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Orange Cranberry Coffee Cake

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This Orange Cranberry Coffee Cake is so moist and full of flavor! Great for dessert too, doesn't have to be for breakfast!

Because I don’t have enough real, legitimate things to think about in life, sometimes I make things up.

You know the whole, if you could take 3 things with you to a deserted island what would you take? Except I do a little version of, if you could only have 3 tools in your kitchen, what would they be?

This is usually about the point my husband looks at me and says, “Please turn your brain off. It is 2:00 a.m. and you have a nice life. You don’t need to choose 3 things.”

But, because I never listen and sleep is overrated (ask me how I feel about that around 7:00 a.m., though), I continue on with my little make-believe games.


For me, it always comes down to a sharp knife. I’d have it with me on my tropical island (knowing me, though, I’d get stranded on some island off of Alaska), and I’d choose it for my #1 tool that I could have in my kitchen.

With a sharp knife, you can not only prepare any recipe, but you can serve it too. It’s magical.

We don’t even need to get into how many tomatoes I ruined in my younger years, because I tried to cut them with dull knives. My frugal nature might have been cheering that I saved money on cheap knives, but my mushy cut-up tomatoes were not too thrilled.

Kitchen IQ tools

Nowadays (with a few decades of experience), I make sure to keep a knife sharpener around so there are no more food casualties due to dull knives. It’s also SO much safer to have sharp knives. Especially when dealing with slippery little things like the cranberries in this coffee cake.

After using my knife sharpener to make sure I was ready to go, I sliced through these cranberries on the first pass each and every time.


This orange cranberry coffee cake has so few ingredients, it almost seems like a mistake. Trust me, though, resist the urge to throw in anything extra. This is exactly as it should be and you will not regret it. Not for one second.

This Orange Cranberry Coffee Cake is so moist and full of flavor! Great for dessert too, doesn't have to be for breakfast!

The orange zest helps give it that little extra kick. I added the zest from one orange, and then saved the orange juice for the glaze that we’ll get to later.

Do you have a zester? No, get one. They are magnificent and give you the finest little flakes that incorporate so well into your batter. This zester is perfect because it has a container on the back that captures all your zest and has measurements right on it! Plus it’s stainless steel, so it’s super easy clean-up and the zest doesn’t stick to it.

Orange Zest

The dough is extra thick, almost like a cookie dough. Just fold in those cranberries and orange zest.

Orange and cranberry coffee cake

Then spread into a greased 13×9 pan.

Orange and cranberry coffee cake batter

Spread the crumb topping all over that goodness.

Orange and Cranberry coffee cake with crumb topping

Bake for about 45 minutes, let it cool completely and then drizzle the orange glaze all over that goodness.

Orange Cranberry Coffee Cake with glaze

It’s good. Really good.

Full of tart, juicy cranberries with a sweet orange glaze.

Orange This Orange Cranberry Coffee Cake is so moist and full of flavor! Great for dessert too, doesn't have to be for breakfast!

Orange Cranberry Coffee Cake

  • Cake:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • zest of 1 orange
  • Crumb Topping:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • Orange Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Juice from 1 orange (about 4 tsp.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a stand mixer, beat the eggs with the sugars about 5-7 minutes. It should be thickened and about double in size. Add the butter and vanilla; mix about two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and orange zests and fold in till completely combined. Spread batter into a greased 13×9 pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine crumb topping ingredients with fork until coarse crumbs form. Spread over batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center tests done. It should be a golden brown. Mine took about 44 minutes to cook.
  3. Let cool completely. Then combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over cooled cake.

Note: I chose to chop about half of my cranberries before folding into the batter. You could leave them all whole or chop them all. I’m just a middle-ground kind of gal, so I chopped half and left the rest whole!

This orange cranberry coffee cake is a great base recipe to try with other combinations too! Try blueberries with lemon, raspberries with lemon and more!

This Orange Cranberry Coffee Cake is so moist and full of flavor! Great for dessert too, doesn't have to be for breakfast!

This is my favorite knife sharpener and zester plus a few other products that will help you make this coffee cake and many other goodies! And then maybe you can sleep at night knowing your kitchen is completely stocked!


Trish S

Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

How do you recommend storing? How long would you expect it to stay fresh?

Denay DeGuzman

Wednesday 1st of August 2018

This beautiful orange-cranberry coffee cake is so moist, tender and delicious! I look forward to making this again.

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Tuesday 31st of July 2018

Sounds like an amazing afternoon snack with a cup of coffee! Love the pairing of cranberries and orange zest...

Whitney Bond

Tuesday 31st of July 2018

The orange glaze really takes this coffee cake to another level! Thanks so much for the scrumptious recipe, I'll be making this on the regular!


Thursday 15th of February 2018

Everyone loved your Orange Cranberry Coffee Cake. I can't wait to try it this summer with Lemons and Blueberries. Do you think I could use 2 Loft Pans instead of 9 x 13 pan.


Friday 23rd of February 2018

I'm so glad to hear it was a hit! I made it once with lemons and blueberries and it was fantastic! I'm not sure what Loft pans are, so I can't really say if it will work. I imagine you could try 2 8x8 pans instead of the 9x13, but you'll have to adjust the cooking time and watch it closely. Good luck!