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Butternut Squash Cranberry Coffee Cake

This Butternut Squash Cranberry Cake is a total delight. Whether you’re making it to use up that leftover squash and cranberries, or whether you’re making it because it’s so delicious… it’s a great coffee cake to have on hand during the holidays.

Slice of cake on a plate with full cake in the background on a holiday table.

This cake essentially has four layers: Cake, streusel (crumbly topping), cake, streusel. The streusel that’s in the middle is a delicious surprise when you slice into it and find an unexpected layer.

We love serving this cake warm and just out of the oven, but it’s surprisingly delicious the next morning as well.

Butternut Squash Cranberry Coffee Cake

Butternut Squash Cranberry Coffee Cake

A delicious coffee cake with butternut squash, cranberries, and a streusel filling and topping.

Course Breakfast or Snack, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword butternut squash, coffee cake, cranberries, cranberry
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 10


For the Streusel

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick), cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup pecans or other nuts (or a mixture), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked and mashed butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • additional cranberries for garnish


For the streusel

  1. With a pastry blender or fork, blend together the flour, brown sugar, and butter until evenly mixed (it will look like small crumbs). Stir in the pecans or mixed nuts, as well as the cinnamon and ground ginger. Chill until ready to use.

For the cake

  1. Grease a 10" springform pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Stir in the butternut squash, the cranberries, and the fresh ginger.

  4. Pour half of the batter into the springform pan and spread it around evenly. Top the batter with a layer of half the streusel. Pour the remaining batter into the pan, carefully spreading it evenly around the pan. Top with the remaining streusel. Add a few fresh cranberries to the top if desired.

  5. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes, then release it from the springform pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Coffee Cake Recipe Notes

Two main questions come up when we share this recipe with people. First is a question about the nuts. We started out attempting to use only pecans for this recipe, but one time realized we didn’t have enough. Instead we used a combination of pecans, walnuts, almonds, and a few macadamia nuts. That combination is even better than just pecans!

Overhead view of coffee cake with single slice on plate with fork.

To chop the nuts, we used our favorite quickie method. Put the nuts into a plastic bag. Use your (flat-ended) kitchen mallet to crush the nuts. The nuts may come out in uneven sizes – but that’s fine! It adds to the charm and the flavor.

The second question is about the cranberries. Can you use frozen cranberries? The answer is yes, definitely. The first time we made this we had the benefit of farm-fresh Cape Cod cranberries (Thanks, Mom!). But if you have frozen cranberries on hand, you can use them too. Just give them a good rinse and pat dry. You just don’t want to have any frost or crystals that add extra water to the batter.

Overhead view of bowl full of fresh cranberries.


P.S.: If you like cranberry recipes, you’ll also like these Holiday Cranberry Sweet Potato Muffins:

sweet potato muffins

And you’ll also love this Cranberry Ginger Parsnip Cake:

cranberry ginger parsnip cake


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