Make Ahead

Cranberry Coffee Cake

November  8, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 8 - ish
Author Notes

This is an altered version of a blueberry coffee cake that I have made several times - the autumn edition, using my favorite flavors for cranberry sauce... have eaten 2 pieces, looking for neighbors to save me from myself now ... —aargersi

What You'll Need
  • Coffee Cake
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter - softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • zest and juice from 1 tangerine (if you use an orange instead it will have more juice in which case you may eliminate the milk)
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • Almond Topping
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x9 pan (I use bakers spray, I am not sure if this is a real baker's no-no but it's a great shortcut!). Roughly chop half the cranberries, leave the other half whole (that sounds funny)
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients for the cake. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy. Add the eggs and milk beat. Add the zest and juice and beat.
  3. Now stir the dry ingredients into the wet until they are incorporated, but don't overdo it. Fold in the cranberries. Spread the batter into the pan. It is a thick batter - don't be alarmed!
  4. Whisk together the eggwhite, cardamom and sugar for the topping. Fold in the almonds and coat them thoroughly, then spread that mixture over top of the batter.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Let it cool at least until you don't burn yourself before you dig in. Try not to pick all of the almonds off the top before that. This is also great to bake the night before - but don't put it in the fridge - I did that one time and it made the almonds go soft.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Blissful Baker
    Blissful Baker
  • nannydeb
  • Jaynerly
  • coffeefoodwrite
  • AntoniaJames

Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

25 Reviews

NXL March 28, 2023
I do wish that I had followed my own rule to follow a recipe as written the first time. That said, I absolutely love the combination of citrus and cardamom. My fail happened because I didn't want those few cranberries left in the bag, so I threw them all in. Substituted almond flour, but I think that would have worked well if I hadn't thrown off the liquid to solid ratio. I would try this again.
Blissful B. February 16, 2011
Update: I recommend everyone eat this cake within 2 days (which shouldn't be too hard!) I made it before going away for a couple of days. Hubby & I enjoyed a piece the day it was made as well as the next day, but then waited 2 days before having the rest. It was still OK on day 4, but the cranberries had lost their juiciness & the cardamom had become very strong. We still ate it (of course!), but it was no longer the incredible cake we experienced on days 1 & 2.
aargersi February 16, 2011
I agree - best in the 1st 24 hours, good in the 2nd 24, needs coffee or tea in the 3rd 24 :-)
Blissful B. February 16, 2011
I like that & it's probably perfect advice for most cake recipes!
Blissful B. February 12, 2011
This is actually the first coffee cake I've ever made, which is strange because I love to bake! I'm so glad I tried this. I agree with the others that it's absolutely delicious. The fresh cranberries give bursts of flavor in every bite. I wonder why more recipes don't call for fresh cranberries? Dried cranberries are good, but fresh are amazing! I was also surprised by the stiff batter, but trusted you completely & just squished it into the pan. The almond topping provides just the right crunch (if you don't eat it all off the top, which is tempting.)
aargersi February 12, 2011
Hi BB - I am so glad you liked it! Yeah the batter is seriously stiff, right? Good job on the squishing :-) I think doubling up on the almonds is not an alltogether bad idea ...
nannydeb February 4, 2011
I just made this and shared it with my neighbors. They all loved it! It's a stiff batter, but makes a moist coffee cake.
nutcakes January 2, 2011
Fantastic, I loved it. I just made it tonight for a meeting tomorrow. But couldn't resist cutting into a little corner after it cooled. I split it with my father and he loved it too. This was a smart idea to seasonally change up from blueberry. I love cranberries in baked goods. The contrast of the tart berries, the classic coffee cake and the crunchy topping is irresistable. It is handsome as well, baked in a glass pan.

My notes: wow is that batter stiff, had to smooth it with the back of a spoon. I got 2 Tbsp tangerine juice, would like to know what the total amount of juice + milk should be. My cranberries were frozen so I didn't chop any--no problem. I was very interested in your spicing choice, but didn't have cardamom. I used 1/2 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon plus one tsp ginger in the batter; one tsp of fancy pumpkin pie spice in the topping (it contained cardamom.) This spicing was wonderful. I had to cook it 10 minutes longer. Next time I'd lower the oven 25 degrees F since I was using a glass pan.

I am going to make this again asap. I am very temped to double the almond topping. It is so good, and I will remember this technique for another time.
aargersi January 28, 2011
Hey I just saw this - sorry for the delay! The liquid should be 1/2 cup ... yeah it IS a stiff batter, I was scared the first couple times I made it :-) I am so glad you like it - and doubling the almonds is a GREAT idea!!!!
Jaynerly December 5, 2010
Yum! This looks good!
coffeefoodwrite December 3, 2010
Looks yummy!
AntoniaJames December 3, 2010
Gorgeous! Looks perfectly delicious. ;o)
nannydeb November 15, 2010
How would it be if I made it the night before a pot luck?
aargersi November 18, 2010
It would be fine! Just don't cover it before it cools completely, you want those almonds to stay crunchy.
Oui, C. November 12, 2010
WOW...I love the idea of a coffee cake with cranberries. So often coffee cake is a little one dimensional and bland, NOT so here! - S
aargersi November 18, 2010
:-) Thanks Oui! A hunk of coffee cake is a great way to start or end the day, isn't it?
Sagegreen November 9, 2010
More reason to visit! This year sometime!!
aargersi November 9, 2010
Absolutely! We are ready to have a potluck any time! Come on down!!!
Midge November 8, 2010
You have very lucky neighbors!
mrslarkin November 8, 2010
Oh, maybe it's a good thing I don't live nearby, cause I'd be knocking at your door right now, for a slice of this! That topping looks crazy good!
aargersi November 8, 2010
I wish you DID live next door - I have a lot to go around! The topping is pretty irresistable.
nannydeb November 8, 2010
I wish I had some of this with my coffee right now! Looks great!
aargersi November 8, 2010
I wish you did too!
dymnyno November 8, 2010
Thanks, I have been looking a two baskets of fresh organic cranberries on my counter and wondering what the heck I was going to do with them....THE ANSWER!!!
aargersi November 8, 2010
Awesome - let me know what you think!