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Best Low Fat Cranberry Coffee Cake Recipe

Updated on March 4, 2015

Cranberry Harvests in New England, Ohio and Michigan

Cranberry bog in harvest season.
Cranberry bog in harvest season. | Source

The cranberry is a fruit that has been harvested by Native North Americans for thousands of years. A staple food, it is often mixed with other ingredients like honey and nuts in such foods as pemmican. Dried cranberries as food helped the Native Americans to survive harsh winters and today, we call them "Craisins."

A Great Blue Heron flies over a full cranberry bog.
A Great Blue Heron flies over a full cranberry bog. | Source
5 stars from 1 rating of Low Fat Cranberry Coffee Cake

Cranberry Coffee Cake Recipe With Some Sugar Alternatives


  • 1 Number 10 size can (14 to 16 oz) whole-berry cranberry sauce, lo-sugar if available *
  • 1 Cup low fat margarine or butter substitute, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup white sugar or Sugar Twin
  • 2 Whole Eggs (or 3 egg whites)
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Cup low fat sour cream
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ½ Cup chopped walnuts

GLAZE INGREDIENTS (optional, but very tasty)

  • 1/3 Cup confectioners sugar - some markets carry a powdered sugar substitute.
  • 5 tsp water
  • ½ tsp almond extract

* In the autumn, you can buy a couple of bags of fresh cranberries in your local produce department at the supermarket and freeze them for use in the spring. This provides a fresh fruit type of experience at Easter or during other spring celebrations. At the same time, you can use fresh berries to make your own cranberrie sauce in the autumn and winter and this coffee cake recipe is also great for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Make your own cranberry sauce by putting one bag of the berries (12-16 oz) in a pan on the stove top with 1 cup of water and sugar to taste. I like to use some honey instead of sugar and add a sweet apple peeled and chunked up. Cook over medium high heat until most of the berries have popped and remove from heat and cool. Then serve or use in the coffee cake recipe.


  • Using a large mixing bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar by using a pastry creamer or a fork.
  • Beat the eggs slightly in a smaller bowl and add these beaten eggs to the creamed mixture. Combine completely, mixing well.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl and add these dry ingredients carefully to the creamed mixture, stirring in a little at a time and mizing well.
  • Next, add the sour cream a little at a time, until well mixed.
  • Add the almond extract and mix thoroughly.
  • Place 1/3 of this coffee cake batter into a cooking-sprayed 9-in square baking pan to form Layer One.
  • Top the batter layer with 1/3 of the cranberry sauce and spread evenly to make Layer Two.
  • Repeat layers One and Two, twice, for a total of 6 layers of batter and fruit.
  • Sprinkle walnuts over the top of the last layer.
  • Bake the coffee cake at 350 degrees F for 50 - 60 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the coffee cake from the oven and place on cooling rack.


  • For glaze, combine all of the glaze ingredients and mix, then drizzle the glaze over the cake after it has been turned out onto a serving plate. An alternative is to drizzle a little honey over the coffee cake. Orange blossom honey (my favorite) is especially flavorful and a good combination with cranberries. If you use this bit of orange, then you might garnish the top of the coffee cake with some freshly grated orange zest.

Some States are Lush with Cranberries

show route and directions
A markerMassachusetts -
Massachusetts, USA
get directions

B markerNew Jersey -
New Jersey, USA
get directions

C markerOhio -
Ohio, USA
get directions

Cranberry Bog State Nature Preserve is located at Buckeye Lake, east of Columbus, Ohio.

D markerMichigan -
Michigan, USA
get directions

E markerWisconsin -
Wisconsin, USA
get directions

Cranberry Cooking Anytime

Cranberry Trivia

Cranberries grow around the Great Lakes Region of Canada and Northern USA. Centuries ago, Native Americans and First Nations (in Canada) dried cranberries to use as food during long winters in which they sometimes could catch no game animals to eat.

The Native Americans made a type of jerky out of deer meat and cranberries, mashing these two ingredients together into somethng like a cake or loaf that they called "pemmican." They also discovered that the mashed berries helped to treat arrow wounds quickly, preventing infections. For the decoration, the native peoples used the red juice from the cranberry for dyes for their clothing and artworks.

Eastman Johnson - Cranberry Pickers, Nantucket


Health Benefits of Cranberries

© 2008 Patty Inglish


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    • breakingnews profile image

      breakingnews 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Looks really great information for all age

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      This is definitely looking good! I am definitely going to try it!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Coffee cake, cranberries, AND it's low calorie. This sounds like a recipe made just for me. I really want to try this one for the holidays.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      This is a delicious recipe - Go ahead and cut your cakes, but take a picture first. LOL

    • Vondre profile image

      Vondre 9 years ago from Columbia, SC

      Thank you so much for the cake recipe. It looked amazing and tasted great! It was so beautiful that we didn't wanna cut the masterpiece. Thank you so much once again for sharing.

      Well, I too have a cake related hub page as well. Just click on my picture to check it out when you have time

      Happy Baking!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      That makes sense! I'm ~ 3/8 Mohawk (and maybe some other) and many of that nation intergrated with whites and formed some pretty successful businesses. Others went to the reservation in New York and migrated across the border to Canada, where Mohawks comprise a pretty strong politcal party. Only one band of Mohawks is recognized by US govt. and no reparatios. Oh well, :)

      It WAS a great scene. I am going to try to find the film on eBay.

    • JarrodHaze profile image

      JarrodHaze 9 years ago

      Not entirely sure... but most signs point to Mahican. New England Native American tribes get a bit hard to track, but it's likely that when the rest of the Mahicans were forced to emigrate to Wisconsin area most of the ones that stayed back integrated into white settlers, hence my 1/32. :)

      Sounds like a great scene... I only know him from Captain Castille, which we saw in film class.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Haha, it might, JarrodHaze! What nation(s) is that 1/32?

      I just saw Jay Silver Heels in a 1940s film in which his only scene was of him doing a double take at a Southwest Native American infant that was singing scat and jazz. LOL

    • JarrodHaze profile image

      JarrodHaze 9 years ago

      Just noticed your Cranberry Trivia section now, too! That jerky loaf sounds rather nice. ANyway, I think the cake will work out... after all, I'm 1/32 Native American... cooking with cranberries might still be in my blood! ;)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      I really hope you like this one! Native Americans used cranberries that grow several places in Ohio for health reasons and to get them through the winter when other food was scarce. I love them.

    • JarrodHaze profile image

      JarrodHaze 9 years ago

      I'll be trying this out tomorrow at this year's first barbecue!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thanks for the comments!

      MM - Paired with another fruit, cranberries are more enjoyable for a lot of people, although some just plan don't like them at all. Apples and pears are good matches. Thanks for posting!

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 9 years ago from NSW, Australia

      I am not a fan of cranberries, but since I read this hub, I might try it. thanks for the info.


    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Thanks for sharing I never have enough of coffee cake recipes.

      great hub regards Zsuzsy

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      I love cranberries too, especially the tartness.

      I read some articles about transplanting donor cells from healthy Isles of Langerhans in the donor pancreas to Type I diabetes patients with some positive results. But, I want it to be like Star Trek where they give you a small tablet, and you grow what you need in an hour!

      Hope you like the coffee cake.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I've heard about the benefits of both. Unfortunately, I think these primarily help with Type 2 diabetes, as opposed to Type 1 (which I have). But the low-fat and sugar-free aspects of this recipe are definitely helpful for me... and I love cranberries!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      That's great, steph. A friend of mine is using cranberries and cinnamon as well to help her control diabetes with diet. It seems to be working, and she is not getting urinary tract infections any longer.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Looks really great! I can use this - being diabetic. Thanks Patty!