Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake is a moist buttery cake with fresh cranberries, cream cheese, and brown sugar crumble topping.
Table of contents
- About our Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Recipe
- Kitchen Tools & Equipment
- How to Make Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
- Nutritional Facts
- Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Tips & Tricks
- How to Store Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
- Ideas to Serve Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
- Using other Pans to Bake Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
- FAQ for Cream Cheese Cranberry Coffee Cake
- Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Variations
- Related Recipes
About our Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Recipe
Every bite of this festive holiday coffee cake is decadent, rich, and packed with flavor. The creamy bits of cheese along with the sweet fresh cranberries is almost like frosting baked into the buttery cake. It’s the perfect special occasion coffee cake during the fall and winter, full of holiday flavor and absolutely stunning with the dark red berries!
This Cream Cheese Cranberry Coffee Cake recipe is so easy to make with regular pantry ingredients and a bag of fresh cranberries. Using fresh cranberries is an delicious way to add naturally sweet, slightly tart flavor to any of your favorite baked goods. Cranberries come into season during the fall, so make sure to keep a bag or two frozen so you can make this cake whenever you get a craving!
Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Ingredients
- Crumble Topping: The delicious sweet and buttery topping is a key part of what makes coffee cake so irresistible! It’s a mixture of brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cold pieces of butter. You mash them together as the cake bakes, it turns into crispy, crumbly goodness.
- Cake Batter: This cake starts with a basic coffee cake mix of butter, flour, sugar, egg, vanilla, baking powder, salt, and milk. You could substitute sour cream for the milk and brown sugar for regular sugar for a little different flavor.
- Orange Zest: Cranberry and orange are a delicious combination because the tart citrus brings out the tartness of the cranberries. The zest adds just enough bold orange flavor to compliment the cake without overpowering the berry flavor.
- Cranberries: This cake is absolutely loaded with fresh cranberry pieces for the tart, fruity flavor in every bite! You could also keep the berries whole for bigger bursts of cranberry flavor or swap in frozen berries.
- Cream Cheese: In addition to fruity bursts of berry flavor, this cake has creamy rich tangy bits of cream cheese throughout. You want to cut the cream cheese block into small pieces and it’s important to coat them in cornstarch so they don’t all sink to the bottom of the pan.
Kitchen Tools & Equipment
- Cake Pan: A 9-inch round spring-form pan is great for making a single layer cake like coffee cake. It has high sides for a taller cake without layering. The latch makes it easy to remove the cake for a nice presentation for serving.
- Baking Spray: Another tool to make your cakes release from your pans easily is baking spray. The special spray is a mixture of non-stick spray and flour which keeps your cake from sticking or burning on the sides. If you don’t have baking spray, use butter and lightly coat it with some flour.
How to Make Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Time needed: 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Make the Topping
Combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, mash the butter until it is in pea size crumbles. Set the bowl aside in a cool place, you don’t want the butter to melt so you can chill it as well.
- Preheat and Prep
Preheat your oven. Spray a spring-form pan generously with baking spray. You can also grease the inside with butter or non-stick cooking spray and coat lightly with flour.
- Make the Cake Batter
Cream the butter and flour in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest and mix until combined. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Begin alternately adding the flour and milk a bit at a time until the batter is just combined and there are no dry streaks.
- Layer the Cake and Fillings
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Toss the cream cheese chunks in the cornstarch. Sprinkle half the cream cheese pieces and the cranberries over the batter in the pan. Top with the remaining batter, then the rest of the cranberries and cream cheese.
- Bake the Coffee Cake
Evenly cover the cake with the brown sugar mixture. Bake the cake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. Cool the cake for 10 minutes then remove from the pan to finish cooling. Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Tips & Tricks
- Cornstarch Coating
- Coating the cream cheese chunks in cornstarch before adding them to the batter keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the pan. If you use whole cranberries, you should coat them in cornstarch or flour as well or they will sink because they are heavier than the chopped pieces.
- Don’t Over-Mix your Batter
- Coffee Cakes are a naturally dense cake, so you want to make sure not to over mix the batter or it will be really dense. To keep from over-mixing, sift the flour before adding it to the cake batter. This is a good pro tip to remember when you are making any baked good batter!
How to Store Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Serve: Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake can be at room temperature for up to 3 days, covered in a cool, dry place. It’s best served warm or room temperature.
Store: Keep Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature or warm in microwave in 30 second bursts to serve.
Freeze: Cool Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake completely before freezing so moisture doesn’t collect. Wrap baking dish tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. To reheat, remove plastic wrap and bake from frozen (or thawed) in oven until warmed through.
Ideas to Serve Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
For extra cranberry goodness, serve your Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake with a warmed leftover Cranberry Sauce drizzle. Skip the brown sugar crumble, and frost your coffee cake or serve warm with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream for a special dessert. To add some healthy protein to your breakfast, add a side of Greek yogurt and a handful of chopped pecans.
Using other Pans to Bake Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Muffins: Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or grease muffin tins very well. Fill muffin cups up 2/3 full and top with 1-2 tablespoons of the brown sugar topping. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. This batter could make 12-16 muffins.
Bundt Pan: For a fancy brunch cake, bake your Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake in a bundt pan. Grease a bundt pan generously with spray. Sprinkle half the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Layer the batter with cream cheese and cranberries like usual, adding the remaining brown sugar mixture to middle of cake. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes before inverting to remove.
FAQ for Cream Cheese Cranberry Coffee Cake
Coffee cake is already a pretty heavy, dense cake but if you over-mix the batter once you add the flour, it will make it even more dense. You want to mix in the flour just until there are no dry steaks.
No, you can use a bundt pan or a 9×13 inch baking dish to make this cake, or you could also make muffins. You just need to adjust the time depending on the size pan you use.
Brown Sugar Crumble Topping:
- 1 cup brown sugar , packed
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , cold and cut into cubes
- In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
- Cut in the butter until it looks like crumbles then set the topping aside.
Cranberry Coffee Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat springform pan with baking spray.
- To your stand mixer, add the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in the egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest until mixed.
- Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.
- Add in dry ingredients and milk in batches, alternating them until just combined.
- Add the half the batter to the springform pan.
- Coat your cream cheese chunks in 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
- Add half the cream cheese and half the cranberries to the batter, sprinkling them over the batter.
- Add the rest of the batter to the pan and top with the remaining cranberries and cream cheese chunks. Then, sprinkle with streusel topping.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes until the cake is set.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Variations
Raspberry: Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake with fresh raspberries instead of cranberries. You could also use blueberries, strawberries, or diced fruit like pears or apples.
White Chocolate Chips: White Chocolate is a favorite combo with cranberries! Fold in ½ cup white chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips) to the batter with the cranberries.