Healthy Cranberry Coffee Cake
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!
Table of contents
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!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
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!
This cranberry coffee cake will keep for 3-4 days when well-wrapped or sealed in a container on the counter.
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.
We think so! With only real wholesome ingredients, it's a healthier take on coffee cake with no refined sugar or flour.
To make it vegan, swap the honey for maple syrup and use flax eggs in place of eggs.
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!
More cranberry dessert recipes
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Cranberry Coconut Macaroons
- Cranberry White Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes
Healthy Cranberry Coffee Cake
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
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.
Recipe doesn’t state what size baking dish to use; 8×8, 9×9, or 13×7…
Thanks for catching that! We use a 9×11-inch baking dish.
I made this twice and loved it, and am now making it again but the recipe is different. Can you send me or post the original one? It didn’t have coconut sugar, and the cranberry layer had something else in it, but I don’t remember.
The cranberry layer used to have flour in it, which we found unnecessary during recipe testing. It’s much better without it!
Hello… Can I use fresh blueberries or dried cranberries instead as cranberries are currently out of season ?
Fresh blueberries would make a good substitute!
I am excited to try this recipe! I am new to baking (about a year) and I’m really interested in learning to substitue properly for ingredients and just do things well. So I have a few questions before I start the recipe. Thanks in advance!
1) You ask for 9×11 dish. I have 9×13 or 9×9. Should I use 9×9?
2) Could I use maple syrup instead of honey?
3) I will be using frozen cranberries. Is it enough to thaw overnight in a tupperware container in the fridge? Should I discard (drink!) the juice from thawing or include that as well?
4) Do I make oat flour by just blitzing rolled oats into fine powder?
5) Can I sub some almond flour for part of the oat flour in the coffee cake part?
6) Can I freeze some of the cake and how long does it last in the fridge?
THANKS SO MUCH!!!
1) 9×9 will make them taller and you may need to cook them a few minutes longer.
2) That should work fine.
3) You can simply put them in a sieve and run them under hot water for a few minutes to thaw them. They don’t take long.
5) I haven’t tried that but there’s a good chance that it will work.
6) Coffee cake normally freezes well. It should keep for 2-3 days at least in a sealed container on your counter.
I hope that helps!
I have never heard of an 11×9″ pan.
Is this a glass pyrex dish or did you mean 13×9 inch pan?
Mine is 11×9. You could use a 13×9 but the cake will be a little thinner. 🙂
What type of oats are you using?
I used quick oats!
Do you think I could substitute blueberries for the cranberries?
I suspect that they would work well. You may want to reduce the sugar though as blueberries are much sweeter than cranberries.
Is it just me or I don’t see where the coffee is added into this cake? ? what part is it added
Coffee cake is just a type of cake … no coffee in the cake itself!
Do you think I could bake this in a 9 inch springform pan?
You totally can … just keep an eye on it and adjust the baking time as needed. 🙂
Oh boy…….. these sound SO good Kristen! I love cranberry, and am so putting this on the list to make!
Yes yes! It really was good. 🙂
Cranberry coffee cake is one of my faves this time of year. Your version looks unbelievably good. And I loved reading about your grandother’s wood stove. My grandmother’s was much the same only she never baked unless for a holiday. I’m trying to picture what it’s like to bake in that kind of an oven and I seriously cannot. I also wonder how anyone got around without a vitamix or food processor… ?!
Ha ha it’s so true! We just got back from a holiay and before we left we joked about packing the Vitamix. I couldn’t live without mine!
This looks so yummy and festive Kristen- I can’t wait to try it!
The cake looks great and I have been meaning to bake something with coffee for a while now… I hope to be able to buy cranberries soon, I haven’t seen any yet. And I love the fact that there is no sugar in it!
Have you looked in the frozen section? I will often find them there and they’re one of the few things that I find are just as good frozen as fresh. 🙂
Very cool. So I see that you used all oats and not a flour/oat combination. I’m planning to do something similar, and have been reading conflicting reports about oat flour’s ability to sustain leavening. Do you think that would also work well in a cake, or do you think oat flour is more suitable to a coffee cake or quick bread?
Yes, I ground the oats to make oat flour rather than using regular wheat flour. I suspect that oat flour would not work so well in a cake. It’s pretty heavy so I don’t think it would give the right texture. I think it would end up being one of those cakes that gives gluten-free “healthy” baking a bad rep. 🙂
Oh yum! As a food blogger, I can totally relate to you falling asleep thinking about food and doing thes same when you wake up. Sometimes I jot down ideas on a sticky note beside my bed in the middle of the night! lol Love the “make-over”. I did the same thing this afternoon with a muffin recipe. Fun when it turns out, isn’t it?
Such a great idea to keep a notepad at your bedside. I’m totally going to start doing that!
By the looks of this, you’d never know it’s healthy. It looks so decadent and gorgeous and ahhhI want a piece!
And it really doesn’t taste like it is healthy either. Win!
Coffee cake is my jam–cranberry coffee cake definitely takes it a step further. Pinning! Happy Friday 🙂
It’s so good, isn’t it?! Thanks for the pin!
I really need to buckle down and make some gf/vegan coffee cake. I used to LOVE it, but it’s been years (like 8 years….)
You do, girl! It’s so good. 🙂