This Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert recipe. This is an easy dessert recipe you will be making all throughout the fall! So simple to put together and just perfect for any holiday party.
I know you are all busy with Thanksgiving preparations. Maybe some of you are lucky to be invited somewhere and don’t have to cook a thing. Maybe some of you have to bring a dessert. IF you do, you should consider this delightful cake! I found this lovely recipe almost 10 years ago in Ina Garten's How Easy is That? book that I just treasure.
I am so excited to share with all of you a delicious recipe from Ina Garten's “How Easy is that?” I had to get a copy of the book for myself and I have been busy exploring her wonderful recipes. The first recipe I was drawn to was an amazing apple cake with cranberries: Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake!
Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake
Originally published November 2010. Updated on October 31, 2020. This is one of my all-time favorite cranberry recipes. I hope you'll try to bake it this year!
I have made this cake every year since then for Thanksgiving. Everyone always loves it! I also make this Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie and this Vegan Maple Pumpkin Pie. Most years I also make this Salted Caramel Apple Pie.
I have been nominated by everyone to make this again for Thanksgiving. It was a hit…a huge hit! It is so easy to make. You don’t have to flip out it. You slice it out and there is the juicy fruit on the bottom and this moist and rich cake on top with a gentle cinnamon sugar sprinkle on top.
How to make the cake: step-by-step
My eyes are glazing over…look at all this gorgeous fruit!
First, gather all your ingredients. Peel and slice the apples. Then cut them into small (1/2 to 1/4 inch cubes – they don't have to be totally perfect) and mix them with fresh cranberries, orange zest and juice along with some cinnamon.
You could even sub in buttermilk if you're out of sour cream.
Can I make this cranberry cake dairy free?
Yes, you can make it dairy-free. Use vegan butter sticks to replace the butter (I like Earth Balance).
Sub in unsweetened coconut milk yogurt for the sour cream. OR you could even use any unsweetened nut milk in place of coconut milk yogurt.
Next step is to beat the eggs. Then mix in the sugar, butter, sour cream and vanilla. I did use vegan butter stick this time, but typically for guests I make it with real unsalted butter.
Either way, the cake is fantastic! After that, stir in the flour and salt.
Can I make this cranberry apple cake gluten-free?
Yes! You could make this gluten-free and use your favorite gluten-free 1-1 flour.
Once all the ingredients are mixed together, you pour the batter over the fruit in the pie plate. Sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar and bake in a 325 degree oven. After 55-60 minutes, your cranberry apple cake is ready.
While the cake is in the oven, your house will smell like a bakery. If you are searching for an easy cake apple and cranberry cake recipe to bake during the holidays, especially on Christmas, I highly recommend this delicious cake!
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Some more delicious cranberry desserts:
Source: Ina Garten's How Easy is That cookbook
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Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries rinsed and picked over for stems
- 1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored, and diced (I used 2 apples)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest 2 oranges (I used a lemon)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice I used lemon juice and lime juice
- 1 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon divided
- 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 pound 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl, combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and teaspoon of the cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. On medium speed, mix in the sugar, butter, and vanilla until combined. Turn mixer to low and slowly add in flour and salt.
- Spoon the cranberry mixture into a 10-inch glass pie plate (or casserole dish). Spoon the batter over the fruit mixture. Spread evenly over the fruit. Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. The fruit will be bubbling nicely all around the edges of the cake. Best served warm but still nice at room temperature.
Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels says
Aww thanks for the sweet words! 🙂 Your cake looks sooooo delicious, I seriously want to eat the whole cake you made! I wish I was in Florida and could have Thanksgiving with you 🙂
Cucina di Barbara says
Mamma mia che bontà!
Ne posso avere una bella porzione ?
Hunting for a dessert to bring to a Thanksgiving dinner. We may have a winner.
I love a good and easy recipe!
The Mom Chef says
This looks fantastic as well. I love the idea of whole, wonderful cranberries to bite into.
Wilde in the Kitchen says
OOo, yum! Everyone is posting such great cranberry recipes it is just so hard to pick!
Amazing! And so festive. The picture of the vibrant fruit is insane! Yum 🙂
Beautiful cake! Can't go wrong with Ina. Love the combination of apples and cranberries in a cake.
Wow, this does look easy. And love apples and cranberries together, so I'm positive I'll like this cake.
That looks so delicious and easy- beautiful!
So many of us have been inspired by cranberries and apples this season. I'm loving all the recipes I'm finding! This cake looks moist and chock-full of the good stuff (fruit, that is!) Thank you for sharing love...I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of good eating and fun!
Yum!! This cake looks so perfect for fall. I just bought some fresh cranberries, so this is very tempting! 😀
Liana @ femme fraiche says
This looks beautiful! I'm curious to know how it came out...was it a sweet cake? Or more of a spongey, tarty flavour!?
Green Girl @ A little bit of everything says
wow, such an easy but yet so delicious cake. love a good cranberry cake this time of the year.
p.s. I'm one of those lucky people that don't have to make anything for Thanksgiving, feels so good :d
I have Ina's cookbook, Barefoot in Paris, and LOVE it! I'm dying for her new one, it's on my Christmas wish list. What a beautiful cake, I love the cinnamon and sugar on top. Mmmmm...
Wow, you are on semi autmatic, shooting all these fabulous cakes for Thanksgiving! Love!!Got to get the book! Shulie
Cookin' Canuck says
What a pretty, festive cake. This is perfect for the holidays!
Conor @ Hold the Beef says
So much fruity goodness, with a crispy top to boot 🙂
This looks yummy...I have a bag of cranberries that I want to make something other than sauce with. Dessert sounds like a good option. Very pretty colors here.
I just discovered the fantastic combination that is apples and cranberries and I'm embarrassed at how behind I am! Love this cake recipe 🙂
Magic of Spice says
Oh wow, that is a fantastic cake! I am not surprised that everyone is asking for you to make it... very lovely 🙂
I love all Ina Garten recipes! I baked this last year for the holidays.
Lisa Deleo says
Definitely going to give this one a try. I have leftover homemade cranberry relish that was made with Grand Marnier that I’m going to use instead of fresh cranberries. I am almost 100% sure it’s going to taste wonderful with the apples.
Hi Lisa-Oh, wow! Your cranberry relish with the Grand Marnier sounds amazing! Keep me posted! Happy Baking! XX Lora