Leftover Cranberry Sauce Cake Recipe

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Cake - SACASA.jpg
Leftovers, not looked-overs. María del Mar Sacasa

A standard sour cream coffeecake, dense and rich, is crusted with a cookie-like covering of almonds, and scented with orange zest. In the middle, dollops of rescued cranberry sauce.

Notes: To toast almonds: Arrange in single layer on baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until fragrant and golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

See World's Easiest Cranberry Sauce for recipe.

Recipe Facts



Active: 45 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Serves: 12 servings

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For the Topping:

  • 1 cup toasted slivered almonds (see notes)

  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 orange)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Cake:

  • Baking spray

  • 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce (see notes)

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 cups (14 ouncessugar

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 orange)

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 2 cups (10 ouncesall-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup (8 ouncessour cream

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. For the Topping: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Stir 2 tablespoons water into 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce to loosen consistency: the sauce should gently plop when dropped from a spoon. Add more water as needed. Pulse almonds, sugar, butter, light brown sugar, flour, and orange zest in food processor; transfer to bowl. Wipe out food processor.

  2. For the Cake: Spray Bundt pan with baking spray.

  3. Rub orange zest into sugar with fingertips or palms until sugar is orange and no zest strands remain. In large bowl, beat butter and orange sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with sour cream. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add vanilla and beat mixture on medium speed just until combined, about 20 seconds.

  5. Sprinkle half of topping in prepared pan. Scrape half of batter over topping. Drop 2-tablespoon-sized dollops of cranberry sauce over batter and delicately smooth over batter. Scrape remaining batter over cake and spread out into an even layer. Sprinkle with remaining topping, pressing it gently down into the cake.

  6. Bake until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool cake in pan set on rack for 15 minutes, then, turn out directly onto rack and cool completely, about 1 hour. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve.

Special equipment

food processor, electric mixer, rubber spatula, Bundt pan, cooling rack

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
557 Calories
28g Fat
73g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 557
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 35%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 380mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 73g 27%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 49g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 95mg 7%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 146mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)