Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

My Saturday mornings are spent playing away at classical viola, so I don’t have time for a nice leisurely weekend breakfast. Pancakes and waffles rarely make an appearance on a weekend morning, but certainly freshly baked goods are available!

I love cranberries. Adore cranberries. I think they are one of the best all time things to bake with in the entire planet. They offset the sweetness of cookies and cakes and offer just the right amount of tartness to pair along with it. Not to mention that they don’t expire quickly, leaving time for lots of goods to be baked :). This coffee cake will blow your mind. I’m actually not the biggest fan of (eating) a 8 layer cake, just because they tend to be a little sweet for me, but this coffee cake is just the perfect balance. It was loosely based on the Smitten Kitchen, but I changed up the recipe to what would work what I had on hand and it turned out great! It’s a great recipe for the holidays once you’ve polished off all of the chocolate peppermint cookies. 😉

Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

Makes 2 9 inch cakes


  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, cut in half (6 ounces, I used fresh)
  • 2 cups and 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 stick and 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Turbinado sugar (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray 2 circular 9 inch by 1 inch cake trays.
  2. Combine the sugar and the seeds from the vanilla bean (just scrape it with the back of a knife) until fully incorporated. You can also just use vanilla sugar if available.
  3. Whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat together 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of the vanilla sugar. When light and fluffy, beat in the eggs.
  4. Add in the flour and the milk, alternating between them until just combined.
  5. Add half of the batter to each cake tray and cover with the cranberries and turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

This will be gone from your breakfast table faster than you can say “Happy Holidays!”

-Rayna 🙂


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