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Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake

If you love a luscious coffee cake but also love the luscious twang of cranberries, this is the recipe for you! This easy breakfast cake comes together so easily and best of all, it’s from scratch!

Can I Bake with Frozen Cranberries?

This was the question on my mind as I pondered my next baking job. I had a large bag of frozen cranberries and wanted to make something creative with them. So, I googled for ideas and landed on a recipe at a site called The View from Great Island. It looked simple and inviting.

As always, I tweaked the recipe a little. I have a new bundt pan and decided to use it for this recipe. (I’m basically the laziest person you’ll ever meet. If I can throw it into a bundt pan, I’m going to do it.) I was super-duper excited because this is a fall-themed pan, covered in etched leaves. I thought it would make the perfect cranberry cake.

Luscious Cranberry Bundt Cake!

I was wrong. The intricate pan design was lost amidst the berries. But the cake tasted divine and was simple to make in a bundt. I would definitely do it again, (though the original recipe called for a 9 x 9-inch pan).

One other thing I changed: the original recipe called for sparkling sugar on top and I opted for a glaze comprised of frozen berries, sugar, and almond extract.

Okay, enough chatter about all of that. I start with a question: Can I bake with frozen cranberries. The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” And now that I see how easy it is, I plan to do it again and again!

Cranberry Breakfast Cake Ingredients

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

These are such simple and basic ingredients. You’ve probably got most of them in your pantry right now. You’ll find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need:

FOR THE CAKE:

  • Half and half (or heavy whipping cream)
  • lemon juice
  • room temperature butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • granulated sugar
  • large egg (room temperature)
  • almond extract
  • vanilla extract
  • baking powder
  • all-purpose flour
  • salt (if you use unsalted butter, less if you use salted butter)
  • whole frozen cranberries (unthawed)

FOR THE GLAZE

  • frozen cranberries
  • powdered sugar
  • warm water

How to Make Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake

This cake comes together so easily, you won’t believe it! You’re going to want to make this one again and again. You can whip it up in minutes and pop it in the oven to bake up in your favorite bundt or square pan.

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cream your butter in a large mixing bowl. You can use a stand mixer with paddle attachment or an electric mixer. Add sugar and continue to whip until light and fluffy. Add extracts and mix until fully incorporated.

Now it’s time to add your egg. Whip until smooth.

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

In a separate small bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk together dry ingredients.

Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix well.

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add half of the whipping cream or half and half. Mix well.

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add the final half of the flour mixture. Mix well.

Add the rest of the cream. Mix well.

You’re going to end up with a thick cake batter and here’s a little secret: it’s about to get even thicker once the berries go in.

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add your frozen berries. The cold berries will cause the batter to firm up. In fact, I thought mine looked and felt a lot more like cookie dough. (Oooh! Great idea! Next time I’m using this recipe to make cranberry cookies!)

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Anyway, stir the cranberries into the batter and mix thoroughly.

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

I used an ice cream scoop to fill my bundt pan (which I prepared with nonstick spray ahead of time).

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and cake springs back to the touch. Baking time may vary, depending on your oven.

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

When you can handle the pan flip it onto the wire rack and allow the cake to release naturally. (You can almost see the leaf designs from my bundt pan if you strain your eyes.)

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Make your Glaze

While your cake is baking and cooling, make your glaze. Place your frozen berries in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Place them for another 30 seconds if they’re not fully broken down.

Stir in powdered sugar and 2 – 3 tablespoons warm water until it reaches a glaze consistency.

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Remove the cake from the bundt pan and drizzle half of the glaze on top of the cake. (Place a piece of waxed paper under the wire rack to catch the excess.)

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Slice and serve! I held back some glaze to put on top of the slices of cake but (in the end) it didn’t need it.

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

There’s no need to refrigerate this cake, though you’re certainly welcome to. Place in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. It will stay good 3 -4 days.

You can freeze it in a ziplock bag up to two months. Bring to room temperature naturally to serve once frozen.

What to Expect from this Cranberry Cake:

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

I loved this combination so much that I ended up dedicating an entire devotion to these flavors, which I titled The Bitter with the Sweet. The long and the short of it is. . .it works. The tart cranberries. The sweetness of the cake. The addition of the glaze on top. . .

Y’all, I simply have no words.

Yes. Yes, I do. I have lots of words and they’re all adjectives: Yummy, tantalizing, holiday-worthy, luscious, tart, sweet, tender, perfect!

This is a tender, moist cake–so sweet and perfect with those tart berries. Pure perfection! And you know what? I think it would be absolutely perfect for Christmas morning!

Variations on this Breakfast Cake

Now that I know I can bake frozen berries into cakes, you know I’m going to do it again! Here are some flavor combinations I plan to try:

  • Frozen Cherries: I will make this with almond extract. In fact, I can’t wait!
  • Frozen Blackberries: These are my personal favorite and I think they’ll make a luscious breakfast cake. I might add more lemon juice in place of the almond extract.
  • Frozen Raspberries: I think this would be luscious with a cream cheese glaze on top. (Yum!)
  • Frozen Strawberries: In combination with more lemon juice or lemon glaze? Perfection!
  • Frozen Blueberries: These would be perfect for this cake!
  • Orange Juice: Cranberries and oranges are perfect together. Next time I might skip the lemon juice and add orange juice, as well as orange glaze.

Questions People are Asking about this Cranberry Cake

Can I use fresh cranberries in this cake?

Absolutely! Make sure they’re whole.

Does this cake have to be for breakfast?

No way! It’s the perfect Cranberry Christmas Cake for the holiday season. Take it to a Christmas event and watch people swoon!

Can I add a streusel topping?

You bet! I have a great recipe on my Easy Cinnamon Streusel Cake recipe post.

Other Breakfast Offerings from Out of the Box Baking

I have a lot of recipes that can be served up at breakfast. Here are a few of my favorites:

That’s it for this post, friends! If you bake this super easy breakfast cake, let me know your thoughts. I can’t wait to try it again. . .in cookie form. Or muffin form! So many possibilities, right?

See this recipe at

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Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

If you love a luscious coffee cake but also love the luscious twang of cranberries, this is the recipe for you! This easy breakfast cake comes together so easily and best of all, it's from scratch!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1/2 cup half and half (I used whipping cream)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter, less if you use salted butter)
  • 2 cups whole frozen cranberries (unthawed)
  • FOR THE GLAZE
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons warm water

Instructions

    How to Make Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake
    This cake comes together so easily, you won't believe it! You're going to want to make this one again and again. You can whip it up in minutes and pop it in the oven to bake up in your favorite bundt or square pan.
    Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Cream your butter in a large bowl. You can use a stand mixer with paddle attachment or an electric mixer. Add sugar and continue to whip until light and fluffy. Add extracts and mix until fully incorporated.
    Now it's time to add your egg. Whip until smooth.
    In a separate small bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk together.
    Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix well.
    Add half of the whipping cream or half and half. Mix well.
    Add the final half of the flour mixture. Mix well.
    Add the rest of the cream. Mix well.
    You're going to end up with a thick batter and here's a little secret: it's about to get even thicker once the berries go in.
    Add your frozen berries. The cold berries will cause the batter to firm up. In fact, I thought mine looked and felt a lot more like cookie dough. (Oooh! Great idea! Next time I'm using this recipe to make cranberry cookies!)
    Anyway, stir the cranberries into the batter and mix thoroughly. I used an ice cream scoop to fill my bundt pan (which I prepared with nonstick spray ahead of time).
    Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and cake springs back to the touch.
    Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

    Make your Glaze
    While your cake is baking and cooling, make your glaze. Place your frozen berries in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Place them for another 30 seconds if they're not fully broken down.
    Stir in powdered sugar and 2 - 3 tablespoons warm water until it reaches a glaze consistency.
    Remove the cake from the bundt pan and drizzle half of the glaze on top.
    Slice and serve! I held back some glaze to put on top of the slices of cake but (in the end) it didn't need it.

Orange Cranberry Cookies (Perfect Holiday Cookies) - Out of the Box Baking

Tuesday 13th of September 2022

[…] you read my Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake post, you know that I marveled in the revelation that baking with frozen cranberries is not only […]

The Bitter with the Sweet - Out of the Box Baking

Wednesday 7th of September 2022

[…] been thinking about cranberries today as I’ve baked a new Cranberry Breakfast Cake (perfect for fall). I had cake for dinner, actually. (Hey, no excuses. It just sounded good, […]

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