Fresh Cranberry & Lemon Coffee Cake

Happy Friday, everyone! I am not really looking forward to this weekend because I am busy busy busy! But, at least my sweet husband will be home to help take care of the little one. And, once it’s over I can be ready for Thanksgiving!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I am posting this recipe because around this time of year, I usually pick up a nice big bag of fresh cranberries to make cranberry sauce. Except, I always make a small batch thus leaving me with lots of left over fresh cranberries that I have no clue what to do with. Well, this year I got a head start on that big bag of cranberries and make a cake. Not just any cake–a delicious and refreshing coffee cake with lots of lemon and whipped cream. It’s really dreamy, creamy and delicious. When I made this for our family dinner dessert last week, it got eaten up! Devoured! Inhaled! And, thank goodness it’s gone because I would have eaten all the rest. I’m that kind of person, you know. Addicted to food, remember?

Usually about now I try to explain how to make the cake, except today I’m going to take a walk on the wild side and say: just make this pronto….and eat the whole thing. Because it’s good. And soooo worth the calories. Promise. 🙂 Happy Weekend!

PS- You MUST make fresh whipped cream to go with this. There is no other way.

Fresh Cranberry & Lemon Coffee Cake
yield: 16 servings
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3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup whole milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

for the filling:
2 cups chopped fresh cranberries
1/3 cup sugar

for the topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup butter

fresh whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 glass baking dish and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix fresh cranberries with sugar and set aside.

In a different bowl, incorporate butter into dry ingredients for the topping until large crumbs form and it resembles sand. Set aside.

In large bowl, whip butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed and stir in eggs, 1 at a time, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Whip 30 seconds, scrape down sides and whip again for another 30 seconds. Sift all dry ingredients together and pour lemon juice into milk. With mixer on low, alternate wet and dry ingredients until everything is just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Top with cranberry mixture. Spread remaining batter over cranberries and sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until top starts to brown and toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Remove from oven and cool. Store in an air tight container for up to 4 days. Serve with fresh whipping cream.


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  1. Great cake recipe! I’m a sucker for different coffee cake recipes AND anything lemon. Yum!

  2. I just wanted to compliment you on your food photography. You do such a great job, and everything looks delicious! You should be proud of your blog! 🙂

  3. Can you use skim, or condensed milk to replace the whole milk? I just don’t have any on hand and I want to make it. 🙂

    • Yeah! Any milk will do!

  4. By far the best type of coffee cake I have ever made!
    I cut the sugar in the dough by half to 3/4 of a cup.
    My husband doesn’t particularly like cranberries. He told me (without prompting) it was excellent.
    It was great even without the whipping cream.

  5. I made this last night and I must say it is the best coffee cake I have ever had! Just amazing! Thanks for sharing this gem!

  6. I have a review, but even though it seems like I deviated a lot from the original recipe (so then is it really a review), I actually didn’t. I made the cake as written with only minor personal adjustments (less sugar and a bit more lemon).

    I was looking for a light lemon cake recipe as a base to play with, but one that wasn’t a pound cake. I ruled our Ina Garten’s because it seemed heavier than I wanted, but your write up and the reviews sold me on trying this one. So very glad I did. I had some jarred sour cherries that I wanted to use up, so I drained those very well and used them instead of the cranberries.

    I doubled the recipe because I wanted a higher cake than your photos for the people I was baking for (as great as your photos looked) – I did not double the sugar (pulled back a bit) and I added an extra lemon for extra lemony punch (and then an extra tablespoon of flour to balance the extra liquid). I did not put the topping because I was mostly interested in the cake part of the recipe. I baked for slightly more than an hour.

    The cake was sooooo light, quite a perfect texture actually – thank you so much for sharing the recipe! It had a nice lemon flavour and not too sweet (my small modifications, but the recipe is so versatile it’s easy to play with). I will DEFINITELY be making this again.