Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake Loaf

by Heather on November 18, 2011

I don’t know about y’all, but cranberry orange is one of those flavor combinations that wakes me up better than a 6-mile run in the morning.

Just so we’re clear here, I am NOT running while pregnant.  I wasn’t doing it a ton before, so it didn’t make sense to try to keep training after I found out.  Which is precisely why I need cranberry orange coffee cake – no caffeine, no running – what’s a girl to do?


All I have to say is thank the Lord for orange zest with its bright color and equally bright flavor.  Or the little bursts of cranberries, which I’m obsessed with lately, that brighten the day with every little bite.  Or big bite.  To each their own.

This is completely random, but you want to know what my favorite part about making breads is?  Besides the eating part?  Removing the bread from the bread pan to cut it.  It’s like I’m unearthing a magical treasure.  There’s the cutting around the edge to loosen it, the cautious turning of it upside down, the silence right before it slides out where you throw up a Hail Mary and hope for the best, and the massive sense of accomplishment when the thing comes out whole, perfectly browned, and smelling like an angel.  Really, where else can all that happen in a) the comfort of your own home and b) within the span of about 2 seconds?


That, plus the wake-me-up! flavor of the cranberry orange equals a good day.  A very good day indeed.


  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1 scant cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup of cranberries
  • zest from one whole orange
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl whisk together the butter, sugar, egg, and milk.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add that, plus the oats, to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold in the cranberries and orange zest.  Spray an 8X4 pan with nonstick spray and pour the batter inside, making the top as even as you can.  Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar on top (I made the mistake of sprinkling it only down the middle and it made the middle fold in – oops!).  Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out evenly.  Let cool completely before removing from pan and slicing.  Enjoy!

Also, I am kind of in love with the color of cranberries and want to paint my life that color.  That’s normal, right?

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat November 18, 2011

That’s the most gorgeous coffee cake. I love the addition of oats!


2 Jessica @ How Sweet November 18, 2011

so pretty!


3 Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food November 18, 2011

Love the color of cranberries too! Such a beautiful shade! :-)


4 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) November 18, 2011

i love that flavor combo too! looks good!


5 Jamie November 18, 2011

Mmmm this is so like my own recipe but I love you add oats. Gorgeous and I can smell and taste it now! Time for me to pull a sack of cranberries out of the freezer! I need a slice now! Love it!


6 sara November 18, 2011

Yum! I love cranberries in coffee cake – great bursts of super tart flavor, and it totally makes me feel that the holidays have arrived! :-D


7 Krista November 18, 2011

Mmm Heather that looks delish! It’s a little sad, but I’d forgot how much I love the cranberry/orange combo until I saw this!!! With all of my food allergies I can’t eat your version, but you’ve inspired me to create SOMETHING with these flavours that I can eat today.
Thanks! :)


8 Jen of My Tiny Oven November 18, 2011

I love it! Looks amazing!


9 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 18, 2011

Cranberries + orange really is such an amazing combo. My mom makes homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving with orange and I just wish the house would smell like that all the time!


10 Delishhh November 18, 2011

I was going to ask wow – 6 mile run that is fabulous :). I did run 3 miles up to 4 months but after that i was starting to get uncomfortable and i stopped. Swimming is the best but as the weather got cold here i don;t want to go into a cold pool :). I am with you on the cranberry orange – but favorite too.


11 Cassie November 18, 2011

Agreed! Excellent flavor combination, the loaf is beautiful!


12 Maria November 18, 2011

First with the lemon dessert obsession and now with orange cranberry? I think you are my foodie soulmate.


13 Clare @ SweetnSimple November 18, 2011

Gorgeous colours and flavours.. definitely trying :)


14 Olivia H. November 18, 2011

Oh my goodness, this looks wonderful! Thanks for posting so many great recipes! :)


15 olivia November 18, 2011

Looks great! Is it 4 tablespoons of butter or 1/2 a cup (8 tablespoons)?


16 Heather November 19, 2011

oh, you’re right! typo on my part – I changed it to say 1/4 cup or 4 Tbsp. thanks olivia!


17 Kim in MD November 19, 2011

This looks delicious, Heather!


18 Baking Serendipity November 19, 2011

I am crazy for orange and cranberry flavors this time of year and that bread looks absolutely perfect. I’d love this wake up call in the morning :)


19 Andrea Abel-Bey (Quest for Delish) November 21, 2011

these look so moist and yummy.


20 janetha @ meals & moves November 22, 2011

anything with both loaf and cake in the title is fine by me. also, i love the combo of cranberry and orange! one of the best!


21 Brittany November 24, 2011

The cranberries make it look so pretty! I am definately going to make this soon!


22 Antoinette January 14, 2012

Made the cake and it is wonderful! I did make a streusal topping for it though instead of the sprinkled brown sugar:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)


23 Heather January 14, 2012

sounds fantastic! i’m so glad you liked it and made it your own :)


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