Rustic Almond Coffee Cake with Cranberries

Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

This is a cake from Zoë Bakes Cakes and in the book, I baked it with grapes; juicy, sweet, but slightly tart, table grapes. It’s curious why grapes are rarely used in baking, unless dried into raisins. They are juicy and have such a wide range of sweetness and flavor, depending on the variety. They’re also a perfect match for almond paste, an ingredient with which I’m more than just a bit smitten; there are so many ways to play with the slightly creamy, earthy flavor. Together with the olive oil, the combination makes a gorgeous cake that’s just as suited for a holiday table as it is for a Tuesday-morning coffee cake. The moist cake is also one that lasts for days, so if you need a cake you can bake ahead for your holiday morning, this is the one!

So many flavors will go with the cake base and I encourage you to play with the fruit you add.

Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

I went with cranberries because they express the season we’re heading into like no other fruit. They are tart, bright, and add a pop of flavor and color to the cake. It turns out they are the perfect match for the almond and olive oil. Raspberries, blueberries, or even chopped bittersweet chocolate will also be excellent baked into this cake. Please make it your own and let me know what you’ve created by tagging me on Instagram @zoebakes #zoebakes and/or #zoebakescakes, so I can find you and your cakes.

Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake
Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

Rustic Almond Coffee Cake with Cranberries

This gorgeous cake is just as suited for a holiday table as it is for a Tuesday-morning coffee cake. It is super simple to get the dreamy texture of this cake, because the batter is made in a food processor, so the almond paste is blended smoothly. It yields a cake that is dense and tender at the same time. Try the variation with kirschwasser-soaked dried cherries or cranberries in place of the grapes.
5 from 4 votes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 1 10-inch / 25cm cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 7 oz (200g) almond paste, cut into small pieces, plus 4 oz (115g), cut into 1/4-inch (6mm) cubes See note
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) olive oil See note
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract homemade vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 5 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (240g) halved grapes (any seedless variety) Or halved cranberries or dried cherries

Topping

  • 1/2 cup (60g) almond slices
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 4 drops orange blossom water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F /175°C. Generously grease and flour a 10-inch / 25cm tube pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a food processor, combine the pieces of almond paste (7 oz), sugar, olive oil, vanilla, almond extract, and orange zest and process until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, pulsing to combine after each egg.
  • Add one-third of the flour mixture to the oil mixture and pulse just until combined. Repeat with another one-third flour and then the final one-third. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, fold the chunks of almond paste (4 oz) and half of the grapes into the batter.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and top with the remaining grapes.

Topping

  • In a small bowl, combine the almonds, sugar, orange zest, and orange blossom water and rub together with your fingertips. 
  • Sprinkle the topping over the batter and smooth with a spatula. Set the pan on a baking sheet. 
  • Bake until the cake is golden and a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving. 

Notes

  • The almond paste needs to be soft, or it won’t incorporate smoothly. If it is old and dried out, it will just stay in clumps.
  • You can use any oil, but there is something so special about olive oil in this cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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17 thoughts to “Rustic Almond Coffee Cake with Cranberries”

  1. Cake looks amazing! Is almond paste the same as marzipan? And if not, can marzipan be used in this recipe?

    1. Marzipan is not the same thing as almond paste. I wouldn’t substitute the one for the other though I’ve read that in a pinch you can but should then cut back on your sugar as marzipan has more sugar and less almond than almond paste.

    1. Hi Sandy! Zoë does not have a bakery, but wouldn’t that be so fun?! There are some amazing bakeries to try in MSP, though—Zoë loves Cafe Ceres, Rustica Bakery, Bellecour (in Cooks of Crocus Hill), and Patisserie 46 to name a few. Cheers!

  2. 5 stars
    I have a very small food processor and not sure if this recipe will fit. Can I do this in a stand mixer or will my almond paste not combine? I did make my own almond paste so it is fresh and very soft. I can’t wait to pick up some slivered almonds and get this recipe in the oven. Thank you for sharing you knowledge and fabulous recipes.

    1. Hi Kathy! The main thing is to make sure the almond paste combines smoothly with the other ingredients in step 3. If yours is fresh and soft, it may work just fine in a mixer!

  3. I have a question regarding instructions. You say to add almond paste with wet ingredients & pulse until smooth.
    Next step you add flour & then recipe says to fold chunks of almond paste into batter. Confused – do we reserve some of the paste for this step??

    1. Hi Ginger, yes! In the ingredients you’ll see 7 oz + 4 oz almond paste. In the food processor you’ll add the 7 oz and later you’ll fold in the remaining 4 oz. I’ve updated the recipe to make it more clear. Happy baking!

  4. Do you not cook cranberries before adding them to cake? I LOVE almond cake and this combination sounds spectacular!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this and its delicious! Its very moist. I even froze a couple pieces and it was perfect after it defrosted! This is a wonderful coffee cake!

    1. Hi Pat! This recipe really won’t work as well without a food processor because you need to combine the ingredients in step 3 until smooth and the food processor does such a good job of breaking down the almond paste.

    1. Hi Nancy, Zoe has not tried it with either of these substitutes to replace the cake flour, but it should work with either or a combination, the cake will just have a different texture. If you do experiment with these substitutes, we’d love to know how it turns out!

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