Are you guys settled into the new year? Recovered from the holidays yet? I always find it can take a little time to get back into the swing of things so I wanted to make the transition back into reality a little easier with cake! Cake always helps, and this cranberry orange crumb cake has got it all going on. It’s full of bright flavors, easy to make and topped with an epic amount of crumb. And I can’t even handle that glaze!
I always try to make sure that the first recipe I roll out in January is one that is vibrant, comforting and one that will become a staple in your house! I feel like it kind of sets the tone for the year and this crumb cake definitely meets all the standards.
The cake itself is incredibly tender and the big secret to what makes it so good is the addition of creme fraiche. You can use sour cream in place of it, but the creme fraiche really makes it luscious. It’s also full of cranberries adding these bursts of flavor every few bites and the orange zest floating around hits all the right notes.
I’m all about the crumb topping and there’s a sweet amount of it parked right on top. My tip for the topping is to make it first and then set it aside while you mix the cake batter. The crumb topping has a lot of butter in it and I like it to have some time to soak it all up before we dump it on top of the cake.
Last comes the sweet orange glaze… This crumb cake is just as fab with a dusting of powdered sugar on top, but I love the look of the glaze. I used fresh squeezed orange juice and orange zest in it so it has even more of a pop. And if you happen to see blood oranges at the store, they would be fantastic in this!
I should probably warn you that this is one of those cakes where you cut a little slice and a few minutes later find yourself back at the counter cutting another little slice… Seriously, as you start to cut into it, you’ll notice that some of the crumb topping sinks into the cake a bit, creating these pockets of brown sugar, crunchy goodness that are just beyond.
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3.5 ounces (7 Tablespoons) unsalted butter-melted
- 5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
- 8 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream (I prefer creme fraiche)
- 1 and 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1&1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
- zest of 1 orange
- In a medium size bowl, mix together flour, sugar, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Add melted butter and mix together so crumbs form. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium size bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter,sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract, mixing until combined.
- Add dry ingredients alternating with creme fraiche in three additions, starting and ending with the dries.
- Stir in cranberries.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and top with crumb topping.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Cake is done when top is set and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest.
- Drizzle over completely cooled cake.
For glaze: If you find it too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's a little too thick to drizzle, add an additional teaspoon of orange juice.
You can replace the orange juice with orange liqueur for the glaze.
Store cake at room temperature wrapped well in plastic wrap. Cake is good for 4-5 days.