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Cranberry Crumb Cake

5 from 18 community reviews

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Bursting with cranberries, this cranberry crumb cake is a simple coffee cake perfect for holiday snacking or any day of the week.

Cranberrry Crumb Cake Recipe

This fresh cranberry crumb cake is just what you might crave on a crisp fall day, and it’s easy to mix up and bake.

It’s a tender buttermilk cake, studded with cranberries, topped off with buttery brown sugar crumbs and more cranberries.

This cake is similar to an old-fashioned summer berry buckle or cobbler, only it has a bigger proportion of cake to crumb. I say yes to that!

Cranberry Crumb Cake

Fruit buckles, cobblers and crumbles

Fruit buckles are simple, old-fashioned cakes with buttery streusel toppings, very similar to cobblers and crumbles.

But when all those summer berries are out of season, cranberries are perfect candidates for buckle-baking.

Cranberry Crumb Cake

This cranberry cake is scented with fresh citrus zest (you can use orange or lemon), and the inside of the cake is full of whole cranberries.

Cranberry Crumb Cake

The berries soften and split open while the cake bakes, staining the cake with beautiful patches of crimson.

I think my favorite part of this cake are the buttery crumbles on top – the sweet crumbs merge so nicely with the tart cranberries.

Steps for making cranberry crumb cake:

The batter for this cake comes together quickly in a standing mixer, although you could use a hand mixer instead.

  • Start by taking a stick of butter out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you’re ready to make.
  • At the same time, preheat your oven to 350 and center the racks in the middle of the oven.
  • Make the topping in a small bowl, blending with a fork until it looks like big clumps of sand.
  1. Beat the butter with sugar until it looks fluffy, then add eggs, vanilla, flour and buttermilk.
  2. Stir in half the cranberries – fresh or frozen – into the batter and scrape into a square baking pan. Top with the crumbs and the rest of the berries.
Image of a batter for cranberry crumb cake in a pan, with crumb topping and fresh in a bowl alongside.

While the cake bakes, some of the cranberries pop open and blend with the sugary crumbs, giving you a burst of sweet-tart when you take a bite.

Image of a batter for cranberry crumb cake in a pan, with crumb topping in a bowl alongside.

This is the kind of cake you’d be so happy to find at a neighborhood bakery – one that bakes in small batches with seasonal produce.

But who needs a bakery when you can mix up this cake and serve it warm from the oven?

Cranberry Crumb Cake photo showing baked cake in a square pan with a blue towel.

More easy fruit cakes and muffins:

Cranberry Crumb Cake

Cranberry Crumb Cake

Karen Tedesco
Cranberry Crumb Cake is a quick and easy coffee cake studded with fruit, perfect for a fall and winter holiday treat.
Print Pin
5 from 18 community reviews
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10 servings


Crumb Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (70 g) unbleached all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (60 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Cake Batter:

  • 1 ¾ cups (210 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk or sour cream
  • 8 ounces (225 g) fresh or frozen cranberries


  • Preheat oven to 350 (175C) degrees and butter an 8-inch square baking pan.

To make the crumb topping:

  • Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor, or mix in a bowl using a fork or pastry blender, until coarse crumbs form. Set aside.

To make the cake batter

  • Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
  • Cream the butter, sugar and zest in a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low while adding half the flour mixture and half the buttermilk until just incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk. Stir in 1 cup of the cranberries.
  • Scrape the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly and distribute the remaining cranberries over the top. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the cranberries.
  • Bake 45-50 minutes or until top is light golden brown and the cake feels firm. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the crumb mixture if you like spice.
  • Use fresh or frozen cranberries – no need to thaw
Based on a recipe in Rustic Fruit Desserts


Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 361IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. 5 stars
    Loved this crumb cake!!! How would I use protein flour instead of white flour

    1. Hi Bonnie – Do you mean bread flour when you say “protein flour” – if so, I’d just be sure not to overmix the batter since bread flour contains a higher percentage of gluten. Glad you enjoyed!

  2. Can you confirm how much butter should be used for the cake batter? Your recipe states “4 tablespoons (60 g) 1/4 cup unsalted butter” which seems confusing.

    1. Sue – Confirming the recipe calls for 4 tablespoons butter, which is 56.7 grams.

  3. Maryellen says:

    5 stars
    The absolute best coffee cake! Perfect.

  4. Can this be made with dried cranberries?

    1. Dried cranberries should be fine in this cake, although the baked cake won’t look as full of fruit. I would rehydrate dried cranberries in warm water for about 15 minutes, then drain and add to the batter.

  5. Allison in Atlanta says:

    5 stars
    Made it this morning. Holy Cow, is it delicious! Easy recipe with fantastic results- thank you!

  6. Laura Burns says:

    So easy to make but it tastes like a lot more work! This will become a family regular recipe! TY Karen!

  7. I made this yesterday and brought it to work. Soooo good! Contrast of tart & sweet is perfectly balanced. My coworkers think I’m da bomb ? ? Thanks for making me look good, Karen ?!

  8. I can usually find frozen cranberries year-round at Whole Foods. This buckle looks like a great breakfast as well!

  9. This buckle does look very pretty with the red striking cranberries. It’s too tempting to just look at. I would love to make some of these 🙂

  10. This is right up my alley. I love the combination of cranberries and orange in a not-too-sweet cake. The topping adds a nice touch, too.

  11. I’m off to stock up on cranberries today. This looks soooooo yummy!

  12. I am with you – I get a little exicted when the cranberries start showing up. I buy them with wild abandon! In fact, I bought two bags today. I am going to make this buckle for dessert tonight, and enjoy leftovers for breakfast in the morning.

  13. That looks yummy! We’ll have to make that soon, too.