A delicious cranberry cake with butter sauce, is Fall comfort food at its best. Enjoy warm for a great fresh cranberry dessert!

Cranberry Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce

It’s cranberry harvest season here in Central Ontario, so it seemed appropriate to enjoy a lovely fresh cranberry dessert with the first of the season’s crop. This cranberry is filled with cranberries, so it’s lovely bites of tart are perfectly complemented by the warm butter sauce. It’s Fall comfort food at it’s best!

That said, did you know that cranberries freeze so beautifully! Cranberries require no preparation for the freezer at all. Freezing cranberries is as easy as just placing the bag you buy them in right in to the freezer. You’ll always have a ready supply of cranberries to use year round.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Cranberries – you can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this cranberry cake.

Whipping Cream – this is heavy cream, typically 35% b.f. I don’t recommend a lighter cream, as the sauce will be much lighter and thinner.

Cranberry Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce

Recipe Tips

Normally I suggest that the sauce could be optional, but in this case, I feel like this one is a package deal. The cake itself is so full of cranberries, that it lends to the tart side. The sweet and creamy butter sauce is what balances it out.

This cake is best enjoyed with the sauce warm and the cake lightly warm.

Cranberry Cake with Vanilla Sauce

Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing

You can make both the cake and sauce ahead and re-heat, as needed. Refrigerate the sauce and store the cake tightly wrapped at room temperature. The cake will also freeze well, though I don’t recommend freezing the sauce.

cranberry cake with butter sauce

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Cake with Butter Sauce

Delicious cranberry filled cake, served with a warm butter sauce. Best enjoyed served with a warm sauce and a lightly warm, freshly baked cake.
4.91 stars from 11 ratings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 9 servings



  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulatedsugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
  • 1 teaspoon salt, reduce to 3/4 tsp if using salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries, thawed

Vanilla Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour flour
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream, 35% b.f.
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350F (regular bake setting/not fan assisted). Grease a 9-inch square baking pan and set aside.
  • For the cake: In a medium bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Fold in cranberries.
  • Spoon batter in to prepared baking pan and smooth batter. Bake at 350° F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set on a cooling rack to cool slightly while you prepare the sauce.
  • For the sauce: Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately stir in 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream, vinegar and vanilla. Stir quickly until blended. Pour warm sauce over squares of slightly warm cake.
  • Cake is best enjoyed with lightly warm cake topped with warm sauce. Left-overs can be re-warmed to enjoy later.


Be sure to read the notes above this Recipe Card, for more tips on making this recipe.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 470kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 410mg, Potassium: 165mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 46g, Vitamin A: 815IU, Vitamin C: 3.1mg, Calcium: 83mg, Iron: 1.5mg
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