Delicious Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake Recipe

When it comes to coffee cakes, the Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake is truly something special. This recipe is a delightful twist on the classic coffee cake that you don’t want to miss. The Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake combines the best of both worlds- tangy cranberry sauce and a light, fluffy cake with a crispy streusel topping.

One of the most enjoyable parts of making this coffee cake is the swirl feature. The cranberry swirl in the center gives the cake its sweet and tarty taste that pairs so nicely with a fresh cup of coffee. One bite and you’ll be hooked.

But what’s even greater about this recipe is its versatility. Whether it’s for breakfast or dessert, this coffee cake is perfect for any occasion, making it an excellent addition to your repertoire of dessert recipes.

So get ready to impress your family and friends with this delicious Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake recipe! It’s easy to make, and best of all, you can use leftover cranberry sauce (if you have any) from Thanksgiving dinner.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake
Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake

Are you tired of the same old coffee cake recipe that just never seems to hit the spot? Look no further than this Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake recipe. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll wonder why you ever settled for less.

What makes this recipe so special, you ask? Well, for starters, it’s filled with delicious whole berry cranberry sauce swirled throughout the cake. The tangy sweetness of the cranberries perfectly complements the fluffy cake texture. And let’s not forget about the walnuts that add a satisfying crunch to each bite.

But it’s not just about the taste – this recipe is also incredibly easy to make. With simple ingredients like all-purpose flour, eggs, and butter, you can whip up a batch of this cake in no time. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with some substitutions or variations – there are endless possibilities!

Plus, this coffee cake isn’t just reserved for your morning cup of joe. It’s versatile enough to be served as a dessert at dinner parties or potlucks, too. You’ll be able to impress your guests with your baking skills and leave them craving for more.

So don’t settle for mediocre coffee cake any longer. Give this Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake recipe a try and I guarantee that it’ll become a staple in your dessert repertoire.

Ingredient List

 A sweet swirl of cranberry goodness in every bite!
A sweet swirl of cranberry goodness in every bite!

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this delicious Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake:

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (I recommend using Great Value Sweet Cream Salted Butter 16 oz)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of whole berry cranberry sauce

For the cranberry swirl mixture:

  • 1/2 cup of whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Note: You can use leftover cranberry sauce from your Thanksgiving dinner for this recipe

With these simple ingredients, you can create a tart and sweet swirl in every bite of your coffee cake. Don’t substitute the whole berry cranberry sauce as it provides both texture and flavor to the coffee cake. Using fresh or frozen cranberries may mix up the ratio and make it too sour. The combination of sour cream and extracts result in a rich flavor that’s undeniably a favorite among many coffee lovers.

The Recipe How-To

 This coffee cake is a perfect addition to any holiday brunch.
This coffee cake is a perfect addition to any holiday brunch.

Finally, let’s get to the good part: making the Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake!

Preheat your oven

The first step is to preheat your oven to 350°F.

Prepare the cake batter

Now, in a mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup of softened butter and 2 cups of granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Then, add in 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in 1 teaspoon of almond extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with 1 1/2 cups of sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Add the cranberry swirl

In another bowl, mix together 1 can of whole-berry cranberry sauce and 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts. Set aside.

Pour half of the cake batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan. Drop spoonfuls of the cranberry-walnut mixture on top. Using a knife or toothpick, swirl it gently into the batter. Spoon the remaining cake batter over the top and repeat with dollops and swirls.

Bake and Serve

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let it cool before serving so that you don’t burn your tongue!

This coffee cake is a show-stopper for any brunch or breakfast menu item. You can also store leftovers covered in plastic wrap or an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Enjoy your delicious Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake!

Substitutions and Variations

 Starting the day off with a slice of this coffee cake is the way to go.
Starting the day off with a slice of this coffee cake is the way to go.

As a barista, I like to encourage creativity and experimentation when it comes to coffee, and this applies to coffee cake recipes as well. While the ingredients in this cranberry swirl coffee cake recipe are tried-and-true, there is still room for adjustments and variations.

One substitution you can make is using different types of nuts instead of walnuts, such as pecans or almonds. You could also opt for a nut-free version if you have allergies by omitting the walnuts altogether.

Another variation is using leftover cranberry sauce from other meals instead of purchasing whole berry cranberry sauce. This is an excellent way to utilize leftovers and reduce food waste while also adding a unique flavor profile to your coffee cake.

For those who enjoy a more tangy taste, you could substitute the vanilla extract for almond extract, or add fresh cranberries to the batter.

If you want to make a richer and creamier version of this recipe, try substituting the sour cream with cream cheese or Greek yogurt.

Lastly, for those who wish to make it healthier, you can substitute some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour mix.

Remember that substitutions may change the texture, consistency and flavor of the dish but that’s what makes it fun – experimenting until you find your favorite combination!

With these variations, you can create different versions of this irresistible cranberry swirl coffee cake that cater to your personal taste preferences while still preserving its natural flavors. Whichever substitutions or variations you try, we’re confident that they will be just as delicious as the original recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 It doesn't get any better than a warm slice of Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake with your morning cup of joe!
It doesn’t get any better than a warm slice of Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake with your morning cup of joe!

When it comes to serving and pairing, the cranberry swirl coffee cake recipe has endless possibilities. You can serve it with a piping hot cup of coffee for a cozy breakfast or afternoon snack. The bitterness of the coffee complements the sweetness of the cranberry swirl perfectly.

But why stop at coffee? Tea is also a fantastic option. A hot cup of tea will especially pair well with our cranberry orange variation of the cake. The tartness of the cranberry sauce mixed with the citrusy flavor of orange makes for a delightful and refreshing combination.

For those who prefer something cold, you can pair the cake with some iced tea or lemonade. Something about a slice of sweet and moist coffee cake just goes so well with a refreshing drink on a hot summer day.

If you are hosting a brunch or dinner party, this coffee cake is bound to impress your guests. Slice it up into small finger-sized bites for an easy party snack, or serve it whole for an indulgent dessert at the end of your meal. To add an extra wow factor, dust some powdered sugar on top and decorate it with fresh cranberries.

In conclusion, this delicious recipe goes well with any beverage, hot or cold. So go ahead and experiment with different drinks – it’s impossible to go wrong!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfectly moist coffee cake with a tangy cranberry twist!
Perfectly moist coffee cake with a tangy cranberry twist!

Is there anything better than enjoying a warm coffee cake in the morning without all the prep work? That’s where make-ahead recipes come in handy! This Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake recipe is perfect for making ahead of time and storing for those on-the-go mornings.

To make this recipe ahead of time, simply follow all the instructions as is, but instead of baking it right away, cover and store it in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to bake it the next morning, preheat your oven and slide the coffee cake in for a delicious and effortless breakfast.

If you have leftover cranberry sauce, this recipe is perfect for using up that extra cranberry goodness. Just mix 1/2 cup of leftover cranberry sauce into the batter before adding the cranberry swirl for an even stronger cranberry flavor. This recipe can also be made with fresh cranberries during season!

Storing your freshly baked Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake is easy – just wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it at room temperature for up to three days. Any longer than that, and it’s best to store it in the refrigerator.

If you’re reheating your coffee cake, place it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or pop it in the oven at 325°F for about 10 minutes. This will help reheat and soften any leftover slices you might have.

I highly recommend doubling this recipe so that you have more to enjoy throughout the week. This Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake also pairs well with a hot cup of coffee or your favorite tea. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Your taste buds will thank you with every bite of this Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake.
Your taste buds will thank you with every bite of this Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake.

We all know that every recipe has its own secret to success. And for this cranberry swirl coffee cake recipe, I have some tips to help you make the perfect cake with a flavorful tangy and nutty twist.

Firstly, make sure to preheat the oven before baking the cake as it results in an evenly baked cake. The oven should be preheated at 350F before baking for around 45-50 minutes, depending on your oven.

Secondly, when creaming the butter and sugar for the batter, remember that room temperature butter is crucial. It can easily mix with sugar and eggs together, which results in a light and fluffy texture. Once mixed, add eggs one at a time, beating each egg completely before adding another.

Thirdly, when adding in dry ingredients like baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the creamed mixture of butter and sugar, make sure to sift them together beforehand so that there are no lumps. Plus, do not overmix after adding the flour to prevent gluten formation.

Fourthly, while making swirls of cranberry sauce in the cake batter, use dollops of sauce instead of spreading it over the whole layer. Swirl it gently with a knife or toothpick to ensure it doesn’t sink to the bottom while baking.

Fifthly, when measuring flour and sugar for the recipe, avoid packing it tightly into measuring cups as it can result in an uneven texture of the cake. Sift flour before measuring or use a kitchen scale for precise measurement.

Lastly, once done baking let cake sit in hot pan for few minutes then remove onto wire rack to cool completely before slicing. This will help your cake settle its inside filling giving more mouth-watering taste with every bite.

By following these tips and tricks along with the given recipe instructions, you’ll be able to create a delicious cranberry swirl coffee cake that will surely impress anyone who tries it.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake recipe is the ultimate treat for coffee and cake lovers. With its perfect blend of sweet and tart flavors, it’s guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

But don’t just take my word for it! Give this recipe a try and experience the magic for yourself. Whether you’re hosting a brunch with friends, or lounging on the couch in your pajamas, this coffee cake is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite cup of coffee.

And with its easy-to-follow instructions and versatile ingredients, you can customize this recipe according to your preferences and experiment with different substitutions and variations.

So why not indulge in the pleasure of a warm slice of Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake today? Trust me, once you take that first bite, there’ll be no going back.

Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake

Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake Recipe

Cranberries are an important crop in New England. This recipe produces a beautiful and delicious cake. From The Best Of Country Cooking 2003
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cake
Calories 365.5 kcal


  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce


  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in almond extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  • Sprinkle the walnuts into a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan. Spread half of the batter over nuts; top with half of the cranberry sauce. Repeat layers.
  • Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over coffee cake. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 122gCalories: 365.5kcalCarbohydrates: 54.6gProtein: 4.5gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7.9gCholesterol: 64.4mgSodium: 267.4mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 36.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, Easy
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