Cranberry-Apple Coffee Cake

Cranberry-Apple Coffee Cake

19 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, October/November 2005

This coffee cake calls for a tart apple, such as a Granny Smith or a Pippin, combined with cranberries and spices to make a beautiful topping for a delicious treat festive enough for any brunch. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Ingredients 12 servings

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Original recipe yields 12 servings
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  • Topping
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1½ cups cranberries, fresh or frozen, thawed, chopped (see Tip)
  • 1½ cups finely chopped peeled tart apple, such as Granny Smith (about 1 large)
  • ½ cup cranberry juice cocktail, orange juice or apple juice
  • Cake
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup low-fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare topping: Whisk brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a medium nonreactive saucepan (see Note) until combined. Stir in cranberries, apple and juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring. Continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and the berries soften, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. To prepare cake: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Beat oil, butter and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, first on medium speed, then on medium-high, until well combined, about 1½ minutes. Gradually add ¾ cup sugar, beating until the mixture is light in color and well blended. Add egg and beat until the batter is smooth, about 1 minute longer. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half the flour mixture until just incorporated. Gradually beat in milk and vanilla until just incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until a smooth batter forms, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading to the edges. Spread the topping in an even layer over the batter; do not stir.
  4. Bake the cake on the middle rack until the top is puffed in places and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (the fruit topping will still be moist), 40 to 50 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over the top. Transfer the pan to a wire rack; let stand until cooled to warm, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides and cut the cake into wedges.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • Equipment: 9-inch springform pan
  • Tip: To make quick work of chopping cranberries, place whole berries in a food processor and pulse a few times until the berries are coarsely chopped.
  • Note: A nonreactive pan—stainless steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking acidic foods, such as tomato or lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor in acidic foods.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Per serving: 266 calories; 8 g fat(2 g sat); 3 g fiber; 46 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 34 mcg folate; 24 mg cholesterol; 28 g sugars; 23 g added sugars; 172 IU vitamin A; 12 mg vitamin C; 63 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 120 mg sodium; 137 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (20% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 3 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

Reviews 19

October 13, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Confusion in the title This is an apple and cranberry cake, period. Does not contain coffee, sad, I was quite excited at the idea of combining coffee and cranberry in a cake (which I might yet try).
January 20, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Even lighter version is delicious! I used unsweetened cranberry juice, unsweetened applesauce (1/2 cup) instead of oil and 1 cup of WW flour & 1/2 cup of white flour. The cake was moist, sweet and light. What a treat! It was a little work but well worth the effort.
November 08, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
loved it !! A big hit with family, sister-in-law asked for recipe going to make again and again
October 10, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I'm allergic to milk, so I substituted nonfat, plain soy milk and vegan butter. The cake was delicious, and the consistency was moist and airy. A keeper!
October 10, 2010
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By: natda
I made this using 1 cup w/w flour & 1/2 cup white and baked it in a 8x8 glass pan. Turned out great! Awesome with some vanilla frozen yogurt. I think a thin cream cheese or brown sugar glaze drizzed over the slices would look/taste great, too.
April 08, 2010
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By: limoncellogourmet
I had a problem with this cake, the topping fell into the center of the cake. Does anyone know why this happens? I liked the flavor though, but wish this didn-¦t happen. How can I fix it? Katie H.
March 30, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I made this recipe for a work meeting and it was a great hit. There are a lot of people at work whom are on diets and this fit right in with them. Of course I had to double the recipe because you can't make a treat in my house without sharing. My family absolutely LOVED this and made me promise to make it again. I actually can't wait to make it again. My husband told his co-workers about it and now THEY want some. Well that's what I get for making something as delicious and flavorful as this delightful coffee cake. It was suggested I put icing on the cake but I thought against it. I was right. All the flavors in this cake compliment each other very well!! It was fantastic!!
March 23, 2010
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By: rslubguban
What a hit! Everyone was trying to guess the flavors of the topping...everyone was surprised when I revealed the cranberry-apple combo. This was the most elegant and flavorful coffee cake I've ever made.
January 31, 2010
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By: yuki
This was great! The cake was moist and topping was wonderful flavor. I baked it in a rectangular Pyrex (7x11x2") and it came out perfectly. (I sprayed the Pyrex first) I'll make it again.
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