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Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake


posted: 12/07/20

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This post was sponsored by Mirum. All opinions are my own.

This Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake is the perfect treat to celebrate the holidays with. Made with simple-to-find ingredients, this easy dessert has the best tastes of the holiday season.

a piece of cranberry orange coffee cake up close on a plate with icing drizzled on top

Christmas morning is truly one of my very favorites. Seeing the magic and wonder of the morning through my kids’ eyes is a surprise of parenthood that I love.

We always follow up opening presents with a sweet little brunch, just the five of us. Every year I’m on the prowl for delicious foods that I can make the night before that will be perfect for a Christmas brunch.

This Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake totally fits the bill. It is delicious, whispers “Merry Christmas” with every bite, and is perfect to make the night before. The flavors of orange and cranberry work so well in this recipe. However, with those ingredients and the added sour cream, this recipe can trigger my frequent heartburn. If you have frequent heartburn, I suggest you try Omeprazole Orally Disintegrating Tablets* (ODT).

a box of ompeprazole odt next to two cranberries

Omeprazole ODT is used to treat the symptoms of frequent heartburn (2+ days a week or more). It has a strawberry flavor and dissolves on your tongue, so you can take them without water. Using Omeprazole ODT is a really good way to be proactive about treating heartburn so you can enjoy amazing treats like this throughout the holidays. Learn more here.

*Use as directed for 14 days to treat frequent heartburn (occurring 2 or more days a week). May take 1-4 days for full effect. Not intended for immediate relief.

a box of omeprazole with one of the individual pills on top of the box

How to Make Coffee Cake

A great coffee cake is a perfect recipe to keep on hand, because you can make so many variations of it. This recipe is no exception.

This is a brief overview of the recipe. For the full recipe and steps, use the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Make a streusel topping using flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon and then cutting in cold butter.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients for the cake – flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Beat together butter and sugar. Then add in eggs, vanilla, orange zest, and sour cream one at a time.
  4. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. And stir in the cranberries.
  5. Pour the batter into a pan and the streusel topping.
  6. Bake and top with a powdered sugar milk icing if you like!
overhead view of a bowl of batter for cranberry orange coffee cake with the fresh cranberries on top

Tips and Tricks for Coffee Cake

There are a few things that will ensure that this recipe turns out perfect for you every time.

  • Ensure that your baking soda and baking powder are still reactive. You can test the baking soda by combining it with vinegar and the baking powder by adding it to water. Both should bubble right away. If they don’t, replace them.
  • Make sure the butter for the streusel topping is cold.
  • The butter for the cake batter should be room temperature. You should be able to dent it easily with your finger, but not push your finger all the way through.
  • The eggs should be room temperature as well. You can place them in a bowl of lukewarm water for five minutes to bring them to room temperature quickly.
  • Make sure you measure the flour correctly. Scoop it from the container using a spoon into a dry measuring cup and then level it off.

Measuring Flour

As mentioned above, measuring flour correctly is critical to recipes. Follow these steps and you will have the correct amount for my coffee cake recipe and all of my great cookie recipes.

  1. Use a dry measuring cup (these are the plastic ones, not the glass ones with the lines).
  2. Using a spoon, scoop the flour from the container or flour bag into the measuring cup.
  3. Finally, level the measuring cup off with the straight edge of a spatula.

By measuring flour this way, you avoid packing it. Packing flour, when measuring right from the container it is kept in, can result in 25% more flour. This can really change the outcome of a recipe.

a piece of coffee cake recipe on a plate with cinnamon sticks, cranberries, and orange slices

Sifting Ingredients

You will notice in the video that I sift the flour mixture. I have found that this is a great way to ensure that the baking soda and baking powder are well distributed, which means a more successful cake.

If you don’t want to sift your dry ingredients, make sure to whisk them very well.


This recipe calls for cranberries. They bring an amazing flavor to this holiday coffee cake. You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries. Both will become tender and delicious inside the coffee cake. If you use frozen cranberries, do not thaw them before using them in this recipe.

a piece of cranberry orange sour cream coffee cake having icing drizzled on it
piece of cranberry orange coffee cake that has had icing drizzled across the top of it
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Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake

Serves: 12 pieces
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour
This Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake is the perfect treat to celebrate the holidays with. Made with simple to find ingredients, this easy dessert has the best tastes of the holiday season.


Streusel Topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • 2 cups all purpose flour scooped and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup whole cranberries fresh or frozen (if using frozen, do not thaw first)


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (more as needed)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish generously with cooking spray. Set aside.

To Make Streusel Topping

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients for the streusel topping – 1 cup packed brown sugar, all purpose flour, and cinnamon.
  • Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

For the Cake Batter

  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 to 6 minutes.
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time. Now beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides, and beat in the sour cream and orange zest until the mixture is smooth and combined. Scrape down the sides again.
  • Add in the flour mixture, beat on a low for a few moments until you are able to beat on high until the mixture is just combined. The batter will be thick and sticky. Stir in the cranberries.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Add the topping and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted int the middle comes out with just a few crumbs.

For Icing

  • Before serving, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk. If necessary, add a little more milk until the mixture is runny. Drizzle over the coffee cake.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
piece of cranberry orange coffee cake that has had icing drizzled across the top of it

did you make this

Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Linda Bogusch says

    Could this be baked in a tube pan or Bundt pan? If so, is there a change in baking time, temperature or amount of ingredients?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Cakes don’t transfer easily to bundt pans. You have to be careful with the size of the pan because that greatly impacts whether or not it will work. So the (unfortunate) short answer is: I don’t know, I would have to test it.

  2. Gloria A. Mahaffey says

    No eggs in recipe list. How many??

  3. Gloria A. Mahaffey says

    Dah to me. Found eggs. Sorry

    • Lisa Longley says

      You know how to wake a girl up, Gloria, lol!

  4. Sheila says

    Can I use frozen blueberries instead of cranberries?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yes! that would work great!

  5. Karen Liburdi says

    I wonderd were the coffee was in the mixture so I added it to my cake 1-,1/2Tablespoon’s of instan coffee ,,,,,, I also thout that if u didn’t hav fresh Cranberries maybe Dried would be ok I am baking it to night A BIG Thankyou

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Karen! Thank you for the kind words. It’s actually called coffee cake because it’s meant to be eaten with coffee.

  6. Gail says

    I don’t like zest in recipes can i use orange extract instead or add a liittle orange juice?

    • Lisa Longley says


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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners