If you’re looking for a show-stopping Thanksgiving or Christmas Day brunch item, look no further! This Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake can be made in advance and offers a tender, moist cake with juicy cranberries and crunchy walnut streusel.
I cannot even believe that Thanksgiving is next week!
How did this happen? Wasn’t my birthday (January 24) a few weeks ago? I could have sworn I was just in Portland a week or so ago (April). And now red and green everything is being shoved in my face and I’m already hearing Taylor Swift renditions of Christmas carols. WAIT UP, WORLD. I’M STILL IN EARLY 2016.
So, I suppose this begs the question: What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
Every year, I beg and kick and scream to make Thanksgiving dinner because there’s something so lovely and Norman Rockwell-y about tying on an apron, chopping veggies for stuffing and basting a glorious bird all day long. Also, I’m a control freak and like to be in charge of how things are prepared. #bossy
But every year, my grandma also kicks and screams about making Thanksgiving dinner, and since she’s a grandma and has seen like, wars and stuff, I usually let her cook the dinner but insist on bringing sides… Coincidentally, all the sides I like to eat. But as usual, she always persists that she wants to make all of it but I draw the line at desserts. My grandma – bless her – is NOT a baker by any means, and ahem, I kinda sorta have a best-selling cookbook about DESSERT so it’s kinda mandatory that I bring dessert.
Even though she still buys a frozen pie. *facepalm* Where’s the wine?
So this year, as usual, I am delegated with the task of making desserts. And of course, since I am a control freak/the world’s most indecisive person, I will make no less than 4 different pies, and probably cookies, brownies/bars, and/or a cake. Because I like having options, okay!?
But since I also don’t have any other kitchen tasks and can make all my desserts ahead of time, I’m going to surprise my family (well, unless they read this) with this Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake again.
This cake is based off of my Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake (which you absolutely NEED to make!) but made with bright, zippy cranberries and crunchy walnuts in the inch-thick brown sugar streusel, then topped with a light orange glaze.
It only looks complicated because it’s kinda sorta gorgeous. But I assure you, this couldn’t be simpler: you literally let the pan do the work for you! And the star of the show today is the springform pan. It’s essential for this recipe, but if you don’t have one, a tall-sided 9″ round cake pan should work.
Now get to feasting!
***UPDATE: Some folks are having issues with the cake baking fully. I updated the recipe (12/2017) and reformulated the crumb topping by halving the original recipe. I apologize for everyone who previously had issues with this cake! To help with the issue of the cake being underdone in the center, I also increased the baking time. Some tips: make sure you’re using a 9″ or 10″ round springform pan (nothing smaller), test your oven to make sure it is properly calibrated, and make sure your leavening ingredients (baking soda and baking powder) are fresh.***
- FOR CRUMB:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 & ¼ cup cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- FOR CAKE:
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 & ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- FOR GLAZE:
- 1 & ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" round sprinform pan with cooking spray. Place a 9" parchment round in the bottom of the pan, then grease the parchment. Set aside.
- For the cake batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and sour cream; beat well. Lastly, add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined. Fold in the cranberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and set aside.
- To make the streusel/crumb: In a large bowl, toss together the crumb ingredients until moistened and large crumbs form. Liberally drop crumb mixture over the cake batter, covering it completely. There will seem like a LOT of crumb, but use all of it!
- Bake for approx. 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
- Just before serving, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the cake, then release the cake from the pan and cut into slices.
Juicy, bright cranberries. Crunchy, buttery walnut streusel. Is there anything better?!
Have a super sweet day!