Dense cranberry cake with crumble | Great table

Serves 24


  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick; 85 grams) butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature, plus extra for the pan

  • 1 ½ cups (300 grams) packed light brown sugar

  • ¾ cup (102 grams) all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  • 2 ½ cups (340 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

    TST-BakeSmart book cover

    Bake Smart: Sweets and Secrets from My Oven to Yours
    Samantha Seneviratne

  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda

  • 1 ¼ cup (250 grams) granulated sugar

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick; 113 grams) butter at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon (6 grams) finely grated orange peel

  • 2 large (100 grams) eggs at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup (160 grams) full-fat sour cream at room temperature

  • 3 cups (320 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed if frozen

(Frozen cranberries will chill and set the batter immediately, but that’s okay, even if it will take a few extra minutes to bake the cake.)


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter and line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two long sides. Butter the parchment.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, and salt.

Add the butter and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed. The mixture should look like evenly moistened sand.

Set aside.


In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, butter, and orange zest with a mixer on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beating the orange peel with the butter will allow its flavor to penetrate the batter more effectively.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping into the bowl as needed.

Beat in the vanilla.

Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the sour cream and then the remaining flour mixture. Do not mix.

Transfer half of the dough to the prepared pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula. (The layer will be thin.)

Sprinkle about 1 cup of the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top.

Top with about half of the cranberries.

Roll out the remaining dough on top of the cranberries and spread evenly with an offset spatula.

Top with remaining cranberries.

Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly on top and squeeze it into different sized pieces.

Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

If you used fresh cranberries, start checking the cake after about 35 minutes. If the cranberries were frozen, the cake may take up to 55 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Using the parchment paper, carefully lift the cake and transfer it to a cutting board where you can slice and serve.

Cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen for 1 month; thaw at room temperature before serving. (The sweet frosting may get a little soggy over time, but the cake will still taste great.)

Recipe from BAKE SMART sweets and secrets from my oven to yours by Samantha Seneviratne. Copyright © 2023 by Samantha Seneviratne. Used by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

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