Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cranberry Swirl

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This pumpkin bundt cake features a cranberry sauce swirl. The mix of tart and sweet flavors makes for a wonderful dessert.

Are you a fan of bundt cakes?

I heard that bundt cakes fell out of favor at one point (probably due to the lack of piles of frosting) but are now making their way back into people’s lives.

Personally, I love bundt cakes. All of my favorite cakes on this site are bundts, from my spiced pear cake to my tomato cake.

Bundt cakes are great because you don’t have to worry about baking even layers or fiddly frosting. Bundts look great right out of the pan, especially if you spring for one of the fancier pans that are available.

Pumpkin bundt cake in a swirl shape with glaze, and pumpkins in the background

I’ve shared a chocolate pumpkin bundt cake before, but not everyone who enjoys pumpkin loves chocolate. It’s been in my head for a while to create a pumpkin bundt cake with a swirl of cranberry sauce, and I’m finally sharing with you.

This is an ideal cake for using up leftover cranberry sauce — or for using some of the Turkey Day batch to make a Thanksgiving dessert.

Cranberry sauce is tart, so it’s nice to add to a sweet glazed cake to balance the flavors a bit. It also adds extra moisture, ensuring this cake is soft and tender even after a few days of slicing away.

Sliced pumpkin bundt cake with cranberry swirl visible

how to use bundt cake pans

For some, bundt cakes can be intimidating.

There have been plenty of horror stories of the cake sticking to the pan. But honestly, this happens with regular cake pans as well.

Making sure to grease your bundt pan thoroughly will help prevent sticking, as well as having enough fat in your cake recipe. A dry cake will quickly soak up any oil or butter you put on the pan in an effort to save itself!

Most bundt pans hold 12 cups of batter, which is equal to using two 8-inch round cake pans. Because you are putting more batter into a single pan, bundts do take longer to bake all the way through.

Bundt pans are done when a tester or toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with minimal crumbs attached. The top will also be firm and browned, and the edges of the cake will be pulling away from the pan.

I recommend cooling the cake in the pan for a few minutes before turning it out. This will help the cake pull away more from the pan, as well as let the temperature even out.

Slice of pumpkin bundt cake with cranberry swirl on a black plate

how to remove a bundt cake from the pan

In order to remove the cake from the pan, first you’ll need to have greased the pan properly! Some recipes call for adding flour, but every time I do this, the cake sticks. I recommend just butter or nonstick spray.

Place a wire rack on top of the cake. We’ll be flipping this so that it becomes the bottom. I use a rack instead of a cake plate so that the cake can fully cool.

Holding the rack and bundt pan together, quickly flip the two over so that the exposed cake is sitting on the rack.

Gently wiggle the bundt pan as you lift it up to remove the cake from the pan. If the cake resists, let it rest a bit longer before trying again.

slice of pumpkin bundt cake with a fork, overhead

I put a simple glaze on this cake, but it would be great without as well. Or you can swap in a maple glaze, using maple syrup in place of the milk.

Remember to glaze after the cake is cooled so the glaze firms up… unless you like a runny, gooey glaze!

This cake keeps on the counter for 3-5 days, or longer in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cranberry Swirl

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cranberry Swirl

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This pumpkin bundt cake features a cranberry sauce swirl. The mix of tart and sweet flavors makes for a wonderful dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups fresh puree)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup cranberry sauce, divided

For the glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk, more as needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla until blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and cloves. Stir into pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated and smooth.
  4. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Dollop 1/3 cup of cranberry sauce onto the batter, then cover with another 1/3 of batter. Repeat with remaining sauce and batter. Insert a butter knife into the batter and drag it in a swirl pattern to gently disperse the cranberry sauce.
  5. Bake the cake for 55-60 minutes, until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Once the cake is cooled, make the glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until you have a thick but pourable glaze, adding more milk as needed. Pour the glaze over the cake and serve once firm.

Notes

  • You can use a chunkier cranberry sauce for this recipe, but a smoother sauce will achieve a better swirl. If yours is chunky, simply blitz in a blender to puree before using.
  • Adapted from King Arthur Flour

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 346mgCarbohydrates: 84gFiber: 3gSugar: 60gProtein: 5g

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