Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Breakfast Cake. (Grain/Gluten/Dairy Free)

Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Breakfast Cake. (Grain/Gluten/Dairy Free)

Cranberry Orange Buttermilk

Breakfast Cake

I love cake and I REALLY love scones. Which is why I'm ecstatic about this recipe. With a scone like crust and a soft cake like fluffy interior its the best of both worlds. When the idea came to me yesterday to create this buttermilk cake I found myself up at 11:00pm throwing ingredients into a bowl. I had my first bite at midnight and I swooned.

This breakfast cake is truly a treat. I broke some of my own rules- I was short on a number of ingredients including my non-glycemic xylitol granulated sugar. SO.. I just used organic white can sugar (Gasp! Don't hate me for it). I also included starch and eggs- two ingredients I know I will get some grief for. But hey- take this recipe for what it is. If the ingredients included work for you- MAKE THIS CAKE. If they don't- you can try subbing in another granulated sugar of choice. It should work- the texture of the cake might change slightly from sugar to sugar. The only important thing to remember here is that it must be granulated (and not a liquid sugar). The eggs however are needed! Don't mess with trying to remove them. If you are in need of another holiday goody- take a look through my hundreds of other recipes. You'll be sure to find something that works just for you!

Note: In the Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Breakfast Cake recipe I call for 1/2- 3/4 cups sugar. 1/2 cup will make for a cake that's a bit more tart- 3/4 cup naturally will make the cake sweeter. Its totally up to you how much you want to use. I stuck to the 1/2 cup as my husband isn't a fan or sweet things. Again, if you use a sugar different than Organic Cane the sweetness level may vary- so again, Adjust to taste. (Don't be afraid to taste that batter!)

Make this breakfast cake Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other holiday morning and I promise it will be a memorable one.

Cranberry Orange “Buttermilk” Breakfast Cake.


  • 1/4 Cup + 1 Tbs Milk (any variety: dairy or nondairy)
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cups Packed Blanched Almond Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Starch (Potato, Tapioca or Arrowroot)
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar (to taste)
  • 1 Tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Melted Coconut Oil (Or melted butter or other oil)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup Frozen (or fresh) Cranberries
  • Zest of 1 large orange.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a small cake pan or bread pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl combine the Milk or your choice with the lemon juice. Set aside for 5 minutes or so to let the "buttermilk" develop.
  3. In a large bowl combine the Almond Flour, Starch, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt and stir well. Add in the Melted Coconut Oil, Eggs and "Buttermilk".
  4. Stir in frozen cranberries and orange zest. (Note: The frozen cranberries make the coconut oil in the batter harden- don't be alarmed if you batter suddenly thickens! It will do just what its supposed to in the oven.) Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out service. Place in oven.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes- A toothpick should come out clean and the edges should be slightly golden brown. Let cool slightly before slicing.


Store at room temperature in a sealed container or freeze for another day!

The Glaze I used in this recipe was simple- just a combo of Orange Juice and Powdered Sugar. I make my own non-glycemic powdered sugar by throwing some xylitol into a blender or coffee grinder. I then add a pinch of starch and it work great!

PS. If you eat Gluten Free Grains and need to avoid eggs and nut flour try my Gluten Free/Vegan Cranberry Orange Quick Bread Recipe instead! Its quite delicious!


Brittany Angell

73 comments | Leave your own

  1. Kyndra

    You list 2/4 Cup Starch (Potato, Tapioca or Arrowroot), is there a reason you listed it as 2/4 Cup Starch (Potato, Tapioca or Arrowroot) rather than 1/2 Cup?

  2. Melody

    This looks so incredibly spectacular! And for my dairy/gluten/corn/pea free hubby, I’m stoked. He used to LOVE the cranberry bliss bars at Starbucks this time of year and I think this could be a nice substitute. One question though-do you think it would alter the taste greatly to use dried craisins instead of frozen cranberries? I have lots of those on hand, so that’s why I’m asking. I know you don’t make 100 variations so don’t worry if you’re not sure. You’re just a more experienced GF baker than I so I thought I might ask.
    Thank you either way! This recipe makes my day!

  3. Eve

    Is 2/4 starch correct or a typo? I’m trying this recipe out right now and just wanted to make sure. Thanks!

    1. Eve

      Oh – never mind – I see you already answered that. 😉

  4. Karen

    Can I use Xylitol in place of the cane sugar? I believe it’s a 1:1 ratio. Is that accurate?

  5. Norma

    Brittany those look soo yummy ! can I somehow substitute the eggs? what would be a good substitute if so?

  6. Erica

    My cranberries will be in my co-op order this weekend BUT I think I will make this tomorrow and substitute blueberries (and omit the orange zest) 🙂

    It sounds too good to wait to make it!

  7. Donna

    This screams Sunday Brunch!!!…Do you think coconut palm sugar would work as a suitable sub for the organic cane sugar?…or a “Swerve”/Truvia ?..I only have the coconut palm “palets”..”hockey puck” format of the CPS…but could I pulverize it in the food processor for decent results?…
    Your photography entices the palate by the way..excellent eye!

  8. Debbie

    Ohhh – so want to make this but cannot eat almonds! Can you suggest another flour/meal – or combination?

  9. Norma

    ooppss..sorry…just read about the eggs…It looks sooooo yummy that I skipped all that to go to the ingredients …

  10. Kristen

    This may be a silly question…but what size pan is a “small cake pan”? This recipe looks fantastic! Planning on making it this weekend. Thanks for another awesome recipe!

  11. Anna

    Did this cake this morning. Had no cranberries but a frozen mix of blueberries and raspberries. I left out the Orange though, and I am so amazed. It is really delicious. Thank you!

  12. Trish

    I am so thankful for all the work you do providing these fantastic recipes! I am an old school cook that has had to learn new ways and substitutions due to my grandchildren’s gluten, dairy and peanut allergies. You make it so much easier!! And I greatly appreciate that your recipes are healthy and nutrient dense. Thank you so very very much!!

  13. Catherine

    Hi!! so excited to make thisnfor my Thanksgiving morning party. Do you think fresh cranberries would work instead of frozen?

  14. Stacey

    Omg this looks amazing. You have made going grain free so much tastier to me! I do love including starch in my grain free goods because it makes everything so much lighter and more bread like. I used fresh cranberries and followed the recipe exactly except next time I’d like to make it low sugar and maybe try blueberries and lemon zest instead.

  15. Kate keegan

    Hi Brittany, just a query re the starch. I know potato starch and flour are different but what about tapioca/ arrowroot starch. Are they different to the respective flours ? I’ve not come across them. I thought tapioca and arrowroot were the same animal also. Thanks. Kate

  16. Shannon Clark

    I’m attempting to make this right now. I’m going to try and make cupcakes instead of a loaf. I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂

  17. Elizabeth Good

    Okay Brittany, I’ve had it. 😉 You gotta start selling this stuff by mail order. I simply don’t have the time/energy/will to make all that you do, and these posts just make me drool! Er…with a erythritol or non-glycemic sweetener version, that is. Love ya! Thanks for all that you do.

    1. Elizabeth Good

      P.S. In re-reading this recipe I saw my comment, it sounds ornery & I ONLY meant it as a joke and BIG compliment, dear Brittany. Sometimes the written word comes across without inflection~you know I love what you do and am always so grateful! This one looks so yummy.

  18. Tasha

    I’m going to make this for the holidays and I don’t have any oranges or orange peel so my question is can I use lemon peel instead? If not ill just run out and get the orange peel.

  19. jenni

    Oh Holy Lord, this was delicious!!! I LOVED everything about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I went out and bought several additional bags of cranberries to freeze because I have a feeling this practice batch will not last long.

  20. Tasha

    Thank you so much!! I’ve changed my mind I’ll be making tomorrow, because I’m estactic lol.

  21. Tabitha

    Made it and loved it. It was a hit with my kids an even my gluten preferring husband enjoyed his piece. Thank you. It smelled like Thanksgiving morning today.

  22. Shannon Clark

    The cupcakes/muffins turned out brilliantly!!! They are sooooo yummy!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  23. ericka

    I didn’t have any success with the glaze. mine didn’t harden at all, just got soaked in by the cake. any idea what I may have done wrong? even without it though, the cake was delicious!!!

  24. Carla

    Seriously YUM. I honestly dont make much GF because I think the GF industry products are so much worse for you than even eating gluten itself sometimes. But, it was a low number of ingredients and super duper easy and seriously incredible. It was that good. My 3 sisters, Mom and Aunt are all GF and I will be bringing this to the farm for Thanksgiving to share. I had to put it in the freezer or I would have eaten it all…I cant tell you how yummy this was. If you can make that crust you mentioned on your FB post as yummy I will kiss you. I miss a good quiche and pie crust something terrible. Your the best. And your page name is top notch. Thanks!!!

  25. Bekah

    Do you ever use Konjac powder (glucomannan) instead of starch or arrowroot? I might try it with that because I don’t like using starch at all but it looks so delicious I may have to just break a rule with this one! I read that Konjac powder has 10 times the viscosity of cornstarch so I just don’t know how much to try. Hmmm…well, I will experiment and report back!

  26. nina

    Could I actually use real buttermilk instead of the milk and lemon “buttermilk”? Or does it come out best this way? Which is fine, I am just curious. I was even thinking of using soured raw milk. I used some awhile back instead of water in some gluten free pancakes I made that are usually flat and boring and bland, but the soured raw milk made them like a gluten dream all fluffy and amazing. What do you think? Thank you, and I’m so excited to have found your recipes!! I can’t wait for the almond pie crust one!

  27. Patrycja

    You said eggs are needed,but do you think it will work if I add egg replacer Ener-G instead? I really want to make this cake,but I have to make it also vegan,not only gluten free. :/

  28. Patrycja

    ow… bummer 🙁 This cake is going to chase me in my dream tonight.. ech….. 🙁

  29. Tiffany

    I’m fairly new to your site. Is it possible to use corn starch in this recipe? Just curious because you say starch but only list 3(of course my local whole foods was sold out of arrowroot and potato, and I had no time to run around)


  30. Tabitha

    Made this earlier this week. It was Ah-mazing! My glaze didn’t work right, but I’m pretty sure I added too much juice. We will try again. All the tastes of “Thanksgiving morning”…good memories and the tradition can be safely reinstated with your recipe.

  31. sweat moncler

    thanks, nice post.

  32. Bekah

    This was delicious! I made a few adjustments because I don’t like to use starch of any kind if I can help it. I had 2 “flops” initially but here’s what finally worked for me… I used 1/2 Tbsp Glucomannan powder (instead of starch), I increased the B powder to 2 1/2 tsp and I added an additional egg white. Then I used 1 c. of blueberries and lemon zest (because I ran out of cranberries). I mixed the eggs/xylitol with a hand mixer until it was light and frothy (that helped the consistency a lot!). I baked it at 330 degrees for 55 minutes. OMG soooo yummy and I have people begging me for the recipe 🙂 Thanks Brittany…I love that you give so many ideas for substitutions – it makes me more confident to play around!

  33. Rachel

    Oh my! I made this last night and it certainly is delicious. I used a loaf pan and that definitely changed the amount of time needed to cook this. I find that mine isn’t quite as “airey” as yours looks in the picture, and that even with the additional 40 minutes it took to bake this, mine looks as though it could have used more time in the oven lol. It is a fabulous recipe though. Just curious, is there anything that I could add to the recipe to make it a little lighter/fluffier? I was thinking of adding some baking soda next time (I’m not sensitive to baking soda) but I’m not sure what to do. Love the recipe, you did a wonderful job!

  34. Darien

    We had this on Thanksgiving and it was soooo awesome. I tried making it again today, gave it an extra 3 minutes, flipped it out of the bread pan and it was absolute liquid in the center. Poured all over my cooktop. I forgot that my husband had been the one to take it out of the oven for Thanksgiving. He said “oh, yeah, I had to cook it another 30 minutes and it still wasn’t all the way done in the center.” We are at 6,000 feet elevation; I wonder if that is the problem? I am using Bob’s Red Mill “almond meal/flour from blanched whole almonds”.

    SO sad it didn’t turn out; I was really looking forward to it… Ah, well, eating the pieces and cooking what I could scrape together.

  35. Mindy Levin

    It is my first try at a gluten free cake. It was for my girlfriends birthday party. I saw in another comment Brittany said not to use Bobs almond flour but it was all I had. My cake came out great.
    I first mixed dry ingredients together, but only 1/4 cup of sugar. I used almond milk for the “buttermilk”. I beet the eggs plus an extra egg white till fluffy and added the rest of the sugar (1/4 cup) to that. Put it all together with as few strokes as possible and immediatly in to a hot oven. Oh yea, I added a crumb topping to make it more festive. After it cooled I drizzled the top with a sugar glaze that we made pink with a little beet juice.
    I should have taken a photo. It was beautiful and my friend was thrilled that she could eat her own birthday cake! Thanks I an’t wait to try more recipes!

    1. Tabitha

      Bob’s works in a pinch if you pack the cup with the almond flour. It doesn’t have the fine crumb of Honeyville or stuff. I tend to save the good stuff for pastry, birthday cakes, and anything gluten eaters will be sharing with us. Glad it worked for you. I’m thrilled to have found Brittany’s site.

      I’m back today because I wanted to make this again.

  36. Tabitha

    Used the cake recipe again (minus cranberries and orange zest plus 2-3 tsp vanilla extract), but for Pineapple Upside Down cake. I saw you had done a Cinnamon breakfast cake and thought it might work. It fit perfectly in a 9″ round. Since this was for a birthday cake, I made sure to use the good almond flour and even the gluten, dairy eaters were saying it was so good.

    You totally rock, Brittany. Thank you.

  37. Marissa

    Okay, I just made this except I used blueberries instead of cranberries (because I had like 4 pounds of blueberries in my fridge I needed to eat) and I used arrowroot powder and 1/2 cup granulated coconut sugar. I am a Paleo newbie so I was so excited when I stumbled accross your website…anyway this was DELICIOUS. Holy cow was I impressed. I can’t decide whether or not to eat the entire pan tonight before dinner or save some for breakfast tomorrow. I can’t believe it’s semi-healthy because it doesn’t taste that way 🙂
    Thank you thank you for this recipe!

  38. Marissa

    P.S. I used bob’s red mill brand almond meal, because I couldn’t find another brand 🙁 but it was still tastey regardless! I wouldn’t mind using it again.

  39. ericka

    I was just reading all these posts and have a question about the almond flour. I too have been using the Bob’s Red Mill finely ground almond meal/flour from blanched whole almonds in all your recipes. Are you suggesting a different kind of almond flour? There are a few different ones on Which in particular do you suggest? I’m curious as to the difference since the Bob’s is all I can find (and I’ve been to tons of stores to look for something different). It says it’s finely ground, is mine different from the one you were suggesting not to use? Thanks!

  40. One of Those Paleans | Knit. Eat. Lift.

    […] normal time (Read, me up a half hour after him because I suck at waking up) and he heated up some Cranberry Orange Buttermilk muffins he’s completely obsessed with. Like completely. Like he told me he would have them […]

  41. Margaret

    I made this tonight with a couple of changes: Instead of cane sugar, I used 1/2 cup of “Swerve” (erythritol – my first time using it ever) and a bit less than 1/4 cup Coconut Palm Sugar because I’m trying to lower my sugar intake. I also added 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp orange extract because I like my flavors intense. I baked it for 55 mins, turned off the oven and left it in for an additional 5 mins with the door open before it was finally done. I baked mine in an 8″ springform pan because that was the smallest pan I had. My version ended up being only about 1″ high which was a little disappointing. The texture was dense and crumbly, reminded me a lot of a Spanish Almond cake! I didn’t frost/ice mine. Just left it as is. Taste was very good – and it wasn’t too sweet at all. In fact, the sweetness was barely noticeable. I used almond powder/flour that I found in the Indian market near me. Very finely ground, but I also packed it in the measuring cup like you said. Maybe I packed it too much?

    Any suggestions as to why it didn’t rise very much? I may have to buy a smaller pan and maybe try beating the eggs with the sugar and eggs like a traditional cake and then add the almond flour/dry ingredients.

    Thanks! 🙂

  42. Tessa@TessaDomesticDiva

    we really liked it! We used ghee, and subbed 1/2 cup starch for the gluccomannan powder. I also use 1/4 cup palm sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon pure stevia powder.

    My kids who rarely go for paleo baked goods even liked it, a great texture, thanks Brittany!

Leave a Reply


Hey Everyone!

Please bear with me, I'm almost ready to unveil the new Club Angell, so in the mean time, if you have any trouble, just hang tight, I'll have it up and running by Monday!

Thank you!