Cranberry Almond Cake

$3.76 recipe / $0.47 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.83 from 28 votes
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Cranberries are the new pumpkin. I want fresh cranberries in everything lately. I had half of a bag of cranberries stashed in the freezer and almost made a second batch of Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal, but then I decided I wanted something a little sweeter. So I threw together this super festive and visually stunning Cranberry Almond Cake.

The concept is super simple, almond flavored white cake topped with fresh cranberries and almonds, but the flavor and presentation are nothing short of elegant. If you’ve never made a cake from scratch (in other words, not from a box), you might be surprised at just how easy it is. It literally took minutes. You don’t have to be “good” at baking to make this Cranberry Almond Cake, although you’ll probably want at least a basic hand mixer to help you get the light, fluffy texture going.

If you’re in charge of dessert for Thanksgiving, this Cranberry Almond Cake is simple and festive… and as for the rest of party season, this would be a really quick fix if you don’t want to show up at someone’s house empty handed. I just kept it all to myself in my fridge and have been sneaking a slice here and there all week (oops, now my coworkers are going to be mad). ;) NOM!

Cranberry Almond Cake

Top view of a Cranberry Almond Cake with one slice taken out, pine cones in background for staging

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Cranberry Almond Cake

4.83 from 28 votes
This Cranberry Almond Cake is super fast to prepare and the perfect festive dessert for the holiday season. 
This Cranberry Almond Cake is super fast to prepare and the perfect festive dessert for the holiday season. BudgetBytes.com
Servings 8
Prep 15 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 50 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ($0.20)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder ($0.06)
  • 1/2 cup butter (salted, room temperature) ($1.04)
  • 1 cup white sugar ($0.32)
  • 2 large eggs ($0.54)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract ($0.14)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract ($0.14)
  • 1/2 cup milk ($0.16)
  • 6 oz fresh cranberries (about 1.5 cups) ($0.50*)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds ($0.66)

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder until very well combined. Set the flour mixture aside. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with a mixer until they are light and fluffy (start on low speed, then increase to high). Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and beat again until the mixture is very light and creamy in texture (start on low speed again, then increase to high. Beat for about one minute on high).
  • Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low until the flour is incorporated. Add half of the milk and beat until incorporated (it may look a little lumpy at first). Repeat with the second half of the flour and then with the second half of the milk. The end product should be a light, fluffy cake batter.
  • Rinse the cranberries and then roughly chop them so that that each berry is at least cut in half. Fold 1/2 of chopped cranberries into the cake batter. Spread the cake batter into a 9-inch pie plate coated with non-stick spray, the sprinkle the second half of the cranberries over top. Use your fingers to slightly poke the cranberry pieces down into the top of the batter. Sprinkle the almonds over top and press them lightly into the cake batter. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the cake and almonds are lightly browned on top.

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Notes

*Got a super deal on fresh cranberries at Aldi. $0.99 for a 12oz. bag!!

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 359.96kcalCarbohydrates: 47.79gProtein: 6.01gFat: 16.78gSodium: 183.38mgFiber: 2.06g
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Close up of a slice removed from a Cranberry Almond Cake in baking dish

Top view of a full Cranberry Almond Cake with a slice taken out and plated on plate with fork

Step by Step Photos

Dry Ingredients for Cranberry Almond Cake in mixing bowl

Stir together 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 1/2 tsp baking powder until they are well combined.

Butter and Sugar in separate mixing bowl

In a separate bowl, beat together 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar until it looks light and fluffy. Make sure the butter is room temperature or else it won’t incorporate with the sugar. Also, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times as you beat the mixture together so that there aren’t any large lumps of butter left behind.

Creamed Butter, Sugar, Eggs and Extracts mixed together with whisk

Add 2 large eggs and a 1/2 tsp each of vanilla and almond extracts. Beat again until the mixture is very light and creamy, on high about one minute. (This is my favorite stage of any cookie or cake batter. I have to use all my will power not taste…)

Milk and Dry Ingredients mixed together in mixing bowl

Next, beat in half of the flour mixture. It will get pretty thick, so just beat it until it looks well incorporated (30 seconds or so). Then add half of the milk (1/4 cup) and beat it until it’s incorporated (it may look a little lumpy, that’s okay). Beat the rest of the flour in, followed by the rest of the milk (1/4 cup). In the end, it will look super light, creamy, and velvety like this. This is when I thought to myself, “Who decided to ruin cake batter by baking it?”

Cranberries added to mixing bowl to be folded into batter

Lightly chop 6oz (1/2 of a standard 12 oz bag) of cranberries so that each berry its at least cut in half. I didn’t take the time or care to slice them all in half individually. You just want to make sure they’re at least cut so that they don’t swell and pop while they bake. Fold half of the chopped cranberries into the batter.

Batter poured into pie dish

Spread the batter into a 9″ pie plate coated with non-stick spray. Sprinkle the rest of the cranberries over top, then push them down into the batter.

Cranberry Almond Cake batter in pie pan topped with sliced almonds

Sprinkle 1/3 cup sliced almonds over top and kind of push them down into the batter so that they stick. Then just pop the whole thing in the oven for about 35 minutes at 350ºF. When it’s finished, it should be golden brown on top (the cake AND almonds).

Cooked Cranberry Almond Cake in pie dish

Let it cool a bit before slicing in.

Top view of baked Cranberry Almond Cake with one slice removed

 I LOVE CRANBERRIES!

One slice of Cranberry Almond Cake on a plate

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  1. Oh this one is a loved treat in our home! Sometimes I have left over whole cranberries frozen from fall…but I don’t right now. I’ll try another store to see if they have some in the freezer — if not — could I make this with frozen cherries instead? Hoping you have an idea that will still let this requested cake be on our Easter feast table. You are the BEST!!

    1. Cherries would probably be great! I would use tart cherries instead of sweet, though, to maintain that sweet-tart balance.

      1. Tart cherries is what I selected too and I’m looking forward to giving this a whirl. I “think” I should thaw and drain the juices from the berries before adding to the cake batter for baking (or else it’ll turn the whole cake pink, which is ok so long as you expect that)

  2. I tried this recipe with a few substitutes and it still came out great! My family doesn’t eat eggs so I replaced that with egg replacer mix, I used almond milk instead of regular milk, I didn’t have enough all purpose flour so half of the flour I used ended up being almond flour to make it 1 and 1/2 cup, and I also didn’t have the almond or vanilla extract so I simply added a dash of sugar to replace it. Overall it came out amazing even with these adjustments. I highly recommend this recipe, however, maybe not with as many risks as I took. I might have just gotten really lucky with my replacements.

  3. I love this recipe! I’ve made this many times and it’s so easy but has a big impact. Everyone loves it! I’ve made it with blueberries in the summer too. It’s a great potluck dessert, but it’s also delicious for a brunch. Highly recommend this recipe!

  4. U said to sprinkle sliced almonds on top of cake my whole was ruined burnt I couldn’t even take it out of the oven because it wasn’t cooked horrible recipe disaster my hard work and money all gone down the drain

  5. How would timing be affected if this recipe were to be split into 2 ramekins or 6” pie plates?

    1. Unfortunately, I’d need to test it to find out for sure. I don’t think I could make an educated guess with that one.