There is just something about cranberries that screams the holiday season. Some of this has to do with the fact that they are in season right now, but I think some of it also has to do with the nostalgia of that classic and (honestly) kind of gross canned jiggly cranberry sauce that has been a part of the holiday season for a long time.
But cranberries can be a lot more than sauce, even the homemade kind. They are a beautiful and versatile fruit that packs some serious flavor. They work well with apples and pears, berries and cherries, but they can totally shine on their own. I love a cranberry cake or bar and have made quite a few over the years.
This is a different twist than I have made before being that it’s a loaf cake, has a cranberry sauce based glaze, and has the nutty addition of poppy seeds. It’s the poppy seeds that add such a unique twist and complementary flavor. Who knew cranberries and poppy seeds were besties?
This cake is going to be your bestie this holiday season as a hostess gift, paired with tea, or part of Christmas morning breakfast.
This loaf has all the holiday vibes with fresh cranberries, orange zest, and a hint of vanilla.
2 cups paleo flour blend (2 cups almond flour, 1 ¼ cup tapioca starch, ¾ cup coconut flour)
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup maple sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder
Zest of 2 oranges
1 cup coconut oil, room temperature
3 large eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 heaping cup fresh cranberries
½ cup coconut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
Zest of 1 orange
¼ cup homemade cranberry sauce
¼ cup honey
2–4 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 325 degrees F convection. Oil a loaf pan.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, vanilla, zest, and oil until well combined and lightened in color and texture. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in half the flour, followed by all of the milk. Finish the batter by stirring in the remaining flour, seeds, and baking soda. Stir in the cranberries until well distributed, and pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan.
Once the cake is cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, place all the ingredients (starting with 2 tablespoons of the milk). Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir vigorously, mashing the cranberries into the coconut butter. If not fully melted, microwave 15 additional seconds. Once the glaze comes together, pour over the cake, slice, and serve.
Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.
Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes