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Cranberry Christmas Cake on a plate with a fork

Cranberry Christmas Cake

This Cranberry Christmas Cake is a coffee cake that is similar to a quick bread. It is dotted with bright red cranberries and makes for a festive addition to a holiday breakfast or dessert.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12 or more


  • 9x13-inch baking dish or 9-inch loaf pan


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, melted (3 sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (or gluten free)
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries (see note)

Optional Decoration:

  • sparkling sugar flakes or powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish or pan and set aside. Alternatively, a 9-inch loaf pan may be used.
  • Beat the sugar and eggs together well for 5 to 7 minutes with a stand or hand mixer. The mixture should almost double in size. This whipping steps is used instead of a leavening agent.
  • Beat in the melted butter until incorporated, then add the extracts and blend.
  • Stir in the flour until just mixed, then fold in the cranberries.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. For mini loaves, the baking time should be reduced.
  • Cool cake to room temperature, cut, and serve.


Note: You could use frozen cranberries for this cake.  I recommend not thawing them.  Just fold them into the batter frozen.  
Adapted from a recipe from my cousin's neighbor
You're Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword breakfast, cake, cranberry, gluten free, holiday