Cranberry Coffee Cake with Sour Cream
Make your Christmas brunch complete with this cranberry coffee cake. Topped with a cinnamon streusel and orange glaze, this breakfast cake is perfectly tender and moist. You can make it the night before and have it ready to enjoy in the morning with your coffee!
Coffee cake is one of my favorite cakes because you can eat it any time of day! This holiday version is perfect for Christmas. Each bite has a burst of tart cranberry and zesty orange. The recipe is so easy you’ll want to make it every year!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Perfect holiday breakfast. Bake this Christmas morning for a delicious treat to have with your coffee while opening presents!
- Festive flavor combo. Cranberries and fresh orange create a tart, yet subtly sweet flavor. It complements the cinnamon streusel perfectly!
- Amazing texture. This cake has a tight-knit crumb that is moist and tender. The crumble topping is slightly crunchy and buttery.
- Great use of leftover cranberries! Whether it be from Thanksgiving or Christmas, these berries must be put to good use and this coffee cake is just the thing.
- Tested recipe. I use this recipe for my apple coffee cake and blueberry coffee cake. It turns out perfect every time and it’s easy to switch out the fruit according to the season!
- Cranberries: Fresh or frozen cranberries may be used. If using frozen, do not defrost.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter for both the streusel and the cake batter. Different brands of butter have varying amounts of salt so it’s better to add it separately.
- Sour cream: For a super moist cake, use full-fat sour cream. Plain Greek yogurt is a good substitution!
- Baking powder and soda: These leavening agents help the cake rise. Check that they are fresh and not expired for best results.
- Orange juice and zest: This citrus flavor complements cranberries well. Use fresh orange juice for the glaze and zest in the batter.
Refer to the recipe card for ingredient details and measurements.
Add some nuts. Chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts can be mixed into the batter, about 1/2 cup, or streusel, about 1/4 cup.
Try a different glaze. If you don’t have an orange, substitute with lemon. You can also make a simple vanilla glaze using milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Eggnog glaze (like the one in these chai cookies) is also an idea!
Use a different cake pan. This recipe also works in a 10-cup bundt pan or a 9×9 square pan. Baking times will be similar, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Make mini loaves. Want to give this cake to some friends or neighbors? Divide the batter and streusel into three mini loaf pans. Baking time will be 25 to 35 minutes.
How to Make Cranberry Coffee Cake
- Make the streusel. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Use two forks to cut the butter in the dry ingredients until large crumbles form.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients–flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Beat butter, sugar and orange zest together until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
- Add half the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Mix in the sour cream, then the remaining flour mixture. Do not over-mix. Fold in the cranberries by hand.
- Transfer batter to a springform pan. Top with streusel.
- Bake at 350 F for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan and let the cake cool for 30 minutes.
- Make the glaze. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice. Add milk if needed to make a thinner consistency if desired. Drizzle over cake. Serve warm or room temperature.
Use room temperature ingredients. Not only are they easier to mix, but the batter turns out more uniform. As a result, the cake will have a better texture.
Place the streusel in the fridge while preparing the cake batter. This helps the streusel keep its crumble form when it is baked. It turns out nice and crunchy!
Don’t over-mix. When adding the flour mixture, mix just until combined. Over-mixing will result in a dense texture.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
Store tightly covered or in an airtight container at room temperature. The cake will last for up to 3 or 4 days.
Freeze for up to 3 months. After the cake has cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Store in the freezer and defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature.
Make ahead the streusel and the glaze. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to one week. I do not recommend making the batter ahead of time as the leavening agents won’t be as effective. The cake can be baked the night before and served the next morning at room temperature.
Most likely it was over-baked. Use an oven thermometer to check that the temperature is accurate. It’s also possible too much flour was added. It’s best to use a kitchen scale for accurate measurements.
I do not suggest this substitution. Sour cream is a lot thicker than buttermilk so it will affect the texture of the cake.
Absolutely! Substitute the fresh berries with 3/4 cup dried. Keep in mind dried cranberries are sweet so it will affect the final result.
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Get the Recipe: Cranberry Coffee Cake with Sour Cream
- ½ cup (62 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
Cranberry Coffee Cake
- 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 g) full-fat sour cream, room temperature
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, unthawed
- ¾ cup (90 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
- Milk, if needed, for desired consistency
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch springform baking pan with butter and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry blender (or your hands) until the mixture forms coarse crumbs and resembles sand. It will seem dry at first, but keep working in the butter and it will come together. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to keep cold while you prepare the batter.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat butter, sugar and orange zest together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in the fresh cranberries.
- Pour the batter into prepared pan. Use an off-set spatula or knife to spread evenly across the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the top.
- Bake at 350° F for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, then run a butterknife around the edge and release the sides of the pan. Cool for 30 minutes if serving warm.
- In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, orange juice and milk. Use a spoon to drizzle glaze over coffee cake. Cut and serve with coffee. Enjoy!