Juice (optional)


Prepare Cake Batter

  • Wash the whole cranberries in warm water & pat dry before tossing in 1 or 2 tbsp flour to coat. **If using frozen cranberries, do not defrost and wait to flour coat till step 4 below.
  • Add softened butter to your mixing bowl with the sugar, & use a hand-mixer or stand-mixer to ‘Cream’ together. Try this video hack for softening butter in 12 minutes.
  • Add one egg at a time to the butter/sugar mixture, mixing well in-between adding each egg. Sieve over the flour & baking powder (omit baking powder if using UK Self-raising flour). Add in the ground almonds (Almond flour/fine almond meal), orange extract, orange juice & zest if using. Mix only till all ingredients are incorporated. Do not over-mix. Note it will be a very thick batter.
  • Fold in ½ of the flour coated cranberries with a spatula, (if using frozen ones, coat in flour now right before adding to the batter). Then fold in the remaining half till incorporated.
  • Heat your oven to 180°c/160°c Fan Oven/350°f/Gas Mark 4.

Prepare The Bundt Pan/Tin

  • Well grease the bundt tin/pan. I highly recommend homemade lining paste (cake goop). Alternatively use lots of cake release spray or butter and flour. Remove 2 tbsp of the lining paste, & brush onto all areas of the inside of the pan and go over a second time with the remaining paste. Pay attention to the inner tube and also the little nooks and crannies.

Bake The Madeira Cake

  • Carefully spoon the madeira cake batter into the greased bundt tin, and use the back of a spoon to level off the cake as best you can. Give the tin a few taps on the worktop/counter before placing on a baking sheet/tray and baking in the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes.
  • The cake should be risen, set, a deep golden colour and a wooden cocktail stick will come out clean of crumbs.  The cake will also have started to come away from the side of the tin and if using a thermometer, the internal temperature will be between 200°f & 210°f (93-99°c).
  • Leave to cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Then use a large plate to flip the cake over and out of the tin. Leave a little to cool a bit more.

Serving & Storing

  • To serve, add icing/powdered sugar on top or leave plain and serve with blueberry orange curd, lemon curd or your favourite jam one side. But it is not needed or traditional.
  • Store the Cranberry orange Madeira bundt cake in an airtight container such as a cake or cookie tin. A cake dome also works well and will last at least 7 days. Freeze Madeira cake in individual slices, wrapped in parchment paper then cling film/plastic wrap or foil and in a labelled food bag for up to 3 months2.


US/Canadian ingredient equivalents listed in the ingredients section as well as more details before this Recipe Card.
Caster sugar equivalent is Extra/Super Fine Sugar,  but you can process some granulated sugar instead. See my UK sugar comparison photo before this Recipe Card.
Ground Almonds substitute is Almond Flour or fine Almond Meal.  Make your own by bashing whole almonds, skins on, before processing.  See my ground almond photo for reference.
Fresh raw, whole cranberries or frozen cranberries both work well.   Red plums are a very good alternative, or blueberries.
Bundt Pan –  10 cup, Bakers Street, Pandora Fluted Bundt Pan, 9.5 inch diameter, by 3.75 inches high (24.2 x 9.5cm).  See before this Recipe Card for more details on the pan used.
Recipe Yield – you will get at least 16 slices form this cake, provided you don’t cut really large chunks. 
Close shot of front on of a golden loaf cake with red cranberry pieces, and orange zest and halves on a wooden board - cake Madeira.Try my Original Madeira Loaf Cake recipe, or with cranberries and orange (photo above)
Try with my Home-made Plum Jam recipe. Or why not try my Lemon Curd or Blueberry Orange Curd like in the blueberry mini bundt below?Please see the main recipe blog for more information.
Try one of my  3 traditional Scottish shortbread recipes or the Cranberry Orange Pecan Shortbread below.White plateof square and finger shaped Scottish shortbread with cranberry and orange, on a white table with tea cups, pink napkin and Christmas decorations.All cake recipes can be found on my Cake Page.
To rate the recipe or leave feedback, please scroll all the way to the bottom of the main recipe post.  Many thanks.

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Orange Madeira Bundt Cake
Serving Size
1 slice
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Caro x
  1. First published Madeira Cake recipe information from – https://www.nigella.com/ask/origin-of-madeira-cake ↩︎
  2. Freezing information from website Freeze It. Co. UK, at https://freezeit.co.uk/can-you-freeze-madeira-cake/. ↩︎
Cranberry Orange Madeira Bundt Cake

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