Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake

Food & recipes

What makes this coffee cake so special is its use of Kernza, a perennial wheat from The Land Institute, a Kansas-based nonprofit organization focused on developing perennial grains and diverse, ecological cropping systems. According to The Land Institute, the benefits of perennial crops over annual crops are numerous. They protect soil from erosion, improve soil structure, increase ecosystem nutrient retention, carbon sequestration, water infiltration, and uptake efficiency. They can contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, and they help ensure food and water security over the long-term.

Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup Maine Grain flour
  • 1 cup Kernza flour (perennial wheat from The Land Institute), or substitute other flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • zest of one orange (squeeze juice and reserve for glaze; recipe follows)
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • ¾ cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 14 ounce can chunky cranberry sauce (we used our homemade cranberry sauce)


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons orange juice


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt or tube pan. Toast pecans. Heat cranberry sauce on stovetop until warm, but not boiling. Whisk together dry ingredients, set aside. Whisk together sour cream and vanilla and set aside. In a mixer, cream soft butter, sugar, and zest together, scraping a few times. Add eggs one at a time, scraping between each addition. Add half the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add all sour cream mixture and mix until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture and combine. Fold in pecans. Next, you’ll essentially be dividing your batter into thirds and your cranberry sauce in half as you layer batter/cranberry, batter/cranberry, and then batter once more in the prepared pan. Bake 55-65 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes, then flip onto a cooling rack. Prepare glaze and spoon over when the cake is completely cool.