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Cranberry Coffee Cake

This rich coffee cake makes an easy and festive treat.

December 19, 2017

Start the new year with brunch! For an extra-special treat, make this quick and rich coffee cake, flavored with festive layers of cranberry sauce.

Serves up to 16 people.

Coffee Cake


  • One 14-ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • Zest and juice of one lemon or lime, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free one-to-one flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan.

In a small bowl, mix cranberry sauce with half the zest and juice. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time, combining well after each addition. Add extract.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture in thirds, along with one-third of the sour cream each time, beating well after each addition. Batter will be soft and sticky.

Spoon one-third of the batter into prepared pan and smooth gently with a spatula until it completely covers the bottom of the pan. Spoon one-third of the cranberry sauce over the batter, spreading gently to cover. Repeat the layers twice, ending with the cranberry sauce on top. For the top two layers, drop the batter by small teaspoonfuls over the surface to cover as much as possible — it’s too sticky to spread evenly. Sprinkle nuts over the top.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the coffee cake passes the toothpick test. Cool on a wire rack, then drizzle with glaze, if desired. Delicious warm or cooled.



  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Zest and juice of one-half lime or lemon (remaining from the cranberry sauce)


In a small bowl, whisk glaze ingredients until lump-free. Drizzle over coffee cake when the cake has cooled slightly.

Cook’s note: Perfect for that last can of cranberry sauce! Look for organic cranberry sauce, which won’t contain high-fructose corn syrup. The citrus takes away some of the sweetness of the canned cranberry sauce, but may be omitted. The coffee cake is very rich, and delicious without the glaze.


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How do I print a recipt.  I do not see a print icon