Vanilla Cranberry Buttermilk Cake

This vanilla cranberry buttermilk cake is the perfect Christmas cake. Full of fresh cranberries, vanilla beans, orange zest and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top for an extra special sparkly surprise. You’ll love how easy it is to make this tasty breakfast or dessert treat!

It’s totally ok to eat cake for breakfast, right? And for dessert? And maybe for lunch?

I don’t know. I just really love cake and I pretty much want to eat it for all. the. meals. Especially when that cake is vanilla cranberry buttermilk cake. I’m totally weak in the knees for it.

If you caught my vanilla bean persimmon crisp from last week you’ll know that I’m straight up on a vanilla bean kick.

And maybe a cranberry kick. But, that is only because I still had 4 full bags of cranberries in my crisper that I may have forgotten about. I had to get them used STAT!

“STAT means now!” Name the reference.

I also had some halo oranges sitting around in my fruit bowl so I was all about adding some of that to the batter. Cranberries and orange are the total BFF of the fall flavored cake and muffin world.

PLUS we all love that little bit of citrus and the smell is so fresh (and so clean clean.)

If I’m being honest I should admit that I basically ate this whole cake myself.

I know it’s only an 8×8 but that is still pretty embarrassing.

Actually, I sorta wish I had some cake right now. It’s almost midnight and I have a major case of the munchies.

I need some cake.

I literally just got up and went to the kitchen to look for cake. Nada.

So instead I grabbed a bag of salt and vinegar chips. My mouth is not gonna like me in the morning.

Does your mouth also hate vinegar? Tastebuds love it. Mouth hates it.

Alight, I should probably get back to this cake.

I didn’t want to drizzle it with frosting or cover it in powdered sugar so instead, I sprinkled it with some turbinado sugar to bring in a crunchy bite and sparkly topping.

I love the look.

And I might have had a jar of this sugar just staring me in the face begging to be used.

Oh, and do you know the tip about buttermilk? Don’t worry if you don’t have any. You can make it at home!

All you need is 1 cup regular milk and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar.

Easy. Peasy.

Well, I guess I should add you add the lemon juice OR white vinegar to the milk, give it a stir, let it sit for 30 minutes and THEN you’ll have buttermilk.

Fully complete easy peasy.

Love this vanilla cranberry buttermilk cake?

Looking for even more cake recipes? Try my Mixed Berry Coffee CakeBlueberry Lemon Ricotta Olive Oil CakeCherry Fritter CakeRoasted Strawberry Olive Oil CakeMaple Cake with Maple Cream Cheese FrostingGreek Yogurt Grapefruit Poppy Seed Cake or my Cream Sherry Bundt Cake 

Vanilla Cranberry Buttermilk Cake

This vanilla cranberry buttermilk cake is the perfect Christmas cake. Full of fresh cranberries, vanilla beans, orange zest and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top for an extra special sparkly surprise. You'll love how easy it is to make this tasty breakfast or dessert treat!

Yield: 8x8 pan

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 65 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces room temperature butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 2-3 tablespoons coarse turbinado sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray, set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl add flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer add butter, sugar, orange zest and vanilla bean paste. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes or until the butter and sugar are fully creamed and slightly fluffy.

Scrape down the sides, add the egg and mix until fully combined.

Pour in 1/3 of the buttermilk, mix until combined.

Add in 1/2 of the flour mixture, mix until combined

Continue with another round of buttermilk, flour and finish with the remaining buttermilk.

Add cranberries to a bowl, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and toss to combine.

Fold the cranberries and any remaining flour

Add the batter to the prepared pan and spread out as smooth as possible. The batter is a little thick.

Sprinkle the top of the cake with 2-3 tablespoons coarse turbinado sugar. The amount you use depends on how sugary you want the topping.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested in the middle of the cake.

Let cool and serve for breakfast or dessert.