Easy holiday dessert recipe: Cranberry coffee cake

Cookbook author Karlynn Johnston shares her recipe for a seasonal coffee cake

Image for Easy holiday dessert recipe: Cranberry coffee cake
Recipe and images provided by Penguin Random House.

When it comes to the holiday season, we want a plethora of holiday baking at our finger tips. We love shortbread, fruitcake, and gingerbread, but a delicious coffee cake is an absolute must too.

This seasonal coffee cake recipe comes courtesy of author and blogger Karlynn Johnston's latest cookbook A Very Prairie Christmas Bakebook where she shares a long list of delicious baked goods home cooks can make all very-merry season long.

Image for Easy holiday dessert recipe: Cranberry coffee cake

"This is an excellent coffee or teatime cake for the holiday season—or year-round. It has become my new favorite coffee cake, one I’ve started making on a regular basis. The tang of the fresh cranberries in the cake topped with a sweet cranberry sauce is coffee cake nirvana," says Karlynn Johnston in the introduction to the cranberry coffee cake recipe in her cookbook.

Cranberry coffee cake

Coffee bake batter

3 cups flour

1 cup granulated sugar 3 tsp baking powder 1½ tsp salt

½ cup butter, cold 2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a 10-inch spring- form pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granu- lated sugar, baking powder, and salt. using a pastry blender or by crisscrossing two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture is fine and crumbly, with the butter the size of peas.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs well, then mix in the milk and vanilla until combined. add to the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. fold in the cranberries.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. tap the pan gently on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.


Coffee cake topping

1 cup homemade cranberry sauce

¼ cup flour

¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup butter, melted Pinch of salt


Place the cranberry sauce in a zip-top bag with a bottom corner snipped off. using the end of a spoon, create crisscross grooves in the top of the batter, about 1½ inches apart. pipe the cranberry sauce into the grooves.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining topping ingredients, using a fork to claw and toss the mixture until crumbly. sprinkle over the batter in an even layer.


Baking the cake

As with all coffee cakes, do not over- bake this, or it will dry out.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan.

Store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 5 days, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Serves 12
Prep Time:
20 minutes
Cook Time:
40 minutes