Cranberry Coffee Cake with Leftover Cranberry Sauce

If you’ve got leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving, this Cranberry Coffee Cake will be your new favorite thing… It’s a moist coffee cake with a cranberry filling and white chocolate glaze. Great for holiday house guests all weekend long and seriously good eats.

Have I mentioned my cookbook hoarding tendencies to you before? It’s real… and the 100+ cookbooks that I currently have on my bookshelves aren’t enough for me…  I’m constantly checking out 4-6 new cookbooks every week from my local library.  

The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion All Purpose Baking Cookbook made it into my last library checkout and when I leafed through it and found this super moist coffee cake made with leftover cranberry sauce, I did a fist-pump. It makes SO MUCH SENSE. Right???

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Ingredients you’ll need for cranberry sauce coffee cake:

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Almond Extract
  • Lemon Extract
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Note: The combination of almond, lemon and vanilla extracts gives this coffee cake a distinctive flavor reminiscent of wedding cake, but you can simplify it by using 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract if you don’t have the others.

What To Do With Leftover Cranberry Sauce

I mean, we all end up with a lot of leftover turkey and maybe a few sides, but there’s always leftover cranberry sauce. Since Thanksgiving is one of those family holidays where people travel and stay at their relatives homes, it’s not like you’re only making one meal… You’re making a weekend of meals. If we can put one of our leftovers to work in something as universally crowd-pleasing as a coffee cake — that’s a win to me…. and probably a win to you too. 

a bundt pan filled with the cake batter.

I changed up a few things in the recipe and used a trifecta of extracts (instead of just almond): vanilla, lemon and almond in equal measure. (Fun fact: this combination is actually the basic flavor of most wedding cakes). I nixed the glaze for something a bit more decadent and used the sliced almonds I had on hand instead of running to the store for the slivered variety.

This moist coffee cake gets mixed in one bowl, then transferred to a prepared bundt pan.  Fill the pan about halfway, then spoon in the leftover cranberry sauce. Top with remaining cake batter and bake. How easy is that? You can absolutely glaze this with a standard powdered sugar and milk glaze, but — you know — food blogger and all… I melted white chocolate and drizzled it over the top of the cranberry coffee cake then topped it off with toasted almonds — you know — for crunch.

This cranberry coffee cake is just packed with flavor. My lighting director and official taste tester (Emily) couldn’t wait for me to finish my last shot so she could dive into this particular slice of cranberry coffee cake. It was decimated in seconds.

This coffee cake is moist and tender with a great balance of sweet and tart.  Emily implored me to make another cranberry sauce, so we’d have more leftover cranberry sauce for another cranberry coffee cake...

a slice of cranberry coffee cake with leftover cranberry sauce.

More Moist Coffee Cakes:

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a slice of cranberry coffee cake and a cup of coffee.
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4.36 from 48 votes

Cranberry Coffee Cake

A moist, sweet-tart coffee cake, that’s great for using up your leftover Cranberry Sauce
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword brunch, cherry coffee cake, cranberry sauce, thanksgiving
Dietary Restrictions Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12


  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce (whole berry sauce preferred)


  • 6 ounces white chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds lightly toasted


  • ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract



  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously grease and flour a tube pan or bundt pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating into the batter thoroughly before adding the second egg.
  • Add the buttermilk and beat to combine.  Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together until well blended.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Spoon the cranberry sauce over the batter and top with the remaining cake batter. Smooth the top with a spatula and bake for 40-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cake rest in the pan for 5 minutes.


  • Preheat the oven to 325°.  Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them for 10-15 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant.  Shake the pan a few times while they are toasting so no one area gets too dark. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • You can go two ways for garnishing the cranberry coffee cake – either as pictured with melted white chocolate and toasted almonds or a traditional glaze. Pick the one that’s right for you.
  • FOR WHITE CHOCOLATE: Place the white chocolate chips into a small microwaveable bowl.  Microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring after each zap, until the chips are completely melted.  Drizzle the white chocolate over the cooled coffee cake. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.
  • FOR TRADITIONAL GLAZE: In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, milk and extract.  Mix until smooth and drizzle over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.


YouTube video


Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 243mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 330IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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Looking for a moist coffee cake? This Cranberry coffee cake uses leftover cranberry sauce for a sweet-tart finish to a holiday brunch. #cranberrycoffeecake #leftovercranberrysauce #moistcoffeecake #leftovercranberrysaucerecipes #cranberries #thanksgivingleftovers #holidaycoffeecake #bundtcake #brunchdessert #holidaydesserts #holidaybreakfasts #holidayentertaining #baking #coffeecakerecipes #fruitcoffeecakes

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  1. Mandi Cotter says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is not only delicious but super easy!!!! I made as directed but didn’t have lemon extract but saw we were going for a wedding cake flavor so used cake batter flavored extract …and the flavor worked out beautifully. Also after noting the cranberries sinking too much, I put all the batter in the Bundt pan and put the cranberries on the top …they sank but landed right in the middle this way…perfect!!!! 109% would recommend this recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe today only because I had leftover cranberry sauce. Absolutely loved the taste, the spongy texture and the added cranberry twist.
    10/10 would try it again.

  3. Nancy Taylor says:

    5 stars
    I made this cake today and was very excited to try it as I had homemade cranberry sauce leftover. Delish, though I had trouble with my cranberry sauce sinking and causing it to stick a little in the pan. Very good, though.