Cranberry Coffee Cake with Almond Crunch

King Arthur Recipe of the Year

This almond-scented cranberry coffee cake is a festive celebration of textures and flavors. Not overly sweet and studded with bursts of tartness, this recipe is perfect when you’re looking to use up a bag of fresh cranberries. Chopped almonds add some welcome crunch to the already crisp crumbs, and almond extract provides aromatic nuttiness to the tender cake.  

This recipe is one of 10 flavorful variations of coffee cake we’re using to celebrate our 2023 Recipe of the Year. Bake them all to find your favorite!   

30 mins
52 to 56 mins
2 hrs
one 8” square or 9” round coffee cake
Cranberry Coffee Cake with Almond Crunch - select to zoom
Cranberry Coffee Cake with Almond Crunch - select to zoom
Cranberry Coffee Cake with Almond Crunch - select to zoom
Cranberry Coffee Cake with Almond Crunch - select to zoom


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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8" square pan with a parchment sling or reusable silicone liner, then lightly grease the sides of the pan. Alternatively, line a 9" cake pan with a round piece of parchment or round reusable liner and lightly grease the sides.   

  2. To make the crumbs: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, and salt. Add the butter and vanilla; toss to combine. Using a bowl scraper, a fork, or your fingers, work in the butter until crumbs form and no dry spots remain. The crumbs should be irregular, ranging in size from a pea to walnut.   

  3. Add the almonds and toss until incorporated. Set aside. 

  4. To make the cake: In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups (240g) of the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add the butter and mix at low speed using an electric hand mixer or the flat beater attachment of a stand mixer until the mixture looks sandy, about 1 to 2 minutes. (This mixing method is called reverse creaming, also known as the paste method.)   

  5. Beat in the eggs and extracts, then mix until no dry spots of flour remain. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl and beater attachment as needed; the mixture will be thick.  

  6. Add the yogurt or sour cream all at once before starting to mix. Stir until the batter is smooth. Stop to scrape the bowl and then mix again at medium-low speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute; this final mix is key to ensuring the best texture, so don’t skip it. 

  7. Combine the cranberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon (8g) flour and toss to combine. Add the floured-coated cranberries (and any residual flour) to the batter and mix until incorporated. 

  8. To assemble and bake the cranberry coffee cake: Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly all the way to the edges. (A small offset spatula is a helpful tool here.)   

  9. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the top of the batter. Gently press to adhere. 

  10. Bake the cranberry coffee cake for 52 to 56 minutes, until it's set in the middle and the crumbs are golden brown. (Check for doneness after 52 minutes and add additional time only as needed to avoid overbaking.) The coffee cake is done when a toothpick or paring knife inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.  

  11. Remove the cranberry coffee cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. While the coffee cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. 

  12. To make the glaze: Finely dice the cranberries and place them in a small bowl. Pour the hot water over the diced cranberries, then cover for 10 minutes.  

  13. Strain the cranberries through a fine-mesh strainer, reserving the cranberry liquid. Press firmly to release the most vibrant and flavorful liquid; discard the diced cranberries.  

  14. In a separate small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, almond extract, and 2 teaspoons of the cranberry liquid. Add additional cranberry liquid (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) as needed until the glaze is the consistency of molasses.   

  15. Gently lift the cranberry coffee cake from the pan using the overhanging edges of the parchment as handles. (If you used a silicone liner or parchment round, run a nylon spreader or dull knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake and then gently tip it out.) Place the cake, still on the parchment if a sling was used, on a wire rack to cool slightly. 

  16. Drizzle the glaze over the cranberry coffee cake, or finish by dusting it with non-melting sugar or confectioners’ sugar. Cut into slices and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

  17. Storage information: Store leftover cranberry coffee cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.  

Tips from our Bakers

  • For easiest handling, cut your butter into cubes while it’s still cold and then let it come to room temperature. Cubing room temperature butter can be messy.

  • Fresh or frozen cranberries are best used in this coffee cake to provide pops of tart cranberry flavor. We do not recommend using dried cranberries in this instance.  

  • Looking for more incredible coffee cake? Check out the other flavorful variations of this coffee cake. Bake them all to find your favorite!

    Coffee cakes!
  • Want to make this coffee cake gluten-free? For great results, substitute King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe, and make sure all your other ingredients are gluten-free. When making the crumbs, melt the butter before incorporating it into the dry ingredients. Be sure to bake thoroughly; gluten-free baked goods often need a bit more time in the oven.