100% Whole Wheat Cranberry Sour Cream Coffeecake

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whole grain, quick-n-easy
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 24 servings

Recipe photo

This moist, dense (but not heavy) coffeecake, aromatic with cinnamon and a buttery streusel topping, offers a thin layer of whole-berry cranberry sauce just below its surface. Add dried cranberries to the batter for a more assertively cranberry cake, if you like; but this version is pleasingly simple. And it's a tasty way to add healthy whole grains and fiber to your family's breakfast.

100% Whole Wheat Cranberry Sour Cream Coffeecake

star rating (10) rate this recipe »
whole grain, quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 24 servings
Published: 08/16/2011


Streusel topping


  • 1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce, stirred to break up any clumps


  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream or yogurt; low-fat is fine, avoid nonfat
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour

Tips from our bakers

  • Looking for a white-flour version of this coffeecake? Check out our Yogurt-Cranberry Coffeecake.
  • If you buy whole-berry cranberry sauce, you'll probably find yourself with a 14-ounce can, with only about 2/3 of it used for this recipe. Can you just go ahead and spread the rest onto the cake? Yes, but it may create more "hills and valleys" in the cake; the volume of sauce will become significant enough to sink down into the cake, rather than lie on the surface under the streusel. All good; your choice.


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1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.

2) To make the streusel: In a large bowl, beat together all of the streusel ingredients until even crumbs form. Scoop the mixture into a smaller bowl, and set it aside.

3) To make the batter: In the same bowl in which you've just made the streusel (you can use a different bowl if you want, but this saves on washing dishes), beat together the butter and brown sugar until smooth.

4) Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl and again beating until smooth. The mixture may look slightly curdled; that's OK.

5) Beat in the sour cream or yogurt, extracts, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. The batter will be fairly stiff.

6) Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it to the edges.

7) Stir the cranberry sauce to break up any clumps, and spread it atop the cake.

8) Sprinkle the streusel evenly atop the cake.

9) Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

10) Remove it from oven, and cool for 30 minutes before serving (or serve it hot from the oven, if you don't mind it crumbling a bit!)

Yield: 2 dozen 2" squares.


  • star rating 12/09/2013
  • Marti from Charlottesville, VA
  • After reading a previous poster's review about using homemade cranberry sauce, I did the same, and used the entire amount. To me there was barely enough to cover the batter. Also as mentioned by a previous reviewer, the coffee cake was done in 35 minutes, and next time I make it, I will check it at 30. I took it to my dance club, and they went crazy over it. I was surprised that it was not very sweet. When I first read through the recipe, it looked like a lot of sugar to me. It had cooled for about 2 hours when I cut into it, and I was so pleased that it cut and sliced beautifully. Each slice came out perfectly. I will definitely make this again, but might use a 50:50 mix of orange marmalade and cranberry sauce, as I seem to recall a previous reviewer did. Since oranges and cranberries go so well together, I bet it would be an excellent variation.
  • star rating 09/14/2013
  • Nancy from Naugatuck,CT
  • Outstanding coffee cake. I used reduced fat sour cream and Smart Balance spread in place of butter. I needed a larger cake for a family gathering so i doubled the recipe and baked in a larger glass baking dish at 325 degrees for 70 minutes. I did not want to use cranberries at this time so I used frozen blueberries tossed with a little sugar. The cake came out beautiful. I plan to make it again using sliced apples in place of the blueberries. Very pleased with results!
  • star rating 03/08/2012
  • caweston1969@gmail.com from KAF Community
  • I baked this for a Ladies Neighborhood Coffee. It tasted delicious and was enjoyed by all. The only drawback was it took longer to prepare than the recipe stated. I will bake it again, though!
  • star rating 01/10/2012
  • Robert from Newark, DE
  • Very tasty; make sure that the batter is properly moist. It should be viscous but not stiff, or else the cake will turn out dry. I also added a tablespoon of water to the streusel topping (and used melted butter) to get larger clumps. This recipe also works well if you split it into two 9" round pans, or use sweet orange marmalade (i.e., Smucker's) instead of cranberry sauce.
  • star rating 12/22/2011
  • Nancy from Wilmette, IL
  • Why use only 1 cup of cranberry sauce? The cake tastes as if there was a cranberry in the room when it was made, but it does not have enough fruit. Why not use more sauce, perhaps swirling a bit through the batter? It was tasty, but nothing special or particularly fruity.
  • star rating 12/04/2011
  • trustlaw from KAF Community
  • Excellent. Made it for Thanksgiving breakfast and for a birthday breakfast. I used a 9 X 9 inch pan, and used the whole can of cranberry sauce. In fact, I can't imagine how you could use less, especially if you were using the larger pan. It came as quite a surprise to my mother (who generally shuns whole wheat products) that it was 100% whole wheat. The recipe is a keeper.
  • star rating 11/28/2011
  • audge from KAF Community
  • Easy to make. I just used the whole can of cranberries and it turned out just fine! :)
  • star rating 11/25/2011
  • anna mid-maine from KAF Community
  • Taste: excellent, a big hit, even with non-cranberry lovers. Moist. Delicious warm from the oven and just as good when cooled. Could probably use a bit less sugar and still be yummy. Love that this is made with whole wheat flour. Prep: made cranberry sauce for this (12 oz.cranberries, 1 c. water & 1 c. sugar, simmer for 9 minutes, easy) used it all, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup more than recipe called for. Made streusel and weighed out dry ingredients for the batter the night before. Remembered not to include the brown sugar since that gets creamed with the softened butter. In the morning all went together rather quickly. Used a high protein non-fat Greek yogurt ipo sour cream. Presentation: Because all the cranberry was used the batter rose up in places and sunk in others..a rustic look.
  • star rating 11/23/2011
  • janeholan from KAF Community
  • Hi,,,I just posted that I made this for t-giving breakfast, but had not tried it yet...well...it is AWESOME! Not too sweet, not dry at all. I have not made too many coffeecakes from scratch, but I would give this a 5 star for ease of preparation, healthy ingredients, and definitely for taste. Thanks KAF for such a great new and do-able recipe! Jane M.
  • star rating 11/23/2011
  • janeholan from KAF Community
  • I am making this for Thanksgiving breakfast tomorrow...have not tasted it yet.... made in 9 X 13 " glass pan...baked 40 min... should have tested in sooner...30 or 35 tops..hope it tastes moister than it looks....

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