Yield: 9″ cranberry almond crumb cake // Total Time: 1 hr. 15 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.
Light and buttery vanilla almond cake, homemade cranberry jam, streusel & an almond glaze.
Cranberry Almond Crumb Cake
The perfect winter crumb cake is here. It starts with a light, buttery and fluffy vanilla almond cake. Then, we make a simple homemade cranberry jam (don’t worry – it’s sweetened!) Top that with streusel and sliced almonds, bake it – then top it with an almond glaze. The best part? Those GORGEOUS layers!
Cranberry almond crumb cake recipe tips
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient which can lead to the recipe not turning out properly. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Mix the batter carefully
It is super important to not overmix the cake batter or you end up with a tough and chewy cake rather than a light and moist cake. When alternating between adding the wet and dry ingredients, be sure to only mix just until the ingredient is fully combined and no more.
Room temperature ingredients
It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. If you have ever had your batter look curdled, it is most likely due to the ingredients separating from being at different temperatures. Take out the egg and buttermilk at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe OR follow these methods for room temperature ingredients FAST:
- Fast room temperature eggs. Place the egg in a bowl in the sink and continuously run hot water over it for one minute. And there you go – one room temperature egg! Alternatively (and less waste-fully) fill a bowl with warm water and let the egg sit in it for 5 minutes.
- Fast room temperature buttermilk. Microwave the buttermilk in 5 second intervals until it is no longer cold (but not hot!). And there you go – fast and easy room temperature buttermilk!
- Fast room temperature butter. Slice the butter into 1 tbsp. slices and place them flat on a plate. Microwave in 5 second intervals, until you can easily push into the butter.
Keep an eye on the cake!
Baked goods love to go from underbaked to overbaked in what seems like a split second. Start checking at the cake with a toothpick around 40 minutes. The cake is done when only a few moist crumbs stick to the toothpick.
Ingredients and substitutions
For the cranberry jam:
Cranberries: the star of the show! I used fresh but you can easily substitute in frozen.
Light brown sugar: for sweetening the cranberries. I recommend tasting the jam and adjusting the sugar as needed. You can also use granulated sugar here.
Lemon juice: just a tiny bit of citrus is used here to brighten up the jam. You can use fresh or bottled, and even orange or lime juice.
Corn starch: to thicken up the jam.
Water: used to dissolve the corn starch and make a slurry.
For the streusel:
Unsalted butter: the base of the streusel, really what makes it buttery and delicious. You can use salted butter here as well!
Light brown sugar: sweetens and adds flavor to the streusel. In a pinch granulated sugar will work here as well.
All purpose flour: adds structure to the streusel.
Sliced almonds: for texture and flavor.
For the butter cake:
All purpose flour: the structure of the cake. I would not recommend using cake flour as the cake is already super fluffy and tender using the all purpose.
Baking powder: for helping the cake rise.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the cake.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the cake and giving it that classic buttery taste. You can substitute in salted butter, just omit the extra salt from the recipe.
Granulated sugar: for sweetening the cake and keeping it moist. The sugar also helps aerate the butter to give this cake it’s rise and keep it light and fluffy.
Eggs: for moisture, structure, and binding the batter together.
Almond extract: for flavor.
Buttermilk: for tenderizing the cake and adding moisture. I highly recommend using buttermilk but I know it can be hard or annoying to purchase, especially if you don’t plan on using it for anything else. It won’t be completely the same, but you can make a homemade buttermilk substitute. For this recipe, simply combine 5g of lemon juice or vinegar with 145g of whole milk and use as normal.
For the almond glaze:
Powdered sugar: the base of the glaze.
Almond extract: for flavor.
Milk: to thin out the glaze. Feel free to use your favorite type of milk here, even just water will do!
How to make cranberry almond crumb cake
1. Make the cranberry jam. To a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, add the cranberries, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and stir the mixture occasionally until most of the cranberries have softened and popped open. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch and water, then vigorously mix it into the jam, stirring until it thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Make the streusel. In a medium sized bowl, melt the butter. Add in the sugar and flour then use a fork to mix the ingredients together until you have formed little clumps of dough.
3. Cream the butter and sugar. In a medium sized mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Beat in the eggs and almond extract until well combined.
4. Alternate wet and dry ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter, and mix just until no flour streaks remain. Then, add in all of the buttermilk, then mix until combined. Add in the remaining flour, gently stirring just until no flour streaks remain.
5. Bake. Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan, smoothing off the top. Gently spread the cranberry jam in an even layer over the cake, then top it off with streusel and sliced almonds. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
6. Glaze, serve and enjoy! Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk. Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, drizzle the glaze on top of it. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Cranberry Almond Crumb Cake Q & A
Can I double this cranberry almond crumb cake?
- Definitely! Simply double all of the ingredients in this crumb cake then split evenly between two 9″ cake pans.
How do I store this cake?
- Like most baked goods, this cake will taste best served on the day it is baked. However, it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and Ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
Did you make this cranberry almond crumb cake?
If you made this cranberry almond crumb cake I would love to see it and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Cranberry Almond Crumb Cake
- 280 g cranberries (~3 c.)
- 80 g light brown sugar (⅓ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. corn starch
- 1 tbsp. water
- 70 g unsalted butter (¼ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 90 g light brown sugar (¼ c. + 3 tbsp.)
- 120 g all purpose flour (1 c.)
- 30 g sliced almonds (⅓ c.)
- 190 g all purpose flour (1 ½ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 125 g unsalted butter room temperature (½ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 170 g granulated sugar (¾ c. + 2 tbsp.)
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 150 g buttermilk room temperature (⅔ c.)
- 90 g powdered sugar (¾ c.)
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- 1-2 tbsp. milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Generously butter a 9" cake pan. Crumple up some parchment paper, then un-crumple it and place it into the buttered cake pan, making sure it sticks to the bottom and sides. Set aside.
- To a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, add the cranberries, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and stir the mixture occasionally until most of the cranberries have softened and popped open.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch and water, then vigorously mix it into the jam, stirring until it thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, melt the butter. Add in the sugar and flour, then use a fork to mix the ingredients together until you have formed clumps of dough. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer, in a large bowl) beat together the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in both eggs and the almond extract. Beat until well combined (~1 min.)
- Add in half of the flour mixture, and mix by hand just until the flour is incorporated. Add in all of the buttermilk and mix until combined. Add in the rest of the flour, and lightly fold the mixture together just until all of the flour is incorporated.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top. Gently spread the cranberry jam into an even layer over the cake batter. Top with the streusel, followed by the sliced almonds.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs. Let the cake cool in the pan until it's no longer too hot to touch, then use the parchment to lift the cake out of the pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and 1 tbsp. of milk. Add more milk for a thinner consistency if desired.
- Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, drizzle the almond glaze over the top. Serve and enjoy!