This Cranberry Walnut Coffee Cake is a delicious homemade treat for the holiday season. It’s impressive enough for a Christmas party but still so easy to make to add some simple festive cheer to any day of the week.
Is it just me or does the holiday craze increase year upon year?
I feel like Christmas decorations are pushed at me as soon as the word “pumpkin” has lost its glitz. Coffee to-go cups turn jolly while a dusting of pumpkin spice still lingers in the air.
And Christmas sales. Don’t even get me started.
I avoid leaving the house as much as possible on those Super Sale Sundays, which is really a synonym for Absolutely Crazy Madness.
I feel like this is as good a time as any to confess: I’m not a huge fan of the commercial “Red Truck X-Mas” shenanigans.
There, I said it.
Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I dislike advent and Christmas. It is, in fact, my favorite holiday to celebrate.
We just celebrate it a little differently.
By honoring the tradition of an advent wreath, which is four candles on a pretty plate in our house. (Hey, at least it was up in time this year. I consider this a win.)
Or by hanging garlands of stars in our windows, cut from old newspapers and put up with my exciting little lady. Who, by the way, snuck the scissors off the table while I was busy calming the little one for a second and attempted to cut out her own star.
And also by baking traditional gingerbread, Linzer cookies and coffee cake. By hanging an advent calendar that doesn’t rely on chocolate, but vintage Christmas illustrations.
OK, and a Playmobil one, because they are kids after all.
We also limit the presents they get underneath the Christmas tree. Not because we’re trying to be terrible parents, but because I remember it being really awful when you’re a kid and get into this kind of present rush. There was nothing waiting for me at the end but disappointment.
And I want my girls to experience the magic of Christmas with gratefulness. Not The Tears of Christmas Morning.
This is my way to celebrate though. And while I do advocate for less buying and more loving, I can’t force anyone to scale down on the mind-blowing amount of Christmas lights and gift shopping.
Though you have to admit, dear neighbor: Four glowing reindeers? Maybe a little overkill.
What I CAN do though is asking you to step back from the holiday rush for a minute. Stop feeling guilty because you think you put the decor up a day late. Don’t worry about the fact that Lisa next door has the better wreath on her front door.
Think about it… Do you really want to look back in 10 years and remember how much you agonised over Lisa and her stupid wreath? Or do you want to look back and remember the sparkle in your kids’ eyes? I know which one I’d choose any day.
So sit back. Calm down. And make yourself some seasonal coffee cake to enjoy, quietly or loudly depending on the age of your kids.
Because, you know, that coffee in the jolly to-go cup gets lonely otherwise.
How to make amazing cranberry walnut coffee cake:
This is a really easy cake to make for the holidays, and with a few tips it is truly foolproof:
- Definitely line the pan with parchment paper and leave an overhang. That way you can just lift out the entire cake once it has cooled a bit after baking! Do it before you do anything else, or you’ll feel rushed in the end.
- You can make the entire cake batter in the pot you use to melt the butter – genius! Less dishes to wash is always a cause of celebration for me.
- Melting the butter and stirring in the sugar is essential for this cake to work, but do make sure to let it cool down enough or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs once you add those.
- Using room temperature eggs is recommended, but it still works if you are scatter-brained (as I am) and use cold ones, just really really make sure your butter is at room temperature.
- Don’t overmix the cake batter, or you’ll end up with a dense cranberry flatbread.
This is how I like to celebrate the season – with cake. And this is really one of our stand-by favorites we make again and again.
If you’re not a fan of cranberry desserts, or you want to try something new after making this exact recipe twelve times (hey, not like I’m counting or anything…), it’s really easy to switch up:
- Since it’s an adaption of my apple bars, you can add finely chopped apples tossed in a little cinnamon and flour instead of the cranberries.
- Add blueberries and a lemon glaze if you want to carry over this cake to spring. Mental note to self: Blog about this in April or so.
- Add more chopped walnuts instead of the cranberries and add a cinnamon streusel on top. I have a really delicious streusel recipe here.
And now… Hush, off to the kitchen. Throw on your cutest apron and get baking.
At least that’s what I’m about to do 😉
Get the Cranberry Walnut Coffee Cake Recipe:
This post was first published as Cranberry Walnut Coffee Cake on Food Fanatic.