Win a Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker! →

Cheery Cranberry Butter Cake

And ingredient #9 just gets thrown on top!

Oh my gosh, how much do we love any iteration of an ooey-gooey butter cake?? So much. And this cranberry butter cake is no exception – it’s addictively delicious! With a smattering of pantry staples and two stages to the recipe, you end up with a creamy, caramelized, sweet and tart dessert that steals the show no matter what else is served alongside it. Seriously, this stuff is what dreams are made of and we can’t get enough.

The first thing you’re going to do is beat your eggs and melted butter together until they form a ribbony, smooth mixture. You’ll mix in your yellow cake mix until it’s thick and fully incorporated, then press that into your baking dish. This is your crust and we absolutely love how it caramelizes as it bakes and turns into a toffee-like bottom layer that deliciously complements the creamy cheesecake top layer. Which brings us to said top layer. Cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar make up the brunt of it and boy is it good. This is sort of a glorified cheesecake layer, and the greatness doesn’t stop there.

On top of our filling, we sprinkled (read: plopped) on two cups of fresh cranberries and that’s what makes this cake so good. While we’d previously used blueberries or left it just as a plain, albeit delectable, butter cake, the cranberries make this cake the perfect choice the the holidays and lend just the right amount of tartness to balance out the sweetness of the crust and filling. No need to sugar your cranberries or prep them in any way other than to just drop them on your cake – they burst as they bake and the combo of the sweet and tangy cream cheese with the tart fruit is out of this world. Careful though: after your first bite you’ll see one slice just doesn’t seem like enough!

Serves 12

1 hour

Rated 3.6 out of 5
Rated by 14 reviewers
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) package yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (16 oz.) package powdered sugar
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. Beat 8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter together with 1 egg in a large bowl, then beat in yellow cake mix until incorporated.
  3. Transfer mixture to greased baking dish, being sure to spread/pat it in and even layer, and set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl or mixer, beat softened cream cheese until fluffy, then beat in remaining 2 eggs.
  5. Once they’re both fully incorporated, mix in remaining butter and vanilla extract.
  6. Working in batches, beat powdered sugar into mixture, mixing until smooth, then drop spoonfuls over cake batter, and spread carefully and gently into a smooth, even layer.
  7. Drop cranberries over cake and lightly press them into cream cheese mixture, then place baking dish in oven.
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until center is just set, but still slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from oven and let cool.
Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes