This Cranberry Orange Skillet Cake with White Chocolate is bright and tangy and completely comforting, just the prescription for the gloom of winter.

A Slice of Cranberry Orange Skillet Cake on a White Plate with Coffee

Hi friends! Ohhhh, today’s recipe is a good one, and it’s a gift to you from my dear friend Brenda from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles! You may remember Brenda from about six months ago, when she guest blogged these Lobster Tails while I recovered from my spine surgery. Brenda is one of my dearest friends, and one heck of a woman. Every now and then I’m just in awe of all the incredible women I’m blessed to have in my life, and Brenda is one of those women. She has an enormous heart and as I’ve gotten to know her, I just like her more. But, even if you’re here just for the food (and not for Brenda’s personal awesomeness), I will tell you that Brenda’s recipes are SO GOOD. Every recipe I’ve had of hers just knocks my socks off.

Please welcome Brenda, as she shares this gorgeous skillet cake, and at the bottom of the post, find a link to her site for a giveaway!!

   Overhead View of A Slice of Cranberry Orange Skillet Cake 

Thank you so much for having me, Joanne. You’re a dear, sweet friend. I’m so happy to be here to share this skillet cake with you – it’s perfect for this holiday season!

It has been Damp and Dark and Dreary with 3 capital D’s here in Minnesota the past week. Walking through the house during the middle of the day, it’s been necessary to turn on a light when entering a new room. A friend of mine was skiing at a local ski resort last weekend and said the night lights came on the slopes at 2:00 in the afternoon. I know that it’s winter, and we’re in the heart of the Midwest, but there’s just something very wrong with this picture!

So I asked myself…“what is the opposite of dreary?…and the words bright, warm, joyful, and comforting came to mind. Which can only mean baking, right?!

This Cranberry Orange Skillet Cake with White Chocolate is just the prescription for the gloom of winter. You simply must turn on the oven and make it!

Cast Iron Skillet Cake in Black Cast Iron on Wire Rack

Want to know another secret to adding a little joy to your life? Bake a cake in a cast iron skillet. There’s just something about it that feels so wonderful and looks so comforting. If you’re serving the cake to guests, be sure to set the skillet out on the counter for them to drool over for a bit before cutting into it…

Cranberry Orange Cast Iron Skillet Cake on White Plate with Fork

This cake is bright and tangy with plenty of fresh orange zest and cranberries. I love how the cranberries plump and soften during baking, creating sweet, tart pockets of ruby red deliciousness.

Coffee Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet on Wire Rack

Sweet white chocolate chips melt into the cake, softening the brightness alongside the warmth of cinnamon and cardamom.

And a crunchy buttery topping that cracks when your fork presses through it, plus a lovingly spiced orange glaze, are layered on for special effects, delightful in both taste and texture. Some may question if this is cranberry cake overkill.

But I think not.

It’s simply winter survival in its most delicious and welcoming form.

Close Up of Cranberry Orange Skillet Cake on White Plate

Thank you so much for having me, Joanne. Merry Christmas to all!

Thanks, Brenda!!! Below check out three recipes from Brenda that I love. 


A slice of orange cranberry cake and a cup of coffee

Cranberry Orange Skillet Cake with White Chocolate

 This Cranberry Orange Skillet Cake with White Chocolate is bright and tangy and completely comforting, just the prescription for the gloom of winter.

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for the cranberry orange cake with white chocolate:

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom or a bit more if you really like cardamom!
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 c. plus 1 tsp. unsalted butter softened (not melted)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • zest from 2 large oranges
  • 2 c. fresh cranberries plus a few extra for the top of the cake
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips

for the butter crunch topping:

  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 T. cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ pieces

for the orange glaze:

  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 T. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  • zest of 1 large orange


  • Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 10″ cast iron skillet with tall sides (a smaller pan will not work!) with the 1 teaspoon of butter. Set pan aside.
  • For the cranberry orange skillet cake with white chocolate: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt.
  • In a separate large bowl, or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together the remaining 3/4 cup of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs and milk, and beat until smooth.
  • Then mix in the vanilla extract and orange zest. Don’t worry if the mixture is a bit curdled looking.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips, and spread into prepared skillet.
  •  For the butter crunch topping: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Cut in the butter with a rigid pastry cutter or a fork until you have pea-sized pieces.
  • Sprinkle over the top of the coffee cake batter. If you like the look of the cranberries poking through the top of the cake, randomly press a few cranberries into the crumb topping.
  •  Place skillet in oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until coffee cake is puffed up and set in the center, and nicely golden brown.
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before serving. When served still warm, the cake will be very tender. The cake will firm up more as it cools and the white chocolate solidifies.
  •  For the spiced orange glaze: Stir together all ingredients. Drizzle over cut slices of cake for added spiced orange flavor. If you like a lot of glaze, you’ll want to double the amounts.


Calories: 793kcal, Carbohydrates: 123g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 344mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 75g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.