Cranberry snack cake is a perfectly simple and delicious dessert for the holidays. Use fresh or frozen cranberries and cut into bars for a tasty treat.
This simple cake studded with fresh or frozen cranberries for a perfect way to celebrate cranberry season. It’s quick to make and perfectly straddles the line between sweet and tart.
Not to mention how pretty those fresh berries are. They are a fun treat around Thanksgiving or a perfect addition to your Christmas baking.
I am back with another recipe refresh. I hope you guys aren’t sick of me digging into the archives.
This recipe for cranberry bars was originally shared in 2016. We were celebrating cranberries in the lead up to Thanksgiving.
That week really cemented cranberries as a new favorite ingredient. Before that I was relatively ambivalent. Anyway, these bars were such a hit with one of my coworkers that she requested them again the next year.
Then we made them again during a girls’ holiday baking day the next year at her request. So I knew I had to bake her some this year as well.
It is such a great simple recipe. The result is such a soft and flavorful snack cake that doesn’t require any frosting or glaze to be great. Just cut it into squares and enjoy.
One of the most interesting parts about the recipe is there is no leavening agent. Instead you beat a lot of air into the batter and let that work its magic.
They store well at room temperature in an airtight container. For longer storage separate layers with wax paper and freeze for up to three months.
I hope you give them a try. If not this year, pin them for next year then let me know how much you enjoyed them!
Baking With Cranberries
During the fall and leading into Thanksgiving, it is easy to find fresh cranberries at the store. I always pick up several extra pounds when they are on sale.
I use several pounds to make things like fresh cranberry relish and this tasty snack cake. Then the rest I wash and freeze for later.
Just put them in a freezer safe bag and you can make cranberry treats all year long. Otherwise your grocery store is likely to stock frozen berries throughout the year.
Because the cranberries are so tart, you are going to want to make sure there is plenty of sugar in the batter to balance them out. One of the fun things about baking with whole berries like in this recipe, is you get both the sweet and tart when you bite into one.
This batter is thick, so there isn’t a need to coat the berries with flour before adding them. But if you try adding them to muffins, or a looser cake batter you may want to toss them in flour first.
About This Tasty Cranberry Cake
So that brings us to this snack cake. I think it might be one of my favorite cranberry recipes yet.
It has a sweet, dense, simple cake studded with those tart berries that burst and give beautiful color and flavor. You really can’t get much easier.
I made this batch and brought it in to my coworkers as part of my (probably obnoxiously) large spread of birthday treats. I will be sharing a couple more recipes of my birthday treats in the next couple weeks.
I thought the cookies I made would go quickly, but wasn’t sure about the cranberry snack cake. It seems like people have a love/hate relationship with the little gems.
Those who don’t like cranberries were tempted, those who do were happy to devour them. They got rave reviews!
The cake is the perfect mix of tender and dense. Almost pound cake like, but in sheet cake form.
It is the perfect compliment to the berries that cook up to a tender garnet burst of flavor. The combination really makes your taste buds sing.
I probably shouldn’t have been too surprised, they really were delicious. Please promise me you’ll give them a try!
Why is it called a snack cake?
Snack cakes generally are more for snacking, as the name implies. They aren’t fancy special occasion cakes with lots of flourishes and frosting like a birthday or wedding cake.
More Ways to Enjoy Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
As my love for cranberries has grown, so has my recipe collection. Here are some more great ways to enjoy these beauties.
Cranberry apple crisp is another tasty option. The berries add color and balance to the classic dessert.
Cranberry fluff is another fun option. The creamy fluff is nostalgic and delicious.
More Rustic Cake Recipes
Poor man’s cake is another great option. And you could easily sub in dried cranberries for the raisins if you would like to keep the cranberry theme going.
Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!
Cranberry Snack Cake
- Anolon Bronze Nonstick Baking Pan With Lid 9 Inch x 13 Inch
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- ¾ cup butter softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch pan.
- In you mixer, beat together butter and sugar on medium high until they are light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).¾ cup butter, 2 cups granulated white sugar
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on high for 6 more minutes. The mixture should be thick, creamy and voluminous.3 large eggs, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Stir in the flour until just combined, then fold in the cranberries and orange zest.2 cups all purpose flour, 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- Spread in your prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. The top should be lightly golden and an inserted toothpick should test clean.
- Cool completely then cut into small pieces to serve.