Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

previous post: Hearth and Soul Blog Hop 181: 12/9/2013 | next post: Hearth and Soul Blog Hop: 182: 12/16/2013

Last week I bought some fresh cranberries to make some sweet chutney. But changed my mind and made this wonderful cranberry vanilla coffee cake. With our Sunday newspaper I sometimes get a small booklet of recipes from our local grocery store HEB. I saw the recipe of this cranberry vanilla coffee cake with a beautiful picture. After consulting with Google I found that this recipe is inspired from December 2008 issue of Gourmet where fresh vanilla bean is used, where as in HEB’s recipe Vanilla extract is used. Earlier I had made blueberry oatmeal streusel coffee cake. I knew berries are good in coffee cakes, but was not sure about cranberries in coffee cake.
I am happy to say this also that on last Thursday my daughter had a Christmas program at her school. It was “How penguins saved Christmas”. I have to admire her music teacher whom she loves dearly. Every day when it is time to come home she would waits in front of music teacher’s office to say bye. She did a wonderful job of getting the 4 ½ -6 year olds to sing wonderfully. My daughter was so excited and was singing at her high volume.

Coming to the recipe, I was at first skeptical about fresh cranberries as they have sour taste like Averrhoa bilimbi commonly known as bilimbi (Irumban pulli/ Pulingikaya in Malayalam). As school kids we used to eat with little salt or some time make it spicy pickle with them. However cranberries are little bitter too, whereas bilimbi is only sour taste so thought of making spicy pickle first, then changed my mind and made cranberry vanilla coffee cake with 1 cup cranberries and with rest of 2 cups of cranberries I made spicy pickle. So stay tuned for that recipe.

This coffee cake is one of best recipe I have tried. Delicious every bit, vanilla sugar goes to filling, batter and even in streusel. I think even without streusel they are delicious. First you need to make vanilla sugar with sugar and vanilla extract. If you have vanilla bean in your hand, make use of it now. Then add ¼ cup sugar into the fresh or frozen. I used fresh cranberries and then pulse to get chopped cranberries. Then cream butter and sugar and make sure to set-aside a 1 tablespoon sugar for streusel if you are using. Then add egg, milk and flour-salt-baking powder mixture make batter. Then add half of prepared batter into the pan then add cranberry filling and then rest of batter top with streusel and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. You coffee cake is ready. You can make ahead a day or two before serving. Delicious that is only word I can say. Give it try this recipe will go to stick around your kitchen for long time. Here comes the recipe.  

Cranberry Vanilla Coffeecake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 85 minutes

Serving Size: 6 inch cake

Delicious coffee cake, contains sugar in all three layer, batter, filling and topping.


  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4+1/8 cups sugar
  • 1 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (6 oz)
  • 1cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4+1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick plus 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 1 jumbo eggs
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Generously butter a 6inch round cake pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment.
  2. In a bowl mix sugar and vanilla extract and set aside
  3. Pulse cranberries with 1/4 cup vanilla sugar in processor until coarsely chopped (do not purée).
  4. Whisk together 1 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Beat together 1/2 stick butter and 1/2 cup vanilla sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add egg beating well after each addition. Scrape down side and bottom of bowl. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour, until just combined.
  6. Spread half of batter in pan, then spoon cranberries over it, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edge. Top with remaining batter and smooth top.
  7. Blend remaining 1/8 cup vanilla sugar with remaining tablespoon each of butter and flour using your fingertips. Crumble over top of cake.
  8. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into cake (not into cranberry filling) comes out clean and side begins to pull away from pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely, serve.


This recipe is adapted from HEB Texas Living Magazine, December 2013 which is adapted from Gourmet December 2008

Copyright ©2013 Zesty South Indian Kitchen by Swathi( Ambujom Saraswathy) All Rights Reserved

I am linking this to Hearth and Soul blog hop hosted here, also favorite recipes: Christmas recipes hosted here. Also to Tasty Tuesdays at Ma Niche

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

If you like this post,


  1. says

    we kept on watching these beautiful cake clicks….you are so talented…the pictures are amazing and the recipe is just what we needed for baking this weekend,thanks for sharing :-)

  2. Arthy shama says

    Coffee cake looks yumm. Love the red and white layers whirling towards upper end of the cake :D

  3. says

    I love coffee madly,of course coffee cakes too.but adding cranberries is new to me n cake luks so soft n fluffy..but honestly this kind of berries hard to find in s. Parleys here n only I can get in Pomarefoz which r too high in price..;)

  4. Meena Kumar says

    HEB magazine usually has some really good recipes. Cranberry and coffee that is an interesting combination.You have done it so well Swathi.

    • Swathi says

      Yes Meena, I was skeptical first but this one is delicious.It is named coffee cake but no coffee in though

  5. says

    Hi Swathi, Your cranberry cake looks so beautiful, vibrant in color, moist, and super delicious! The small cake pan is perfect for this amount of the ingredients. I think my smallest cake pan is the 8 in. springform pan and if I made it in that, it would not come up as high as yours did! Lovely photos, as well:)

  6. says

    Look at all of these wonderful recipes that I’ve missed while on vacation! This coffee cake is gorgeous Swathi! What a great change from a standard cranberry bread which I was planning on making in the morning, but now I’m having second thoughts.

  7. says

    Thanks for your wishes dear…..Wish you and your family a Happy and a Blessed New Year dear….super moist cake looks so good….