Leftover Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake is a super moist coffee cake with a hidden layer of leftover homemade cranberry sauce and a delicate almond topping. The perfect way to use up that extra Thanksgiving cranberry sauce.
I know I’ve sometimes mentioned in my blog that Christmas always sneaks up on me. I’m really not the best planner. But as soon as it’s cranberry season again, I am busy planning holiday menus and experimenting with different cranberry recipes, like this Leftover Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake!
Originally posted November 2018 and updated November 27, 2020.
Leftover Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake
I don’t know about you, but I always seem to have some leftover cranberry sauce in my fridge. This Thanksgiving we really enjoyed our Italian Cranberry Sauce! This Cranberry Bundt Cake is also super fabulous and easy to make!
I seem to always take care of what I need to the week before Christmas. It’s frenetic and it’s sometimes a little stressful, but I always get things done. You may be like me and find yourself with containers of leftover cranberry sauce in the fridge. This is what you need to make with leftover cranberry sauce!!
I thought baking this Leftover Cranberry Sauce Cake would be a good reminder of a gift I always want to give: mini tea cakes at holiday time (you could make this recipe in mini size to wrap and give as a gift). The recipe is found in The Gourmet Cookbook from 2003 (gosh, do I still miss that magazine!). It’s supposed to be made in a regular size loaf pan. You can make it in mini loaf pans, one regular size loaf, or even a Bundt!
Can you use jellied cranberry sauce for this cake?
You have to use homemade cranberry sauce, not jellied. If you haven’t had time to make your own sauce, you could puree’ 2 cups of cranberries with 3/4 cup of sugar and let it drain in a sieve before using it in the recipe. I’ve made it both ways and prefer it much better with homemade cranberry sauce. At the current time I have two containers of cranberry sauce in my fridge, so this will be made again this week!
This is my favorite cranberry sauce recipe; you could use it or use your own.
How to make homemade cranberry sauce?
1. In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in orange juice and water (or just water).
2. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes).
3. Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl.
4. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
How to make the cranberry swirl?
Be sure to not get close to the cake batter edge. Leave at least a 1/2-inch space to the border. If you add less cranberry sauce, you could gently give it a swirl with a butter knife when you add the 2nd part of cake batter. I’ve made it both ways: with a swirl and without. And sometimes it creates it’s own swirly design even without me touching it.
Does homemade cranberry sauce need to be refrigerated?
1. Homemade cranberry sauce needs to refrigerated. Refrigerate the cranberry sauce within two hours of cooking.
2. Keep refrigerated in a covered container.
3. Homemade cranberry sauce should keep for 10-14 days in the refrigerator.
4. You could also freeze any leftover cranberry sauce.
Can you freeze this coffee cake?
Yes! They freeze very well. Simply wrap in two layers of plastic wrap and place in freezer storage bag to freeze for up to 2 months.
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slightly adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook (2003)
Some other cranberry recipes to try:
- Cranberry Meringue Pie
- Cranberry Glazed Turkey Tenderloin
- Gluten-Free Cranberry Muffins
- Vegan Cranberry Coffee Cake
Leftover Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake
- 3/4 cup homemade cranberry sauce*
- 1 granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- ½ cup butter *1 stick (I used Earth Balance margarine)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest from 1 medium orange
- 1/2 cup milk I used almond milk
- 1/4 sliced almonds
- 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray (or grease it).
- Pulse cranberry sauce in a food processor until finely chopped (do not puree); set aside.
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and orange zest. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternatively in batches, beginning and ending in flour. Mix until just incorporated.
- Spread 1/2 of batter evenly in the prepared loaf pan. Spoon half of cranberry sauce (about 6 Tablespoons) evenly over batter, leaving a 1/2-inch border along sides. Cover with the rest of the batter. Spread the batter over the sauce.
- Option with cranberry sauce: Add the remain cranberry sauce on top of the batter and gently give it a swirl (using a knife).
- Sprinkle on the almond slivers and turbinado sugar (if you're using it).
- Bake for 55 minutes or until a thin bladed knife inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. (I checked my cake at about 50 minutes. Every oven is different). Let cool for 30 minutes. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.