Cranberry coffee cake with orange and cardamom will fill your home with scents of the holidays. It’s perfect for any day but I picture this making a Christmas brunch appearance.

A piece of cranberry coffee cake on square white plate with fork, garnished with a half moon orange slice.
Can you imagine anything much better than the scents of cranberries, orange and cardamom wafting through your house around the holidays?

I grew up eating a blueberry coffee cake similar to this cake. Both my mom and my grandma liked to make it (and perhaps Betty Crocker too?). I love this recipe base because it’s perfectly sweet, perfectly moist and so simple to make. And of course, because it brings me back to Sunday afternoons at my grandma’s house. So it makes sense that I love to create new takes on it — the peach spice coffee cake is still one of my faves.

Front view of a piece of coffee cake, with remainder in clear glass baking dish in background.

In an effort to not eat all this cranberry coffee cake myself, and to get to know our new neighbors, I sent out a group text after I baked this cake inviting our neighbors to swing by for a piece of coffee cake. An impromptu hour getting to know new friends on a sunny Sunday afternoon transpired quickly after sending out the text.

Cake brings people together.

Partial overhead of cake in clear glass baking dish, on white cloth background.

Although cranberries are plentiful and easy to find in stores around Thanksgiving and Christmas, you may not be able to find them other times of the year. If you love cranberries as much as I do, buying frozen cranberries is a great way to enjoy them all year round. I almost always have a bag in my freezer.

In fact, fresh cranberries are super easy to freeze. When they’re plentiful, buy extra and put them into a freezer bag, label, and put into the freezer. They’ll keep for 10-12 months. Make sure you wash them before you use them or wash them before you freeze them. Either way is fine. 

You can use frozen cranberries right from the freezer, no need to thaw them first. I love the addition of tart cranberries to cranberry pecan pie. The combination of sweet and tart is irresistible!

Soon I’ll be making these holiday recipes using cranberries: baked brie with cranberries and bourbon pecans, cranberry salsa,  Brussels sprouts with cranberries and walnuts, and orange cranberry sauce with cardamom. Have you ever tried sugared/candied cranberries? So cool!

Craving more cakes? Try:


A serving of cranberry coffee cake on a square white plate with baking pan in background.

Cranberry Coffee Cake with Orange and Cardamom

Yield: 15 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Cranberry coffee cake with orange and cardamom will fill your home with scents of the holidays. It’s perfect for any day but I picture this making a Christmas brunch appearance.


  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries, frozen or fresh
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to mix together softened butter, orange juice, milk and egg. On top of wet ingredients, add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest, and cardamom. Beat on low for 20-30 seconds until combined and then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Pour half of batter into prepared pan – spread to evenly cover bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of Wyman’s of Maine frozen cranberries. Spread remaining batter over cranberries and then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cranberries. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
  5. Let cool slightly before cutting and serving. May be served warm, room temperature, or cold.
  6. Store covered for 2-3 days.


  • If you don’t have turbinado sugar, you can leave it off or substitute with regular granulated sugar. I love the crispy crunch sugar adds to the top of this cake.
  • It may look like there isn't enough batter but don’t worry – the baking powder will work its magic while this bakes and it will end up perfect!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 179mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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This post is in partnership with Wyman’s of Maine. All opinions are my own – thanks for supporting Rachel Cooks by reading about brands I use and love in my own home.