This tender cranberry coffee cake is packed with tart cranberries and a hint of orange zest, and loaded with slivered almonds and a sweet crumb topping. Try my paleo apple cinnamon coffee cake next.
Happy October, everyone! This is when it’s now socially acceptable for me to start decorating the house with pumpkins and apples, wear nothing but shades of beige and black, and watch my electric bill plummet while I cease using the AC.
It’s the (second) most wonderful time of the year.
I’ve been dying to start making all things cranberry for the holidays, and I’ve decided that I don’t have to wait for the holidays! With the weather cooling down, I start to crave things like casseroles and coffee cakes.
I no longer want egg whites and a fruit salad for breakfast. I want waffles, and piles of pancakes, and coffee cake – hence, this cranberry coffee cake.
But here’s the thing about waffles and piles of pancakes and coffee cake – they’re loaded with gluten and dairy, and that’s a big no-no for a paleo diet. And since I’m stubborn as hell, I’m not giving up my fluffy breakfast confections.
So that means I had to find a way to make them gluten free, dairy free, lower carb and refined sugar free. And guess what? I did it, and it’s beautiful. The smell alone kinda got me in the holiday spirit, which is good because I am desperately trying to get ahead on my recipes so that I have more time to drink and be merry once winter rolls around.
Paleo baking with almond flour and coconut flour
I’ve been spending a lot of time learning the ways to use almond flour and coconut flour, and it’s not as easy as swapping one for another. Almond flour can be mostly a 1:1 ratio for all purpose flour, but you have to use more baking powder to get more rise out of it.
Coconut flour is sort of a pain in my ass – it’s much more absorbent, so you can’t just use it as a 1:1 ratio of all purpose flour. With that said, the right combination of the two can result in a perfectly puffy and tender cake when paired with the right amount of rising agent, egg and oil.
Using coconut sugar as a paleo sweetener
And of course you need a little bit of sweetener, for which I used coconut sugar. Coconut sugar has been a real life saver, because using maple syrup or honey isn’t always the right option. I wanted this cake to have a tender crumb, but I didn’t want it to be heavy. Coconut sugar to the rescue, my friends. Outside of that, there’s nothing crazy about this recipe!
Storing cranberries to have on hand
I always stock up on cranberries and freeze them – I’m basically never without at least two bags of cranberries at any given point and time. You can add them to the batter straight out of the freezer and the result is just as delicious as cranberries fresh out of the bog.
They get all wrinkly and give the coffee cake those perfect little pockets of tart deliciousness.
As for portion size, you can slice this into nine pieces or 16 – totally up to you. I like huge pieces of coffee cake, so of course I cut it into nine.
But you should all be proud of me because I resisted the urge to make some sort of vanilla drizzle to just douse the thing.
Mind you… there are still a few pieces waiting to fulfill their purpose. It’s not too late.
After you’ve made this recipe, please leave a comment below with a rating – and if you came from Pinterest, add a photo to the Pin of what you make to the pin to share your experience!
Coconut flour is extremely absorbent, so it's not a 1:1 swap since you also need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe as well.
I haven't tried it personally with all almond flour, but in theory you should be able to substitute the 1/4 cup coconut flour with 1 cup almond flour and remove 1 egg. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!
Wednesday 5th of December 2018
Has anyone tried using coconut milk instead of almond? It’s all I have in the house.
Friday 7th of December 2018
It should work, texture wise, but you may have a slightly different taste due to the additional coconut flavor it will add.I haven't tried it myself, but perhaps add a 1/2 teaspoon more of vanilla extract to balance it out. Good luck!
Tuesday 10th of October 2017
This looks so moist and would be perfect for a light breakfast on Christmas morning!
Wednesday 11th of October 2017
It totally would!
Sunday 8th of October 2017
This looks so good! I love cranberry in sweets.
Monday 9th of October 2017
Me too - they're so underrated!
Sunday 8th of October 2017
This looks so good and I love that this is gluten free and paleo! I'm having a hard time finding cranberries at my store...there are no fresh and no frozen!! As soon as I can get my hand on some, I'll be making this coffee cake!