Cranberry Coffee Cake

by cakeduchess on October 18, 2012 · 33 comments

I know I’ve sometimes mentioned in my blog that Christmas always sneaks up on me. I’m really not the best planner. I seem to always take care of what I need to the week before Christmas. It’s frenetic and it’s sometimes a little stressful, but I always get things done.


I’m happy to be participating in the Twelve Weeks of Christmas group. The group is now on week 4 of presenting Christmas treat ideas. I thought baking these little cranberry cake beauties would be a good reminder of a gift I always want to give: mini tea cakes at holiday time. The recipe is found in The Gourmet Cookbook from 2003 (gosh, do I still miss that magazine!). It’s supposed to be made in a regular size loaf pan. You can make it in mini ones like I did or even a bundt pan. 

Are you a great holiday planner or more last minute? :)


A little about the cake: After you pulse the cranberries and sugar, you’re supposed to let them drain out a little. I used frozen cranberries and didn’t wait for them to defrost before pulsing them. There wasn’t any liquid to drain. If you are like me and have exorbitant amounts of cranberries to bake up, be sure to wait until it defrosts and drain out the liquid or you will have oozy cakes…not that anyone minded over here. But if you’re gifting them, you don’t want the wrapper to be sticky with cranberry filling. You can also switch out the cranberries to blueberries or use your imagination. As I mentioned above, I made them in mini loaf pans and I ended up with three. Be careful when you add the filling and be sure to not go all the way to the sides of the pan. I really love this recipe. My kids loved this recipe. We will be making it over and over again. 

Don’t miss out on what everyone baked this week. Want to join the fun? Hop on over here to Meal Planning Magic and join us.

Cranberry Coffee Cake
slightly adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

for the filling:
2 cups fresh cranberries

for the cake:
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (I used Earth Balance margarine)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
1/2 cup milk  (I used almond milk)
1/4 sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line  a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray (or grease it).

Pulse cranberries with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in a food processor until finely chopped (do not puree). Transfer to a sieve and let drain while making batter.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and orange zest. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternatively in batches, beginning and ending in flour. Mix until just incorporated.

Spread a third of batter evenly in the prepared loaf pan. Spoon half of drained cranberries evenly over batter, leaving a 1/2-inch border along sides. Repeat with batter, then cranberries and finish with batter. Sprinkle on the almond.

Bake for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let cool for 30 minutes. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy baking!

xo Lora

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Baker Street October 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Oh I love everything about this cake! You know how much I love coffee cakes. And the cranberry swirl and the crunchy almond topping is fabulous! Great recipe, Lora! :)


Kate@Diethood October 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I’m with An, I loooove everything about it! I swear, I would have to hide one of these just for myself.


Louanne Bertrand October 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Oh my goodness – cranberries! Just bought my first bag, and now I cannot wait to make this cake! Pinned to my cake board.


Jenny @ BAKE October 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I love that you used cranberry sauce instead of whole fruits in the cake!


Cassie | Bake Your Day October 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Stunning, Lora! I love that strip of cranberry flowting through the cake!


Lizzy Do October 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Wow, these are beautiful loaves! Perfect for the holidays (and gifts!).


Vicki @ WITK October 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm

These are super pretty with that ribbon of cranberry! The holidays always sneak up on me too. I should really start thinking about what I want to bake and make!


Dawn October 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I love the idea of a cranberry coffee cake! It’s so perfect for the season! I’m a planner!


Laura (Tutti Dolci) October 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm

These are gorgeous coffee cakes, Lora! I love the cranberry ribbon!


Lisa October 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm

I’ve got cranberries! Gotta try this.


Renee Dobbs October 19, 2012 at 12:11 am

I love when cranberries are in season. I’m always looking for recipes and this coffee cake looks amazing. So pretty with the cranberries in the middle. Bookmarking…


Maureen | Orgasmic Chef October 19, 2012 at 6:02 am

A cup of tea and a piece of this bread would really finish this week off with a bang. It looks delicious!


glutwin October 19, 2012 at 10:32 am

Wow…gorgeousness…Could I possibly use frozen cranberries or groseilles in this recipe?..So difficult to obtain fresh cranberries in this part of France!..Beautifully photographed offering, as usual!

Reply October 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I adore cranberry desserts because of the tang of the berries, sadly I’m the only one in the family that does but it doesn’t stop me from baking with them. Great job on the cakes Lora.


Monet October 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Beautiful. Cranberry bread/cake is one of my favorite holiday traditions. And although we still have two months, Christmas always sneaks up on me. I need to get baking (and gift-buying!) Thank you for sharing!


Cookin' Canuck October 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

What a fantastic coffee cake recipe! Christmas always sneaks up on me, too, and every year I swear that I’m going to be more organized. Still waiting for that to happen. :)


Angie's Recipes October 20, 2012 at 10:14 am

A fabulous coffee cake. Really love the cranberry filling.


Lyndsey Chapin October 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm

It’s a beautiful red swirl in the cake. I would love this for Christmas. I am in awe of those who can plan out their Christmas well in advance! I even have time off in december, because I work in an elementary school…it just doesn’t happen! :)


Matt mmWine Horbund October 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I love Cranberry, and I love coffee cake. I’m in!


Paula @ Vintage Kitchen October 21, 2012 at 12:40 am

Mini loaves with sliced almonds on top are the perfect little gift. I, too, want to make them every year and never do.. a total last minute planner. Really amazing cakes Lora, and the color is wonderful!


All That's Left Are The Crumbs October 21, 2012 at 5:16 am

I just love cranberries and grabbed two large bags when I saw them at Costco a week or so ago. I can’t wait to try this.


Jasline (Food Is My Life) October 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm

These look absolutely delicious Lora! Fruits and nuts in such a yummy looking bread, I would love to have a a loaf all to myself! ;)


Munatycooking October 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Beautiful coffee cake, I must try it!


Lisa October 22, 2012 at 1:05 am

I love that gorgeous swirl of cranberry running through this cake. I love that it worked with frozen cranberries, but truth be told..I’d end up eating that ‘granita’ before I could add it in! lol I’ll have to stick with fresh!. Amazing holiday coffee cakes!


Brian @ A Thought For Food October 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Great idea to plan ahead! Cranberry is the most wonderful fruit and this coffee cake must be so much brighter with the inclusion of it!


Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin October 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm

What a beautiful cake! and the cranberry makes it healthy too, right? :) This looks so delicious!


Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction October 23, 2012 at 12:33 am

The coffee cake looks delicious and great for gifts.


Helene Dsouza October 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I am usually a last minute person but this year I swore to bake cookies in advance, because I got an oven now!!

The cranberries have such a glorious shade! I d love a bite Lora.


Kristina @ spabettie October 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I miss Gourmet also…

I have already started planning the holidays around here – I LOVE this time of year!

these look amazing, I love the cranberry middle – bookmarked!


Carolyn October 25, 2012 at 11:32 am

I’m with ya, girl. I am not such a planner and my kids all have birthdays around this time, so it gets very chaotic! Lovely cake, just lovely.


Elizabeth November 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Does the cake take 1 cup of sugar or a fourth of a cup? In reading the directions it says add the remaining sugar.


Donn December 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm

There seems to be a typo in the recipe. It calls for one cup of sugar with 3/4 cup to be used in the cranberries leaving only 1/4 cup for the batter. Should the recipe call for 1 3/4 cups or 2 cups sugar?


Cake Duchess December 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm

The total sugar is 1 3/4 cup. 1 cup for the batter and 3/4 cup for the cranberries (I used a little less for the batter b/c I like my cakes a little less sweet):)


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