Buttermilk Cranberry Coffee Cake

by Rachel on October 5, 2010

Buttermilk Cranberry Coffee Cake.

It all started at Costco.  It’s finally fallish, by which I mean that it should be fall, but it isn’t really, even though the calendar says it should be.  Last week I asked my local grocer if they had fresh cranberries yet.  I was told, “no.”  And furthermore there wouldn’t be any until November.  Turns out my local grocer was WRONG, totally, utterly wrong.  We went to Costco yesterday.  While my husband loitered in the wine aisle my youngest son and I did the actual shopping.  He practically yelped with joy when he found a 45-pound bag of FRESH cranberries.  He’s a good kid, that one.  We brought in a wheelbarrow and hauled out our loot, including enough cranberries to make cranberry relish for thousands.  Once we got home I quick made up a batch of cranberry/orange relish (a two minute task, I promise).  I know, most of you think cranberry relish is just for Thanksgiving.  Much like my local grocer, you’re hopelessly wrong.  It makes a fine substitute for applesauce in many recipes, from muffins to cookies to cake.  I had leftover buttermilk in my fridge.  I know, that happens to you ALL THE TIME.  And I didn’t want to waste it.  So, I invented the following buttermilk cranberry coffee cake.  It’s super moist and the cranberry relish is terrific in it.


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1½ cups cranberry-orange relish (see recipe on this blog)

Streusel Topping

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter and flour a 9 x 12 baking pan.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until they are very light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and then add the Amaretto.

In a small bowl mix together the cranberry relish and the buttermilk.

Set the stand mixer on low speed.  Alternate adding the flour and the cranberry/buttermilk mixture in thirds.  Mix until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle with the streusel.  Bake until golden and cooked through, about 30 minutes.  Test with a cake tester to ensure doneness.  Have a cup of coffee.  Eat some coffee cake. Relax.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

x3baking October 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Whoa! a 45 lb bag. I don’t believe I have ever eaten fresh cranberries before. The texture of the cake looks irresistible. Are you going to make cranberry bread too?

Rachel October 6, 2010 at 6:18 am

x3baking: I’ve been known to exaggerate. Maybe it was only THREE pounds but looked like 45! I am going to make cranberry bread. I don’t think you can eat fresh cranberries plain. They are really sour. They are better in either a relish, or added to bread/cake or muffins.

x3baking October 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Haha, I didn’t know that. :) I’m very gullible as you can tell.

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