The Washington Post

Cranberry-Orange Snacking Cake

Cranberry-Orange Snacking Cake 12.000

Tom McCorkle for The Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Post; props by Limonata Creative

Nourish Dec 5, 2019

This moist, muffin-like cake is perfumed with the comforting aromas of orange, cinnamon and cloves; studded with cranberries; and topped with a crunch of brown-sugared walnuts. As its name implies, it makes for a wonderful snack, and with just the right level of sweetness from maple syrup, whole grain flour, healthful oil instead of butter and plenty of nuts, it provides both pleasure and real sustenance.

Storage Notes: The cake will keep, tightly wrapped at room temperature, for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings

  • For the topping
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) raw walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mild olive oil, or another neutral-tasting oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • For the cake
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups (240 grams) whole-wheat pastry flour (or 1 cup each regular whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup (160 milliliters) pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) mild olive oil, or another neutral-tasting oil, plus more for brushing the pan
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) fresh cranberries, halved if large
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) raw walnuts, coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle. Brush an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish with oil.

Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, brown sugar, oil, cinnamon and salt and work it together with your fingers until it is blended.

Make the cake: In a small bowl, finely grate the zest of the oranges until you have 2 teaspoons zest. Squeeze 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) of juice from the oranges, and save whatever is left of the fruit for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. In another medium bowl, whisk together the just-squeezed juice, zest, maple syrup, oil and eggs. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring just enough to combine but not over-mixing. Stir in the cranberries and the walnuts, then pour the batter into the baking dish.

Sprinkle the topping over the batter and bake, 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes or until warm to the touch, then cut into 12 pieces and serve.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Kari Sonde.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (7)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 260

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 13g 20%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 35mg 12%

Sodium: 180mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates: 32g 11%

Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%

Sugar: 15g

Protein: 4g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle