Orange Skillet Cake with Cranberries & White Chocolate
This Cranberry Orange Skillet Cake with White Chocolate is a beautiful contrast of sweet and tart. Every bite is full of bright orange flavor and pops of cranberries, with sweet white chocolate chips. Drizzle a bit of fresh orange glaze over each piece if you like!
Easy Orange Coffee Cake
This Cranberry Orange Skillet Cake with White Chocolate is complete comfort, a tender cake topped with a crunchy, buttery topping, with individual pieces drizzled with a fresh orange glaze.
The fresh cranberries plump and soften during baking, creating sweet, tart pockets of ruby red deliciousness. And the white chocolate chips melt into the cake, softening the tart brightness alongside the warmth of cinnamon and cardamom.
Fresh and bright and totally comforting, this orange coffee cake is just the prescription for wintertime!
A few more of my favorite wintertime cakes:
- Cranberry Christmas Cake with Butter Cream Sauce
- Apple Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Glaze
- Grasshopper Cake
Want in on a little secret to adding some joy to your baking life? Simply bake a cake in a cast iron skillet!
There’s just something about baking dessert in a skillet that feels so wonderful. And it makes such a great presentation, perfect for gathering a few friends around the table or setting on a brunch buffet!
What You’ll Need
Besides the fresh oranges and cranberries, this skillet cake is made with basic baking ingredients.
FOR THE CAKE:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Spices – Cinnamon and cardamom add warm flavor and a beautiful aroma to this cake.
- Kosher salt
- Unsalted butter – Soften it, do not melt.
- Milk – Any dairy milk will work.
- Pure vanilla extract – Use only pure vanilla extract for the best vanilla flavor. Imitation vanilla just doesn’t have the same flavor.
- Orange zest – You’ll need the zest of 2 large oranges. I love how every single bite of cake is infused with fresh orange flavor!
- Cranberries – Use fresh cranberries for this recipe.
- White chocolate chips – Adds a delightful sweetness to the cranberry orange cake.
FOR THE CRUNCH TOPPING:
- All-purpose flour
- Sugar – Adds the sweetness to the crumble topping.
- Salt – A sweet, crunchy butter topping always deserves a little salt!
- Unsalted butter – Use cold butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces.
FOR THE ORANGE GLAZE:
- Powdered sugar – Makes the glaze sweet and smooth.
- Orange juice – Freshly squeezed is a must!
- Spices – Cinnamon and cardamom in the glaze enhance the flavors in the cake.
- Orange zest – Fresh zest helps to liven up that beautiful fresh orange flavor!
How to Make Orange Skillet Cake
This cranberry orange coffee cake is incredibly easy to make!
- Make the cake batter. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and milk, and beat until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract and orange zest. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips. Spread into the greased skillet.
- Make the crunch topping. Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until you have pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle over the top of the coffee cake batter. Add a few cranberries over the top if desired.
- Bake. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the coffee cake is puffed up and set in the center. Cool on a wire rack for about an hour.
- Serve with orange glaze. Stir together all glaze ingredients and drizzle it over individual slices of cake.
Tips for Success
For this skillet cake, there are just a few things to keep in mind.
- Use cold butter. It’s essential to use cold butter when creating a crumble topping. Cut it into the dry ingredients until you have pea-sized pieces. Once the skillet hits the hot oven, these buttery pockets will turn into crispy bites.
- Add more cranberries before baking. If you like the look of the cranberries poking through the top of the cake, randomly press a few cranberries into the crumb topping.
- Double the glaze. If you’re a big fan of the glaze, I recommend doubling the quantity.
- Let it cool before cutting. When it first comes out of the oven, the coffee cake will be very tender. Allow it to cool for about an hour so the white chocolate can solidify a bit, then serve.
This orange coffee cake can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert. It’s perfect with a cup of coffee, no matter what time you enjoy it! While it is sweeter than some other coffee cakes, thanks to the white chocolate chips, who doesn’t want dessert for breakfast at least once in a while?!
I prefer to enjoy this skillet cake warm, though after it’s cooled a bit, so the white chocolate is stable. You can also enjoy it at room temperature.
How to Store
- How to store leftover skillet cake. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge for 4 days, although the crumble topping will always be crunchiest on the day it’s baked.
- Can I freeze this orange skillet cake? Yes, the unglazed coffee cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure to tightly wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Allow to thaw and then add the glaze before serving.
More Skillet Recipes:
- Raspberry Rhubarb Skillet Coffee Cake
- Peach Streusel Coffee Cake
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
Like this recipe? Save it to Pinterest!
for the cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (or a bit more if you really like cardamom!)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- zest from 2 large oranges
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, plus a few extra for the top of the cake
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
for the crunch topping:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
for the orange glaze:
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2.5 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- zest of 1 large orange
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 10" cast iron skillet with tall sides (a smaller pan will not work!) with the 1 teaspoon of butter. Set pan aside.
- For the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together the remaining 3/4 cup of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and milk, and beat until smooth. Then mix in the vanilla extract and orange zest. The mixture may have a slightly curdled appearance, which is fine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips with a spatula, and spread mixture into prepared skillet.
- For the crunch topping: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter with a rigid pastry cutter or a fork until you have pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle over the top of the coffee cake batter. If you like the look of the cranberries poking through the top of the cake, randomly press a few cranberries into the crumb topping.
- Place skillet in oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until coffee cake is puffed up and set in the center, and nicely golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before serving. When served still warm, the cake will be very tender. The cake will firm up more as it cools and the white chocolate solidifies.
- For the orange glaze: In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients. To thin the glaze, add more orange juice. To thicken, add more powdered sugar. Drizzle over cut slices of cake for added spiced orange flavor. If you like a lot of glaze, you'll want to double the amounts.
Heavily adapted from Mom's Blueberry Tea Cake recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 235mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 3gSugar: 48gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was originally published in 2014 and then updated in 2021.