Day 15: Cranberry Orange Streusel Tea Cake

Good morning friends! Guess what? It’s snowing here in NYC! Woo hoo!! (Amanda, I wish I could beam you up here right now!). It’s kind of perfect timing considering yesterday I finally broke down and startred listening to Christmas music! I love, love, love this time of year. But before I delve into the topic of this blog post, I wanted to share a few quick things.

-Despite my fears, I made it through Monday. All of my meetings went well, I managed to get all the props I needed, and I stayed up late baking cakes and cupcakes for today’s shoot with my friend Dana Tanamachi. (So pumped!)

-Yesterday, I tried to focus on staying present, and really enjoy each conversation rather than looking ahead to all I needed to do later. Last night, I had a chance to meet an artist, Rebecca Rebouché, whose work, and perspective on life I really admire. We had corresponded over email, but she was in town so we grabbed a drink. She was just as lovely in person as I imagined, and despite the crazy week I’m so glad we had a chance to meet!

-I also had a really interesting meeting with a cookbook editor, but I’ll save that for tomorrow…


I want to leave you with a recipe for my favorite cranberry orange tea cake with walnut streuesel. I blogged this recipe a couple of years ago, along with Gingerbread and Pumpkin Loaves, as a holiday gift idea. But we re-shot it for the cookbook, so I figured I’d repost the recipe on its own. This is so moist and cinnamon-y, with a nice little crunch from the streusel topping. Since it makes 3 loaves, you can either freeze one or two, or give them away. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea for the perfect afternoon snack.

Photos by Signe Birck


Makes 3 mini loaves (or 1 full size loaf)

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cranberry Orange Bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, coursely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons), softened
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 5 1/2″ x 3″ x 2 1/4 mini loaf pans with vegetable oil cooking spray or grease with a little butter or vegetable oil.

Combine the walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl for streusel. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in the (rinsed and dried) cranberries.

In a separate bowl, cream the sugar, butter, and egg with electric beaters. Add the zest and juice, stirring to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the orange mixture, stirring to combine.

Scrape the batter (it will be thick) into the prepared pans with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with streusel topping and place on the center rack of the oven.

Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the streusel topping is nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then remove from the pans and continue cooling directly on the rack.
Or (my favorite): slice and serve warm with a pot of tea!

  • Liz

    Wow. It must be so beautiful with the snow in NYC. Wonder when I’ll get to see it! Great recipe! Love the details.

    • annawatsoncarl

      Thanks so much Liz :)

  • Kristen

    What if all I can find is frozen cranberries? Would I be able to use those for this recipe? (I already bought them so I hope so – ha!)

My name is Anna Watson Carl. In a word, I love food, I love France, and I love throwing dinner parties. Over the years, I've worked as a personal chef, taught cooking classes, edited cookbooks, written for magazines, tested and styled recipes, and traveled whenever opportunity has arisen. But at heart, there's nothing I love more than sharing a meal with friends around the yellow table.

For me, cooking has always been a way of life. As a (mildly precocious) ten-year old, I planned and prepared a four-course Valentine's dinner for my parents, birthing a lifelong passion for dinner parties. That was just the beginning. I've been cooking ever since, whipping up souffles at a chateau in Burgundy, searing filet mignon for a wealthy client's dog (bizarre, but true), butchering ducks for confit de canard in Paris, baking the night shift in Nashville, and bathing the floor of my NYC apartment in turkey brine...the story continues.


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