Here’s a soft and nutty cranberry walnut coffee cake recipe that tastes like heaven!
The cake is light and moist. The cranberries give it a sour punch. And the walnuts give it an earthy crunch.
Serve it with these sausage and egg breakfast pastries to add an element of savory.
This is, hands down, one of my favorite coffee cake recipes. Simple to make in a couple of easy steps, this cake is bursting with bright flavors and colors.
The tartness of the cranberries and citrus sits in harmony with the cake’s buttery, nutty, rich flavors.
Pretty as a picture, serve this cake with a steaming cup of cocoa close by; check out these 26 Hot Cocoa Party Ideas for inspiration.
Reasons To Love This Cranberry Walnut Coffee Cake
- Easy to make: this recipe is a simple step-by-step process.
- Healthy as far as cake is concerned: the cranberries are loaded with vitamin C.
- Keeps soft and moist for a long time: thanks to the inclusion of buttermilk, your cake will last a couple of days without drying out.
- Really pretty looking: the little red cranberries look amazing once the cake is sliced up.
- Delicious flavor combination: the tart cranberries contrast beautifully with the rich, buttery, sweet topping.
Ingredients and Supplies
- All-purpose flour. If that’s all you have, you can use cake flour, but all-purpose is excellent.
- Baking powder. Ensure you have a fresh pack, or your cake won’t rise.
- Butter. Unsalted is preferable; you can also use plant-based butter or margarine in this recipe.
- Eggs. Ensure they are at room temperature when you bake with them.
- Vanilla. Use a high-quality vanilla extract for these recipes and substitute it with almond essence or extra orange zest if necessary.
- Buttermilk. Responsible for the soft, moist crumb, you can also use Greek yogurt (plain) if you can’t find buttermilk.
- Orange. Don’t skip this bit, the flavor is mild, but it makes the cake a little extra festive.
- Fresh cranberries. They can also be frozen; just ensure you defrost and drain them before baking them in.
- Walnuts. Substitute these for pecans of hazelnuts if you need to.
- Glass 8″x8″ pan. There is no need to line the pan as you’ll serve the cake from it, so just grease it generously.
How To Make A Cranberry Walnut Coffee Cake
This cake is easy as one, two, three! You have a fruity, zesty cake to serve with a steaming cup of coffee. Here’s how:
Step 1: Make the topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare an 8″x8″ glass pan by greasing it with butter.
Make the topping, so it is ready to sprinkle when the batter is mixed.
Mix the flour, granulated and brown sugar, and salt together. Cut the butter into small chunks, and add it to the mix. You can cut it in with a knife, but I like working it with my fingers until it is crumbly. Then you can add the walnuts (I crush most of them but add a handful of halves), set aside, and start the batter.
Step 2: Make the batter
Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the eggs, melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and buttermilk in another bowl.
Beat with an electric mixer on high for about a minute or until it is thoroughly mixed.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and gently mix with a fork. Over-mixing can lead to a tougher cake, so just mix until the batter barely comes together.
Step 3: Bake
Pour half the batter into the cake pan. Add the cranberries to the remaining batter, and pour the rest on top. This helps keep the cranberries from settling on the bottom.
Add the topping and bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees, checking periodically with a toothpick (it should come out clean).
And look how pretty it is when you cut into it (it’s even prettier in person).
I promise this will not last. It’s great for breakfast and also for dessert.
Tips and Substitutions
- Be careful not to overmix the batter, or the cake will be dry.
- Toss the cranberries in some flour to stop them from sinking to the bottom of your cake.
- Switch the flour for gluten-free flour if you’d prefer a gluten-free cake.
Including buttermilk in the recipe makes the cake moist while not overmixing keeps it light and fluffy.
Yes, walnuts are loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, while cranberries contain high levels of vitamin C.
Coat them lightly in flour to prevent them from sinking through the batter to the bottom of the cake.
Other Posts You’ll Like
- Mini Pumkin Pie Bites
- Sausage and Egg Pastry Bites
- Best Cold Appetizers for Your Party
- Rustic Party Ideas
- Homemade Rustic Crackers
- 26 Hot Cocoa Party Ideas
Enjoy this lip-smacking cranberry walnut coffee cake recipe and remember to check out the “fantastic” Christmas parties and Thanksgiving celebrations on our site and get your free Christmas party printables and free Thanksgiving celebration printables, too!
- For the cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ stick 1/4 cup cup melted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 ½ teaspoon orange zest zest from about 1/2 a normal sized orange
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- For the topping
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ stick 1/4 cup butter – room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and get an 8″x 8″ pan ready by greasing it up with butter.
- I start with the topping, so it is ready to sprinkle as soon as the batter is mixed. Mix the flour, granulated and brown sugar, and the salt together. Cut the butter into small chunks, and add it into the mix. You can cut it in with a knife, but I like to just work it with my fingers until it is it crumbly. Then you can add the walnuts (I crush most of them but add a handful of halves) and set aside and start the batter.
- Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) to a mixing bowl and whisk together. In another bowl, add the eggs, melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and buttermilk. Beat with an electric mixer on high for about a minute, or until it is thoroughly mixed.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently mix with a fork. Over mixing can lead to a tougher cake, so just mix until the batter barely comes together.
- Pour half the batter into the cake pan. Add the cranberries to the remaining batter, and pour the rest on top. This helps keep the cranberries from settling on the bottom.
- Now use the topping to cover the top.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees, checking periodically with a toothpick (should come out clean).