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This cranberry coffee cake is much like traditional coffee cake, but it's gluten and refined sugar-free. It's made with oat flour, studded with tart cranberries, and topped with crumble. It's the perfect treat for impromptu hosting around the holidays, and it's ready in just 50 minutes.
If you love baking with cranberries, also try our cranberry banana bread!
This cranberry coffee cake is moist, flavorful, and festive. Plus, it's one of those healthier treats you can enjoy any time of day!
We don't always feel the need to make desserts healthy, but sometimes it's nice to have a wholesome treat around. Plus, we experimented with this recipe and it's so much like traditional coffee cake that you may not even know the difference.
The recipe uses coconut oil instead of butter, oat flour in place of regular flour, and honey instead of white sugar. To make it, we simmer some cranberries with honey for the cranberry layer. Then we mix together a simple three-ingredient crumble. For the coffee cake, it's the usual wet ingredients, dry ingredients, then mix the dry into the wet. Layer it all into a pan, and bake it until it browns.
It's the perfect not-too-sweet treat that we keep on hand around the holidays to welcome family and friends. It's delicious at room temperature or warmed up, and tastes especially great with coffee (of course).
Cranberry coffee cake ingredients
This coffee cake with cranberries is made with simple wholesome ingredients that you're likely to have in your pantry. Here's what you'll need for the oat flour coffee cake:
- The dry ingredients: Milk, coconut oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla.
- The wet ingredients: Oat flour, baking powder, and salt.
- The cranberry layer: Cranberries and honey.
- The crumble: Oats, coconut sugar, and coconut oil.
This healthy coffee cake recipe is really flexible so you can use what you have on hand, or tailor it to your taste and preferences.
- Milk – you can use regular milk, or any non-dairy milk alternative like almond milk, oat milk, soy, or coconut cereal milk.\
- Coconut oil – melted coconut oil takes the place of traditional butter in this recipe, and it works perfectly to add moisture. Look for virgin coconut oil that's purer and less refined. But you can use regular butter or a non-dairy butter alternative.\
- Honey – maple syrup works well as a vegan liquid sweetener alternative. Note that you will taste the yummy maple flavor.
- Oat flour – you can also use whole wheat flour or a mix of both. Scroll down for tips on making oat flour with a blender. Use certified gluten-free oats if necessary.\
- Oats – regular rolled oats are what we use, but you can use quick oats in a pinch. Use certified gluten-free if needed. Steel-cut oats will not work in this recipe.
- Eggs – you can replace the eggs with flax eggs. To make a flax egg, stir together 1 tablespoon of fresh ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until it forms a gel. Use in the same way as eggs!
- Coconut sugar – any type of sugar will work like cane sugar, brown sugar, or granulated sugar.
- Cranberries – fresh or frozen cranberries both work equally well. They add a nice tartness and make it festive, too. If you don't love cranberries, any type of berry will work.
How to make cranberry coffee cake
This is a healthy coffee cake recipe you can feel good about eating any time of day! Here's how we make it in a few simple steps:
- Start by simmering the cranberries in a pot with honey until they start to burst.
- The crumble is super simple to make by mixing together the oats, coconut sugar, and melted coconut oil.
- To make the coffee cake, start by mixing all the wet ingredients together.
- In a separate bowl, mix the dry coffee cake ingredients together. Then, you know the drill: add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and whisk until just combined.
- Pour the batter into your baking dish, dot with burst cranberries, and top with crumble.
- Bake until it puffs up and the edges start to brown. Allow it to cool slightly then cut it into 12 slices. Enjoy, with a cup of coffee, of course!
How to make your own oat flour
Buying oat flour can be expensive, but it's actually really easy to make at home. All you need is a blender and rolled oats. To make oat flour, place rolled oats into your blender and blend on high for 30 seconds until the texture resembles flour.
If you like baking with oat flour, blend a larger amount and store it in a jar or container to save yourself a step next time!
What to serve with cranberry coffee cake
Whether or not you're a coffee cake for breakfast person (like we are), this cranberry coffee cake tastes great with coffee or tea or whatever you fancy. It also makes a lovely dessert with some fresh whipped cream, coconut whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.
Also, try this dairy-free lemon poppy seed coffee cake!
How long does it keep on the counter?
This cranberry coffee cake will keep for 3-4 days when well-wrapped or sealed in a container on the counter.
Can I freeze it?
Definitely! Bake it ahead and let it cool completely before storing it in a freezer-proof container. It will keep in the freezer for up to a month. Allow it to thaw on the counter at room temperature for 3-4 hours.
Is this coffee cake healthy?
We think so! With only real wholesome ingredients, it's a healthier take on coffee cake with no refined sugar or flour.
How do I make it vegan?
To make it vegan, swap the honey for maple syrup and use flax eggs in place of eggs.
The Coffee Cake
- 1 cup milk (I use almond, but any neutral flavoured milk will work)
- ½ cup coconut oil (melted)
- ½ cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 ¾ cups oat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
The Cranberry Layer
- 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- ¼ cup honey
- ¾ cups oats
- ¼ cups coconut sugar
- ¼ cup coconut oil (melted)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×11-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Begin by making the cranberry layer, add the cranberries and honey to a small pot. Bring them to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the cranberries begin to break down.4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, ¼ cup honey
- To make the crumble, mix the oats, coconut sugar, and melted coconut oil in a small bowl.¾ cups oats, ¼ cups coconut sugar, ¼ cup coconut oil
- In a large bowl, whisk the milk, melted coconut oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla.1 cup milk, ½ cup coconut oil, ½ cup honey, 2 large eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the oat flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined.1 ¾ cups oat flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and dot the cranberries over the batter – the batter is quite thin so the cranberries will fall into the batter a little. Top with the crumble.
- Bake the cranberry coffee cake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until it puffs up slightly and the edges start to brown. Let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting it into 12 slices and serving.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.