I kind of don’t know what to call this…the recipe is called “cranberry snack cake” but my waistline cannot take snacks like this. Can it be cranberry coffee cake if it doesn’t have streusel? I’ve been describing it as a cranberry vanilla cake, I guess? But that sounds boring.
Regardless of what we decide to call, it GUYS I’M SO IN LOVE WITH IT.
My sis brought this cranberry cake to Thanksgiving last year, and while most people went for the rich pies and bars, I zeroed in on this right away (and immediately begged her for the recipe).
Since then it’s gone into my regular comfort food rotation. It’s also SO easy…you can have it in the oven in about 15 minutes and using only the bowl of your stand mixer, making it a perfect no-fuss dessert or treat.
The cake can be made with either fresh or frozen cranberries. I’ve only made it with frozen (since I had them in my freezer), but it’s worth knowing that frozen berries create one big issue—it can make the batter seize up and harden. It’s totally fixable (you have to just use your hands to smoosh it into the cake pan), but good to be aware of.
I’ve made a few adjustments to the recipe, including lowering the sugar a bit and adding a little white whole wheat flour (both of which I think improves the taste a bit). You don’t have to use the whole wheat flour if you prefer not to, but I think it gives it a nice depth of flavor.
The original recipe is for a 9×9 pan, but I’ve also included ingredient amounts for a 9×13 pan…basically you’ll want to increase the amounts by 50% rather than double them. My pics below are a mixture of the two pan sizes.