One for the road: one-pan Cranberry Cake.


Psst! Here’s a quick-and-easy dessert for the Thanksgiving groaning board. And, since it’s served right from the pan it’s baked in, it’s incredibly easy to wrap and take to wherever your moveable feast is being held this year.

We posted a blog on a berry-topped cake back in September. Now that Thanksgiving is upon us, it’s time to take that same recipe and substitute fresh cranberries for the raspberries.

Take a look at our recipe for Late Summer Berry Torte. Make the following changes, and Bob’s your uncle: Thanksgiving Cranberry Cake.

Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 8″ round pan. Top with 2 cups fresh cranberries. Sprinkle the cranberries with 1/3 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons coarse sparkling sugar; or with 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and serve warm – as is, or topped with ice cream or whipped cream.

Bookmark this blog, and let the Thanksgiving countdown continue!

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. linda

    i would like to recreate this in a cast iron skillet & serve…do you think i can & will the baking time will change much?

    Linda, I think it would be fine, so long as it’s an 8″ pan – usually they’re larger. I don’t think the baking time would change – maybe a couple of minutes less. If your skillet is 9″, you’d have to cut back the baking time substantially – just keep your eye on it. Enjoy – PJH

  2. Marianna

    My family and I are very fond of fruit desserts and we really enjoyed the summer version of this cake. I am definitely going to make it with the cranberries and a touch of Fiori di Sicilia. Maybe I should make one this weekend so I can “test” it before Thanksgiving! 😉

  3. rho

    can you do this in a torte pan? Just noticed it was called a Late summer berry torte in the original recipe (I just got a new torte pan and would love to try it out)

    Yes, this will work just fine. You might want to line the bottom to make a transfer to a serving dish easier. Frank @ KAF.

  4. Sue

    You are really on a roll with all of these recipes!! This looks really tasty. I’ll bet the tart cranberries and sweet cake play off one another nicely.

  5. Lish

    Oh so yummy! I love cranberries, and the fiori di sicilia is a great flavoring with cranberry! We will absolutely be having this next week, for Black Friday dessert!

  6. linda

    my skillet is 10″ – could i double the recipe using an additional 1/2 batter for skillet & use the remainder of batter for cupcakes? or…should i abandon this skillet “down home” idea?…help!

    fyi: your photo of the kaf freezer inspired me to clean up my pantry & freeze my flours, sugars, coconut, cornmeals…i purchased air tight containers & did an entire redo & i am so happy. i keep looking into my freezer & am sooo pleased!

    thanks sista!!

    I see no reason why this presentation would not work out. Go for it. Frank @ KAF.

  7. amy k.

    dough flavor?! what the heck is that? I don’t like the sound of it at all.

    It’s a combination of citrus and vanilla and butter – VERY tasty. But feel free to ignore it if it’s not pressing your hot buttons, Amy – PJH

  8. Dee

    This looks so delicious. I just bought a fresh bag of cranberries yesterday. Should they be whole or do they need to be chopped? Thanks and happy holidays to you!

    Whole is better – so no need to chop. And Happy holidays to you, too, Dee! PJH

  9. nbm

    Wonder how a little orange peel grated into the cranberries would be? I love simple recipes that are open to variation.

    Excellent flavor combination! Thanks for sharing your variation. Irene @ KAF

  10. kristin

    I made this for a work event. It was VERY well received. Mine did not look as pretty as yours though. I used 8″ pans and the filling was too much so i had some spillage. They were disposable though so I think the sides weren’t high enough. Very delicious though! And omg this was so easy to make!

    Kristin, I made one today, and put it in a 9″ round pan – it worked out well, though I over-baked it a bit as the cranberries were frozen (mistake). I’m making three more tomorrow – presents for my Web teammates, don’t tell! 🙂 PJH

  11. Greta Schiffman

    I loved the summer berry cake and look forward to make the cranberry one.
    But I have a quesdtion on anothe subject….I purchsed the lemon powder to enhance recipes and just ended up after a few month of throwing it away. I didn’t use it all the time, but kept it in a well closed bag and then in another bag, but it was hard as a rock and I couldn’t ressurect it any way. Suggestions for keeping it longer and in good shape.
    Try putting the lemon powder in a ziplock and keep it in the freezer. Molly @ KAF

  12. Nathalie

    I topped mine with chopped almonds and baked in an oft neglected 10″ round pan…turned out wonderfully. With three pounds of fresh cranberries in the fridge, I can see myself baking this for friends and family again and again!

  13. Jules

    We made this today. It never even got sliced. It was consumed, while warm, with forks. YUM!

    I made one too! I left it in the car (it’s going to my brother-in-law’s tomorrow), so I’d avoid temptation… Glad it was a hit, Jules. PJH

  14. Jo L

    I made this last night. I cut the recipe in half and baked it in a 7″ pie plan. My son and I thought it was devine, but my husband thought the cranberries were too tart. There’s no accounting for taste! 😉

    Thanks for the great recipe.

  15. Kae

    Made this for Thanksgiving, along with the candied ginger bars from this blog, and a pumpkin pie. I can report that this was the hands-down favorite!

    Agreed – I made it too, and it disappeared before my pies did! PJH

  16. Joseph

    I have made this recipe three times since Thanksgiving, twice with minor changes of flavorings.
    This is a wonderful cake that should be shared with everyone!

    Thanks, Joseph – I’m sure you’re helping share and spread the word. It IS good, and so simple… PJH

  17. Maggie

    I made this to take to a neighborhood party. It is fantastic! I used a 9″ round pan and the size was fine. I think a springform pan would be perfect for this if you have one the right size and want your cake to look its best. I might buy one just for this recipe! I used the sweet dough flavoring and think it is a pleasing, subtle addition to the batter.
    Looking forward to trying this with other fruits in the coming year. Thanks for another great recipe!

  18. Tess

    OMG! It was a huge success for Christmas Eve dinner. I’ve made 4 so far of which two were made w/a mixture of cranberries and blueberries. I’ll be placing an order for a supply of your round bake’n give containers – will make for wonderful hostess gifts. Downside: fresh cranberries are nowhere in sight at any of our markets! Do you think this torte will work well with fresh sliced pears? Sure, give it a try. let us know how it comes out. mary @ KAF

  19. phoebe18775

    The cranberry bread recipe from the back of the Ocean Spray bag has been a holiday tradition in my family. I’m going to try this, but I think I have to do the cranberry bread too or risk the wrath of the relatives!

    If you have time, make both – have a vote on Thanksgiving and then you’ll know for sure what you need to make next year! I know it’s risky to chage recipes or food offerings that are family traditions! Irene @ KAF</strong

  20. cranberry pills

    Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about before. Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written. I will be referring a lot of friends about this. Keep blogging.


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