A soft and moist almond flavored cake filled with fresh cranberries and topped with a sweet almond streusel. A delicious breakfast or dessert for the holiday season. Choose between two pan sizes and whip up this incredible cake anytime you choose.
Get ready to sink your teeth into the very best Cranberry Cake! The combination of almond and cranberry is a match made in heaven! This soft almond cake is studded with fresh cranberries, topped with an almond streusel, and drizzled with almond icing.
Cake: The base of this cake is an almond-flavored cake that is soft and moist and filled with fresh cranberries.
Topping: An almond streusel topping gets sprinkled on top of the cake before baking. This crumb topping adds a sweet almond crunch to every bite.
Bake: Bake this cake in a 9×9 or 8×11 pan for 30-40 minutes.
Icing: After cooling, drizzle the cake with an almond icing made from powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Texture: Thanks to the butter/sugar creaming technique as well as the addition of sour cream this cake bakes up ultra soft and moist. The crunchy almond topping contrasts wonderfully with the tender cake.
Flavor: The combination of sweet almond and tart cranberry is incredible!
Versatility: This cake can be served for breakfast alongside a cup of coffee or tea. It can also be dessert, topped with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
Ingredient spotlight: almond extract
Aside from the cranberries, almond extract is the star of this recipe. It adds the perfect almond flavor to every layer (cake, topping, AND icing). Be sure to use pure almond extract, not imitation, for the best flavor. Almond extract is much stronger than vanilla extract, so use it sparingly.
Butter should be room temperature so that it blends easily.
Use thick sour cream (full fat or low fat) so that the batter isn’t too thin. Daisy brand is my favorite.
Don’t overmix. In order to keep the cake light and tender make sure to mix the cake batter until just combined.
Stir in the cranberries by hand (using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon). This ensures that they don’t get broken up by the mixer.
Don’t overbake. As you approach the end of bake time watch the cake closely, pull it out of the oven as soon as a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Pan size options
This recipe can be made in a 9×9 square baking pan or an 8×11 rectangle baking pan.
9×9: This makes a slightly thicker cake. It will take a little longer to bake than the 8×11 pan.
8×11: This is my preferred pan size. The cake is thick, but not too thick. It bakes a few minutes faster than the 9×9.
Do NOT try to squeeze this batter into an 8×8 pan. There will be too much batter and the edges will dry out before the center is cooked through.
Can you freeze cranberry cake?
Yes. Double wrap leftover slices of this cake and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw a slice anytime you need a sweet treat.
Almond Cranberry Cake
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour*
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ teaspoons almond extract
- ⅔ cup sour cream, thick sour cream is best
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 scant cups fresh cranberries
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons milk
- drop almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 6 tablespoons butter and ⅔ cup sugar for several minutes, until creamy and well combined. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Beat until just combined. Add the sour cream and 2 tablespoons milk, beating until combined. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients. Add the cranberries and use a rubber spatula to gently fold them into the batter.
- Grease a 9×9 square baking pan or 8×11 rectangle baking pan**. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Make topping.
- Combine butter, sugar, flour, and almond extract. Use a fork to stir and mash the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the sliced almonds and mix until combined. Sprinkle the topping over the top of the cake batter. Bake for 30-40 minutes (begin checking at 30 minutes, see note), until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the cake pan on a wire rack to cool.
- Whisk all icing ingredients. Adjust the consistency as necessary by adding more powdered sugar or milk. Drizzle over the top of the cake.