I always like to make something special for Thanksgiving. Years ago, before I started the blog at all, I made an original apple pie recipe for a friends’ Thanksgiving we’d go to every year back when we lived in California. Once I started The Broken Bread, I made a graham cracker crust, marshmallow meringue pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving—and I still think it’s one of the tastiest things I’ve ever made. And now this year, John and I only have a few days between returning from a huge trip abroad and leaving yet again to visit family for the holidays, so I developed a recipe that’s delicious but quick. Cranberries, apples, and cardamom all tucked under brown butter streusel—how could it go wrong? I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving, and if any of you are looking for a dessert to bring to your family, I hope this cake will do the trick!


Cranberry & Apple Coffee Cake

Yields 1, 9×2 cake

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp

3/4 cup granulated sugar

Zest of one orange

2 Eggs, room temp

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup +1 tbs buttermilk  

1 cup cranberries

1/2 cup diced green apples

Brown Butter Streusel

4 tbs unsalted butter

¼ cup + 3 tbs  flour

¼ cup + 3 tbs brown sugar

3 tbs granulated sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp kosher salt

Equipment: 1, 9-inch springform pan or a 9 x 2 cake pan, standing/handheld mixer, medium bowl, whisk, zester, spatula, cooling rack


To make the streusel, add the butter to a small saucepan or skillet and melt over medium heat. Once melted, continue cooking the butter until it appears medium-brown in color and has a nutty scent, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately transfer to a small bowl; let cool to room temperature.

While the butter is cooling, in a medium bowl whisk together the flour, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Once combined, pour in the cooled browned butter and stir until combined.

If you want to form a larger crumble, simple squeeze portions of the streusel in your palm and crumble with your fingertips until desired consistency is reached.

To make the cake, set rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 350F°. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of the cake pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Add the sugar and orange zest to the bowl of a standing mixer. Rub the orange zest into the sugar until fragrant and slightly orange in color. Add the butter to the sugar and with a paddle attachment beat until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.

Add in the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk in three additions beginning and ending with the flour. Once the flour has just combined, add the cranberries and the apples, and gently mix a few times to incorporate the fruit.

Pour batter into the cake pan and top with streusel. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then release the sides of the pan and allow it to cool completely before serving. If you are using a traditional 9x2 cake pan, allow the cake to almost cool completely before removing. Once cool, loosen the sides, then place a flat plate or cutting board over the top and flip the pan to release the cake. Place another plate or cutting board on the bottom of the cake and flip back over.