Orange and Cranberry Coffee Cake

Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake

Cranberries. Oranges. Crumble topping. White chocolate glaze. All inside a tender cake.

I have found heaven!

Whether you need to make breakfast or dessert, this coffee cake will be a perfect fit. I mean, coffee cake is usually served for breakfast, right? So that means it’s OK to eat cake ANY TIME OF THE DAY!!

There is a problem with this cake though. The problem is that you may find yourself cutting off a little piece, then another little piece and then another! It is both sweet and tart, my favorite combination! I just don’t like desserts that are sweet on sweet!

Initially, I had a hard time with this recipe. My taste testers wanted MORE cranberry compote filling but when I added more, I had a hard time getting the cake to bake all the way through. One tip that I have for you is to test it with a toothpick. When it comes out clean, give this cake 5 more minutes.

Don’t worry, it can handle it! It is nice and moist with lots of compote in the middle so it takes almost an hour to bake all the way through. I don’t recommend cutting it until it has cooled for at least 30 minutes because it will need time to firm up a bit.

But once it does, oh my Christmas cakes, is it GOOD!! Even if you can’t wait for it to cool, it will still be drop-dead delicious but may crumble apart a little.

To be SURE that it has time to cool, try making it the night before you plan to serve it and then GO TO BED as soon as it comes out of the oven! Otherwise, it will become your midnight snack!

But seriously, this cake is even better the day after baking. The cake firms up and the flavors just kind of meld together. If you don’t have a 10×10″ pan, you can use a 9×13″. In my oven, the bake time was about the same but yours may be different so be vigilant from about 40 minutes on.

Last tip before you bake your own little piece of heaven – frozen cranberries seemed to work better in this recipe. I normally prefer fresh but, through several test bakes, the texture and consistency was better with frozen. Plus, they are available all year round so you can have this coffee cake anytime instead of waiting for the Holidays!



225 grams frozen cranberries, divided

Zest of 1 Orange

30 mL Orange Juice

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

60 grams granulated sugar

1 Tablespoons Cointreau

½ teaspoon salt

120 mL Water

50 mL water + 1.5 Tablespoons cornstarch

For the Crumb topping

113 grams unsalted butter, melted

186 grams light brown sugar

135 grams all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

30 grams slivered almonds, toasted

For the Cake Batter

170 grams unsalted butter, room temperature

200 grams granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

Zest of 2 oranges

2 teaspoons Almond Extract

1 Tablespoon Cointreau

227 grams Whole milk, at room temperature

1 tablespoon lemon juice

289 grams all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

White Chocolate Glaze

40 grams white chocolate

20 mL heavy cream

85 grams icing sugar, sifted

Up to 1 Tablespoon orange juice


3 – 5 sprigs fresh rosemary

100mL water

200 grams granulated sugar, divided in half

A few fresh cranberries, optional

1. Add the 340 grams cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and Cointreau plus 120 mL water for the compote into a 4 quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until cranberries begin to soften.

2. Add the cornstarch to the remaining water 50 mL water and stir.  Add all at once to the saucepan, stirring continuously. Boil for 2 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and mash slightly with a potato masher. Set aside to cool.

4. Toast slivered almonds in a 10 inch skillet just until browned.

5. In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and toasted almonds. Add melted butter and mix together to make crumbles.

6. Preheat oven to 350F/176C. Spray 10×10 pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, allowing it to hang out on 2 sides by at least 2 inches to allow lifting after baking.

7. In the bowl a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar for 2 minutes, until lightened and fluffy.

8. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing in completely after each addition.

9. Add almond extract and Cointreau.

10. Add lemon juice to the whole milk and set aside.

11. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together to incorporate.

12. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to your stand mixer and mix until just incorporated. Add half of the milk and mix again. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix again. Add the last of the milk, mix and add the last of the flour. Mix just until incorporated.

13. Spoon ½ of the batter into the pan and spread with an off-set spatula into a thin, even layer. Top with half of the cranberry compote and spread the compote evenly, leaving about a ½ inch border.

14. Add a little more compote and spread gently to cover any bare spots. You may not use all of the compote.

15. Add the remaining cake batter by adding dollops around the edges to keep the compote from running out the sides. Spread the batter to cover all of the compote with an offset spatula.

16. Sprinkle the crumb topping all over the cake, breaking up large pieces. Gently press into the batter.

17. Bake at 350F/176C for 50 minutes.

18. While the cake bakes, make the rosemary garnish. Heat the water and sugar in a 1 quart saucepan. Heat to boiling and boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Let cool for 5 minutes and then drop rosemary into the simple syrup. Toss to make sure the rosemary is completely covered in syrup. Remove immediately and toss in a small bowl with the additional granulated sugar. Shake to remove the excess and lay on parchment paper to cool and dry.

19. Make the white chocolate glaze. Mix the white chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl on 15 to 20 second blasts. Stop and stir. Microwave again for 20 seconds. Stir until all the chocolate is melted.

21. Sift icing sugar into the white chocolate mixture and stir. Add orange juice, just a little at a time and stir until completely incorporated. Add mixture to piping bag or sandwich bag and snip off the corner.

22. When the cake is baked (bounces back in center and toothpick is clean), remove from oven and cool on rack for 5 minutes. Using parchment, lift the cake out of the pan and place on cooling rack.

23. Once the cake has cooled, pipe the white chocolate icing on top in diagonal lines.

24. Transfer to serving dish with cake lifter and garnish with rosemary.

Leave a Reply