Spiced Cranberry Streusel Cake

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Wow, it’s been a minute! I cannot tell you how many recipes I have piled up in drafts that I never got around to making. But, I woke up this morning with a festive spirit and a bag of cranberries in my freezer, so here we are. I wanted something a bit more fun than a sheet cake but less fuss than a layer cake, and landed on this holiday delight. It’s essentially a giant cranberry-orange muffin.

I adapted the recipes for the cake and streusel from the linked sites, and the cranberry compote from some old America’s Test Kitchen magazine I couldn’t find online.


Cranberry Compote

  • 8 oz cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • splash of orange juice
  • orange zest


  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 454g (2C) all-purpose flour
  • 454g (2C) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 142g (5 oz) vegetable oil
  • 284g (10 oz) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  1. Combine ingredients for cranberry compote in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until cranberries have burst and mixture is saucy. Use a spoon to mash it up a bit. Pour into a bowl to let cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 13×9 baking dish.
  3. To make the cake, whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well with a spatula.
  4. Combine all ingredients for the streusel in a small bowl, and mix with a fork until no dry ingredients are visible.
  5. Assemble the cake! Pour half of the batter into the pan and smooth. Spoon over all of the cranberry compote and gently swirl. Top with the remaining half of the batter, continuing to swirl in the cranberry. Finally, crumble the streusel on top, gently pressing it into the batter.
  6. Optionally, toss a cup of cranberries in flour and top the cake before
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Mimi says:

    I’m inspired! Only things I don’t have on hand are fresh cranberries & buttermilk (does anyone actually drink that?) Would Cool Whip be a good enhancement?!?


    1. ayla4816 says:

      Baker’s secret: no one has buttermilk! Use a bit of lemon juice/vinegar and then add milk to get to the amount needed. And you can defrost frozen cranberries, too!


  2. grampa1949 says:

    Yumm! I sure hope there’s some streusel left when I get there Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

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