Cranberry Almond Cake is such a delicious cake! It has a dense, yet moist, almond flavored cake base topped with fresh tart cranberries, toasted almonds and a sugar “crust” top that sets this cake apart from others! It will surely become your go-to holiday cake (it is a perfect Cranberry Christmas Cake).
Cranberries are in season from October through December. I think that is why they are considered a “holiday” berry, mostly used for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
They are distinct bright red berries that ooze a really tart juice when heated. In recipes they are usually paired with quite a bit of sugar to balance the tartness of their juice.
Fresh cranberries freeze amazingly well, so when they are in season buy a couple extra bags and pop them in the freezer. Most recipes that call for fresh cranberries can be interchanged with frozen.
Check for these ingredients in your kitchen to make this amazing cake recipe:
- fresh or frozen cranberries
- vanilla extract & almond extract
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- sliced almonds
- powdered sugar
Room Temp Eggs
For this recipe you will want to use room temperature eggs. This will help the cake rise faster and ensure that the cake cooks in the time noted on the recipe card.
To bring your eggs to room temperature faster you can place the eggs in a bowl of warm water for about 5-10 minutes.
Making Cranberry Almond Cake
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Grab an 8 inch pan (round or square, glass if you have it), prepare it by spraying with baking spray or greasing with oil.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or can use a hand held mixer), on medium/low speed cream the butter and sugar together until it is light in color and creamy.
While mixing add the vanilla extract and almond extract and one egg at a time. Mix for about 2 minutes. It will grow in size and become fluffy and light. This will help with the leavening and tenderness of the cake! Turn off the mixer.
In a seperate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add half the flour mixture to the batter and mix just until combined, then add remaining flour and mix just until combined. Do not overmix the batter at this point or you will end up with too much gluten and a really tough cake.
With a wooden spoon or spatula scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish (the batter with be really thick!). Spread it evenly in the pan.
Sprinkle the cranberries over the batter. Then sprinkle on the almonds. Finally sprinkle the sugar over the top.
Pop in the oven for about 35 minutes. The cranberries will bake into the cake and the edges and top will be golden brown. (if you are using a dark metal baking pan, check the cake at 30 minutes)
Let the cake cool for as long as you can before slicing, between 1 – 2 hours. You want the cake to settle before cutting. If you can make it 12-24 hours in advance I highly recommend it!
Cut into 9 squares (3×3) and serve! It’s great as a dessert or a breakfast bread with coffee.
Store any leftover cake loosely covered with foil, at room temp. You can keep the cake for about 4 days.
More Cranberry Recipes
If you are looking for some more recipes using fresh or frozen cranberries (and one with dried), here is a great list to look through:
- Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Cranberry Punch
- Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Bacon
- Cranberry Margarita
Cranberry Almond Cake Recipe
Cranberry Almond Cake
- 8×8 baking dish
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- ½ cup butter softened at room temp
- 1 cup sugar + 2 tbsp for sprinkling on top
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs at room temp
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare an 8×8 baking dish by spraying with cooking spray or greasing with oil or butter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a hand held mixer and mixing bowl) combine the softened butter and 1 cup sugar until combined. Add in the almond extract and vanilla and one egg at a time. Continue mixing for about 2 minutes. The batter will grow in size and become light in color. (do not skip this step, it will help the cake leavening and make it tender!)
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.Mix half the flour mixture into the batter, then add the other half and mix just until combined. The batter will be thick!
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Smooth it out so it is evenly distributed in the dish.
- Sprinkle the cranberries on top, then add the almonds, and finish by sprinkling the sugar evenly over top (all the way to the edges).
- Bake the cake for about 35 minutes, if using a glass baking dish. If you are using a dark metal baking dish then you will want to check the cake at about 30 minutes.
- You will want to let the cake cool for 1-2 hours. This will allow the cake to settle and the cranberry juice to seep into the cake. IF you can, make this cake a day ahead (12-24 hours)!
- Cut the cake into 9 squares (3×3) and serve! It is excellent with a cup of hot coffee!
- Keep this cake loosely covered at room temp for up to 4 days.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.