Cranberry-Almond Coffeecake

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Cranberry-Almond Coffeecake

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Published prior to 2008

This moist, golden cake hides a double layer of cranberry sauce and a sprinkling of almonds. It’s a lovely cake for Thanksgiving breakfast; and makes a satisfying autumn dessert, as well. This recipe comes from our James Beard award-winning best-seller, "The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion."

1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt (low-fat is fine)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (10 3/4 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup blanched slivered or sliced almonds, toasted*

3/4 cup (3 ounces) confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

*Spread almonds in an ungreased 9" round cake pan, and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup (9" to 9 ½") tube pan or bundt-style pan.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar till smooth. Beat in the eggs, then the buttermilk or yogurt and almond extract. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and beat briefly again, to make sure everything is well combined. Add the baking powder, baking soda, flour, and salt, stirring just to blend. Grease and flour a tube pan. Spoon half of batter into pan. Spread half of cranberry sauce evenly atop batter, then spread remaining batter over that. Top with remaining cranberry sauce, and sprinkle toasted almonds evenly over sauce.

Bake the cake for 55 minutes, tenting it with foil for the final 15 minutes. When it’s done, a cake tester inserted into the thickest part will come out clean, and the top will spring back when you press it gently. Remove the cake from the oven, and cool it in pan for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn it out of the pan onto a rack set over a piece of parchment, and stir together the glaze ingredients.

Drizzle the thin glaze over the warm cake. Let the cake cool completely before serving (or serve it warm, if you don't mind it crumbling a bit!)
Yield: 1 cake, 14 to 16 servings.


  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • Pua Moonfire from KAF Community
  • I have been making this bundt-style cake for years for holiday brunches. My original version called for less butter (2 ounces) and sour cream so I know sour cream works well, too. I know some folks are put off by canned cranberry sauce but why bother making it fresh when a good-quality version is available (try Trader Joes.) Raw cranberry salsa would probably be too watery for this so stick with the cooked sauce. If you don't want the glaze, just sprinkle with powdered sugar before putting it on the table.
  • star rating 09/08/2013
  • Bobbie from Grove City, Oh
  • Delicious and moist. I used vanilla flavor yogurt since that is what I had on hand. It is fabulous. This will be one of my go to recipes.
  • star rating 02/08/2011
  • chefdew from KAF Community
  • Just made this coffee cake for my Bible Study. I thought I'd pulled up a gluten free recipe from the website so I actually used KA Gluten Free AP flour before I realized my mistake and it came out just fine, although it didn't rise as much as I'd expected. Because we have diabetics in our group I also needed to make this sugar free, which I did by substituting Splenda for the sugar, and sugar free strawberry preserves for the cranberry sauce. I served it with some fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It all got eaten while it was still a bit warm and it was very yummy. I'll definately make it again!
  • star rating 12/24/2010
  • Bizkitp from KAF Community
  • Easy and delicious. Made three so far this Christmas season. The first time, I used leftover homemade whole cranberry-orange sauce..gave it a much fresher flavor (drain any liquid from the sauce first.) Like another reviewer, I use fat free Greek yogurt, and also use light stick butter in the recipe. Baked up beautifully in my convection oven.
  • star rating 12/08/2010
  • chefanie from KAF Community
  • A classic, tender, moist coffeecake texture with a nice buttery taste. I was looking for a more exceptional cake based on previous reviews, and I love almonds and cranberries. The cranberry layer was okay, a good use for leftovers perhaps, but not that fresh tasting or looking. If you'd like it to be almond-y, I would increase the almond extract in the cake. Overall, a decent recipe but not a stand-out.
  • star rating 01/29/2010
  • Jen Kryzyanowski from Wisconsin
  • Was a delicious cake. Great way to use up that left over cranberry sauce. We really enjoyed it!
  • star rating 12/11/2009
  • Lily from Ohio
  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank You. The recipe is fabulous! I love it. Phillsbury had a similar recipe back in the 60's, but I never got a chance to try it, But I really think yours is better. Thank you again.
  • star rating 10/05/2009
  • John from New Hampshire
  • Have made this recipe several times to the delight of my co-workers. I always have problems splitting the batter evenly before the first layer of cranberry sauce, but it comes out okay even so. Has a wonderfully rich flavor, especially if you use the whole berry sauce in the middle.
  • star rating 07/07/2009
  • Maureen from Boston
  • i always get rave reviews when i make this coffeecake .. even non-cranberry sauce eaters love it !! i do change up the ingredients to make it healthier .. using fat free greek yogurt in place of the sour cream .. wheat flour for the white .. turbinado sugar in place of the granulated sugar.
  • star rating 04/22/2009
  • Kim from NJ
  • I've made this cake over and over; it's attractive, moist and delicious, and easy to make. I always use a 6 oz. container of fat-free vanilla-flavored yogurt and 2 oz. sour cream in lieu of the buttermilk, with great results. I think I'm going to try it next with cherry preserves instead of the cranberry sauce...!