Exquisite Cranberry Crumb Cake, gluten-free

A slice of Gluten Free Cranberry Crumb Cake

“Tis the cranberry season, so let’s bake something memorable…Exquisite Cranberry Crumb Cake!

This time of year, we see those beautiful berries everywhere, just begging to be taken home to adorn your holiday table, in some way.  But, why settle for just sauce?   The amazing cranberry is much too regal for limitations like that!

I have never understood why cranberries aren’t held in higher regard by folks everywhere.  Seriously, think about it.  First, just the color of it is so stunning that it bears its own description: cranberry.  A shade so rich and luxurious, it’s at home at any black tie event,  in the form of a designer gown alongside expensive diamonds, or all the way to a statement accent wall within even the finest of mansions.  Cranberry is so unique and exclusive, that no one needs to wonder just what it is:  there is only one.  When described as “cranberry”, the color is crystal clear.  Period.  No follow-ups of, “Is it purplish-cranberry?” or, “Is is more of a blue-cranberry?”  It’s just cranberry…..and everyone loves it!   Because of its beautiful hue, you will find it involved in many a holiday decor theme, whether surrounding floating candles in a pretty bowl at an elegant party, or by themselves in a sparkly glass jar.  There’s more!  But, I digress….

Now let’s invite the little buggers into the kitchen, and now they really shine!  Inside every one of those beautiful berries is the most explosive tart-deliciousness that will ever pucker your mouth (and it will pucker, believe you me!), but tempered by something sweet, these little gems become a taste sensation, not duplicated by anything else in the culinary world.  Just as unique as its color, is its exclusive taste, and there’s no doubt about it when you sink your teeth into something cranberry.  Lucky you! 

And just one more thing before we cut to the chase...they freeze splendidly, so there is NO reason to go without cranberry deliciousness when they are out of season.  I don’t get sad anymore when I no longer see the signature bags of the plump little wonders in the stores….because, you see, I know there are several, snug in my freezer at home.  Guess what?  They taste just as amazing in the summer, so stock up now, folks!

Enough of all that…let’s get to making some crumb cake!


Now, just because I make things gluten-free, does not mean that you have to.   In most of my recipes, you can substitute wheat flour for my GF flour ingredients, and that will be stated in the recipe.  This is one of the best crumb cakes, or coffee cakes, I’ve made, and will be able to impress at any occasion, or just be a treat for the family around your table.  It is tender and moist, tart and sweet, smooth with bits of crunchy crumb….it’s perfect!

First, the cake batter, and it will go into your pan, like so.  This recipe makes a 9X13 or equivalent.


This gets topped with the cranberry/sugar mixture.  Just look at that!  Cranberry beauty!


I hate to do it, but we must cover that stunningness with some crumb topping, for what’s the use of all this if we don’t get to eat some?


It will look like this when you are ready to pop it into the oven!  (Just in case you didn’t get a good enough look at it with the previous photo….)


After enduring the torture of smelling its loveliness during baking, you are finally allowed to take it out of the oven.  Oh, my!

Gluten Free Cranberry Crumb Cake

Now, go ahead and make some for yourself…..and then…

Gluten Free Cranberry Crumb Cake
Serves 12
Wicked-good cranberry crumb cake....proof that this exquisite berry no longer need to be limited to certain holiday. Get to know it better in this tender, tart-sweet, lovely cake worthy of any occasion.
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Crumb cake
  1. 1 cup almond meal
  2. 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (I used Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour, but any good-quality one will do)
  3. 1 cup + 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  4. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 cup buttermilk
  9. 2 tablespoons orange juice
  10. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  11. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  12. 4 cups fresh OR frozen cranberries, chopped
For the topping
  1. 1/2 cup gluten-free flour
  2. 6 tablespoons sugar
  3. 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut in chunks
For the cake
  1. In a bowl, combine the almond meal, flour, 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Combine the eggs, buttermilk, orange juice, oil and extract; stir into dry ingredients. Spoon into a greased 9X13 baking dish.
  3. Combine chopped cranberries with remaining 2/3 cup sugar; spoon over batter.
For topping
  1. Combine flour and sugar in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over cranberries.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from edges of pan, and it tests done.
  1. To make using regular wheat flour, simply replace the GF flour and almond meal with 2 cups of all-purpose flour.
The Jolly Rancher Cooks http://thejollyranchercooks.com/


And, saving the best for last…..go ahead and enjoy some!


“Exquisite” is almost an understatement, wouldn’t you agree? 

It’s okay.  Everyone else is smacking their lips too.

Have fun fielding that barrage of compliments… 

You’re welcome!



  1. mavis

    Good your manly family got you w/all your fab cooking delights. Really looks good.

  2. Anonymous

    Hello Jolly Rancher,
    I love this! I think we used to have something like this growing up. I have some questions!
    1. Is the almond meal because it is GF?
    2. Have you ever tried to make it sugar free and vegan?
    If you have any suggestions on that, I would appreciate it, otherwise I’ll give it a twirl and let you know how it turns out. Probably have to make it both ways…for a proper taste test…of course…

    1. The Jolly Rancher (Post author)

      Thank you! Yes, the almond meal is one of my favorite gluten-free flour alternatives. But, it also tastes wonderful, add amazing moistness to baked goods, and replaces starches with nuts…win, win, win! In regular recipes, replacing half of the flour with almond meal would be wonderful as well.
      I have not tried this recipe vegan or sugar free. I use honey most often, but that would not be vegan. Replacing the eggs would be doable, but not being able to use honey as a sugar alternative would be a challenge for sure! Maple syrup would be an option, but other adjustments would be necessary as well. It would be helpful to know what sugar alternatives you have in mind.
      I would be happy to help you make this into a recipe you can enjoy too!

      The Jolly Rancher

  3. Anonymous

    That looks pretty good! Mom had us buy some cranberries I think we have some left, I need to try this…


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