Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake is perfect for winter and a must for your holiday brunch table! This coffee cake is tender, moist, and full of cinnamon, orange zest, and tart cranberries. Topped with a buttery cinnamon streusel, it’s hard to only have one slice!
This recipe and photos have been updated since the original post on 12/28/2014
This is the only coffee cake recipe you’ll find on my website, so I knew it had to be a good one. Not only does this cranberry orange coffee cake taste incredible, but it’s the perfect flavor for winter brunches and Christmas morning breakfast!
Coffee cake isn’t something I eat very often. In fact up until I was testing this recipe I hadn’t had a piece in years. I was inspired to make this cranberry orange coffee cake after remembering that my mom would sometimes make a coffee cake to have Christmas morning.
It was a special treat and Christmas was the only time I ever remember her making it, but man was it good! The coffee cake recipe I’m sharing today isn’t her recipe, but the inspiration comes from it and is one I hope to make a tradition in our house on Christmas morning.
What Is Coffee Cake?
A coffee cake is a sweet single layer buttery cake that has plenty of cinnamon and sometimes fruit running throughout it. It’s topped with a crumbly streusel topping and often served with coffee. It likely originated in Germany.
Does Coffee Cake Have Coffee In It?
Generally speaking, no. Some early versions did contain it, but it’s actually referred to as coffee cake because it’s a cake that’s meant to be served with coffee.
Ingredients For Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake
- white whole wheat flour
- all purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- dark brown sugar
- baking powder and baking soda
- plain greek yogurt
- vegetable, canola, olive, avocado, or melted coconut oil
- vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- fresh or frozen cranberries
How To Make Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake
Making coffee cake is no different than making any other single layer cake. In fact it might be easier. You also don’t need any special equipment to make it.
Start by making the streusel, which will also be a filling for the coffee cake. Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir everything together until no dry spots remain.
In a separate bowl measure out all of the dry ingredients for the cake and whisk them together. In a larger bowl, whisk the egg and egg yolk. Pour in the milk, oil, Greek yogurt, orange zest, and vanilla. Whisk everything together until it’s thoroughly combined.
Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and use a rubber spatula to fold them together until they’re combined. As with any baked good, don’t over mix the batter or you’ll activate the gluten and the cake will be tough instead of light and fluffy.
Fold in the cranberries and then pour half of the batter into a greased 8×8 baking pan. Take a 1/4 cup of the streusel and crumble it over the top of the batter. Spread the remaining batter on top of that and sprinkle on the remaining streusel.
The coffee cake needs to bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center come out with a few crumbs attached and no wet batter sticking to it. Cool the coffee cake for 30 minutes before serving.
What to Serve with Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake
If you’re serving this coffee cake by itself, all you need is coffee, tea, or maybe this spiced rum chai latte for something a little naughty. If this is part of a larger breakfast or brunch here are some savory recipes that would go well with it.
- Crustless Vegetable Quiche
- Sausage, Potato, and Kale Breakfast Casserole
- Spinach, Bacon, and Cheese Strata
- Crustless Sausage, Kale and Ricotta Quiche
- Sweet Potato, Bacon and Egg Breakfast Casserole
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Use equal amounts melted unsalted butter if you prefer to use that instead of oil.
I recommend using fresh or frozen otherwise you won’t get that tart flavor to balance out the sweetness. If you can’t find fresh or frozen cranberries you can use dried, but the flavor and texture won’t be quite the same. I recommend using a 1/2 cup if you go this route.
No. It’s actually better to add them in frozen so the red color doesn’t bleed into the batter making it pink.
Streusels and Filling
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk of choice, I used low fat
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, non fat, 2%, or whole milk
- 1/4 cup avocado oil, or canola, vegetable, olive, or melted coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 cup halved fresh or frozen cranberries
Streusel and Filling
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. and spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flour. Pour in the melted butter and mix until there are no more dry spots and clumps form.
- In a large bowl whisk together the egg and egg yolk. Add in the milk, Greek yogurt, oil, vanilla, and orange zest and whisk until smooth and combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flours, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour the dry ingredients in with the wet and stir together until just combined. Fold in the cranberries.
- Take approximately 2 cups of the batter and add it to the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle a 1/4 cup of the streusel evenly over the batter. Pour the remaining batter on top of the streusel and spread it into an even layer. Top with the remaining streusel.
- Place the coffee cake on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached, but no wet batter. Let the coffee cake cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving. You can also serve it at room temperature after it's cooled completely.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 393mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 3gSugar: 27gProtein: 7g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.