Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake

November 5th, 2013 at 6:06 am
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Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake {grain-free}

I had no intention of making this recipe look Christmasy. Truly! I just started styling the photo and before I knew it, I was gravitating towards red linens and sparkly ribbons. Forgive me.

I’m a bit astounded that Thanksgiving is only a little over three weeks (!!) away. Sometimes I wonder if I’m caught in some sort of invisible time zone that speeds everything up and makes one day evaporate faster than the next. It’s crazy.

I started working out at this new gym last week (my back is doing well enough that I can exercise!). My favorite class times are at 5:30 and 6:15 am. In order for me to get out of the house and to class on time, I need to wake up at least 30 minutes beforehand so I can quick wash my face, throw on some workout clothes, and head out the door within 15 minutes. I’m getting it down.

I’m a morning person, but I’ve never been quite so early of a morning person. That said, I’m beginning to enjoy my 5:00 am wake-up calls. Even the three or four mornings a week when I don’t go to the gym early, I’m making a habit of getting up at 5:00 or 5:30 anyways. I love having that time in the stillness of the morning to read, pray, and just prepare for the day ahead with a quiet heart.

Lately I’ve been using part of my quiet time to prepare my heart for the upcoming holiday season. I think it’s ironic that the so-called “season of peace” is very often one of the most stressful 6-week periods in people’s lives. In our efforts to Give! Love! Be Merry!, we totally drop the ball on expressing gratitude, cherishing life’s many blessings, savoring extra time with people we love, and reflecting on the abundance of the past year.

So while it may be very early in the holiday season, I would encourage you to make an effort to take things slow this year. Time can’t slow down, but you can. The pace of your life doesn’t have to match that of the crazy deal hunters, the super moms who already have their Christmas cards done, or the party-goers with December schedules that are nearly booked by Thanksgiving.

Breathe. And then breathe again.

Find some stillness. In stillness, we make space. And when we make space, our lives slow down and our hearts open up. There’s a world of blessing whirling around us right under our noses, but we’re too busy glorifying the very act of busyness that we can’t see it.

I love this quote:


Busyness binds us to time and blinds us to blessing.

Slow down. Take those breaks. Throw away the to-do list. You can!

You could have the coolest holiday season ever. And you don’t have to do a thing to obtain it. In fact, you just have to UN-do. UN-complicate. UN-schedule. UN-plan. UN-wind.

Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake {grain-free}

Since you guys are a bunch of foodies like me, I’m guessing you unwind in the kitchen, too. If you’re looking for something to calm your spirit, engage your senses, and delight your palate as you slow down before the holiday season even has a chance to swallow you up, look no further than some breakfast cake.

Like I said, I had no intention of working this cake into a post about Christmas. But now that I’m talking about the holidays, I may as well tell you that this grain-free cake would make a lovely addition to a brunch spread. It’s packed with the fruity flavors of cranberries and orange zest, and it freezes well. Just pull out a piece or two whenever you need.

And it’s easy to make. Don’t think for a second that I want to complicate your already complicated life with complicated recipes. Nope. This is the year we do simple. We do uncomplicated. We do stir-dump-bake recipes.

We slow down and savor the season. We turn our backs on busy and say hello to blessing.

It’s a pretty cool way to live.

Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake

Yield: Serves 16

This grain-free cake is packed with the fruity flavors of cranberries and orange zest, and is naturally sweetened with low-glycemic coconut sugar, making for a great breakfast treat!


For the cake:

1-1/2 cups blanched almond flour

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

For the topping:

1/2 cup blanched almond flour

1/4 cup coconut sugar

3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, at room temperature (not melted), or use organic butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish with coconut oil.

Make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted coconut oil, and orange zest. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in the cranberries. Spread the batter evenly into the greased baking dish.

Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the topping. Mix with your fingers to form a crumbly mixture. Scatter the topping evenly over the top of the cake. Press gently to adhere.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into 16 squares. Serve right away or refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days. (Slices can be frozen for up to 1 month when tightly wrapped.)

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  1. What a beautiful post. I am working hard on myself these days and slowing down is one of the things on my must-do list :) It just makes so much sense, right? My Aunt used to make the best cranberry orange loaf, you’ve inspired me to dig it out and gfree it! Thanks for the lovely read Hallie. xo

  2. This is gorgeous Hallie! Sometimes I don’t think slowing down can be a reality, but making time for savoring cake is important :)

  3. Can I use regular almond flour instead of blanched?

  4. Thanks for the pre-holiday reminder and recipe!!!

  5. I love the brunch idea! Looks delicious :)

  6. I love this post. It is how I feel these days and am doing everything I can this season to make sure we all enjoy all of the little moments and don’t feel crazy and rushed so that it’s over before we know it.
    What a great recipe! I have a few different breakfast cakes that I make and now I am totally going to be trying this one!

  7. Just made this cake. It turned out fantastically! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I will definitely be making it again, maybe with lemon zest and blueberries to see what happens.

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.