Cranberry Cake with Butter Rum Sauce

Cranberry Cake with Butter Rum Sauce and Sugared Cranberries is a simple recipe that is easy to prepare yet so sinfully delicious your guests would never believe it!

Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Rum Sauce and Sugared Cranberries

This recipe for a Cranberry Cake with Butter Rum Sauce has been given a new lease on life. I have so many old recipes in the archives from days when this blog was just a simple website of family favorites. 

I would like to think one day they’ll all have photographs and be presented beautifully but that will most likely never happen.

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Luckily this one made the cut and I updated it a bit too while I was at it. This delicious cake followed me to Colorado from North Carolina where we lived when my kids were little.

It came into my life one holiday when we had Christmas dinner with an older couple that lived in the same apartment building. Alma was a great inspiration to me and I still use some of her recipes.

I will NEVER forget that she made Quiche Lorraine for me for the first time and I’ve loved it ever since. I still have those two handwritten recipe cards in an old binder…they are hard to get rid of!

I had forgotten about this lovely little cake and I wonder how I did that. It is so easy, it is so pretty and seasonal and best of all? It is so damn good!!

Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Rum Sauce and Sugared Cranberries

The biggest change I made to this recipe over the years was as simple as adding rum to the butter sauce. I have another very old recipe on this blog for a Rum Cake; the only one I have yet to modify from WAY back when I had no problem using a cake mix and never even thought to make a cake from scratch.

It’s still good but it’s that butter, sugar and rum sauce that is poured into the cake that makes it amazing.

The rum makes a subtle difference but with alcohol, subtlety is a must. You do not want family or guests to keel over; you want just enough rum to elevate the flavor profile of the cake.

Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Rum Sauce and Sugared Cranberries

I don’t think I’ll forget about this one again. Certainly making the butter sauce a rum butter sauce was a good call but I think of equal importance are the sugared cranberries.

I served it first a couple of years ago at a Christmas Party I held for my neighbors; it was simple and it cut into a lot of slices.

Perfect for a larger group and easy to serve too. I was surprised at the response; I swear if every dessert I make could be this easy and generate those kind of oohs and aahs, I would be a happy camper.

Don’t let the simplicity fool you; it’s the perfect blend of ingredients.

Sugared Cranberries are the perfect garnish for this simple cake and serve to elevate it to a holiday dessert table.

I have such an easy (and not overnight) way of making sugared cranberries I would almost call them a piece of cake! Be careful thought; they are absolutely addictive little orbs on their own.

Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Rum Sauce and Sugared Cranberries

Make the cake portion of the Cranberry Cake with Butter Rum Sauce a day or two ahead and wrap for re-warming.

It’s important if you’re doing the berries to not do them more than one day prior to serving.  It’s also imperative that you do not refrigerate them, else you’ll find them in a puddle of cranberry syrup!

Give this a try; it was so well received at my holiday Christmas parties and is one dessert that has a spectacular finish without killing the cook to get there! Happy Holidays!

Love cranberries like I do? Here’s some more holidays desserts we love with them:

PIN IT! ‘Cranberry Cake with Butter Rum Sauce’Cranberry Cake with Rum Butter Sauce Served with Sugared Cranberries on Top

Cranberry Cake with Rum Butter Sauce Served with Sugared Cranberries on Top

A Rum Butter Sauce is Served over Cranberry Cake and Topped with Sugared Cranberries

Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Sauce

A wonderfully simple yet over the top delicious cake combining a moist yellow cake with cranberries and an out of this world rum butter sauce.
5 average from less than 50 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Cakes, Cupcakes & Cheesecake
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Servings
Calories 407 kcal


For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoon butter melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries

For the Sauce

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cream or half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup rum use white to keep the sauce light


  • Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 13-by-9-inch glass baking pan. Cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper to fit the bottom of the pan; put in place and lightly grease the paper.

To Make the Cake

  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.
  • Put the sugar in a large mixing bowl and add the butter; beat on medium speed until well blended.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  • Add dry ingredients and milk alternately; starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix well.
  • Stir in cranberries and pour into baking pan; make sure the cranberries are evenly spaced in the batter.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let cool, remove from pan, making sure to peel off parchent paper, and arrange on a plate or stand.

To Make the Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in saucepan over medium heat and cook until all the sugar and butter melts and everything has blended. Turn up heat and boil for one minute.
  • Poor hot sauce over warmed cake.
  • Top with sugared cranberries (optional)


Click Here for the Sugared Cranberries Recipe
I’ve also made this is a 10″x10″ glass baking dish; it needed an additional 10 minutes of baking time.


Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Sauce
Serving Size
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword butter, cake, christmas, cranberry, dessert, holiday, thanksgiving
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Thank you for this amazing delicious cake recipe . This is perfect for holiday parties and the butter rum sauce on cake was a super hit!! Thanks again.

    1. So happy to hear…you know my reputation wasn’t just on the line with this one! 🙂 It was fun; let’s do it again sometime!

    1. This is the time of year when archive diving is most appropriate isn’t it Betsy? So many family favorites hidden away that I must bring to light again! The Rum? Well, I do have a reputation to uphold. 🙂

  2. You definitely weren’t kidding – that cake looks and sounds fabulous!! Almost makes me think of a plum pudding but a LOT less work!!! When I was young, we always had plum pudding for dessert with homemade rum butter sauce… YUM!!! Hmmm…. may make this instead of getting a plum pudding (for me!) since we always have birthday cake (hubs bday and all!!)

    1. The ease of making is sure enticing but the combination of the three components really makes for a great dessert. One that is not too rich either; I know as much as I love desserts the last thing I want after a big meal is a super rich one. This was a huge hit at my party…so it’s coming with me for my dessert offering at Christmas too!

    1. Wendy I think most people make them because they are such a pretty garnish but I also just love to eat them. The brief cooking period is just enough to soften the inside a bit without bursting the skins on all but a few and the addition of the sugar on the outside is enough to balance the tartness of the berry. It’s like a little piece of candy you bite into and are presented with a surprise inside! And I love the advance prep part too. I’ve got one cake made and in the freezer and will make another today so I’ve got enough for a crowd for Christmas but no work that day except to warm something. I can do that. 🙂 Have a great holiday!

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