Cranberry Orange “Buttermilk” Breakfast Cake. (Grain/Gluten/Dairy Free)

by Brittany on November 14, 2012

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I love  cake and I REALLY love scones. Which is why I’m ecstatic about this recipe. With a scone like crust and a soft cake like fluffy interior its the best of both worlds.  When the idea came to me yesterday to create this buttermilk cake I found myself up at 11:00pm throwing ingredients into a bowl. I had my first bite at midnight and I swooned.

This breakfast cake is truly a treat. I broke some of my own rules- I was short on a number of ingredients including my non-glycemic xylitol granulated sugar. SO.. I just used organic white can sugar (Gasp! Don’t hate me for it). I also included starch and eggs- two ingredients I know I will get some grief for. But hey- take this recipe for what it is. If the ingredients included work for you- MAKE THIS CAKE. If they don’t- you can try subbing in another granulated sugar of choice. It should work- the texture of the cake might change slightly from sugar to sugar. The only important thing to remember here is that it must be granulated (and not a liquid sugar). The eggs however are needed! Don’t mess with trying to remove them. If you are in need of another holiday goody- take a look through my hundreds of other recipes. You’ll be sure to find something that works just for you!

Note: In the recipe I call for 1/2- 3/4 cups sugar. 1/2  cup will make for a cake that’s a bit more tart- 3/4 cup naturally will make the cake sweeter. Its totally up to you how much you want to use. I stuck to the 1/2 cup as my husband isn’t a fan or sweet things. Again, if you use a sugar different than Organic Cane the sweetness level may vary- so again, Adjust to taste. (Don’t be afraid to taste that batter!)

 Make this breakfast cake Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other holiday morning and I promise it will be a memorable one.

Cranberry Orange “Buttermilk” Breakfast Cake 

1/4 Cup + 1 Tbs Milk (any variety: dairy or nondairy)
1 Tsp Lemon Juice

2 Cups Packed Blanched Almond Flour
3/4 Cup Starch (Potato, Tapioca or Arrowroot)
1/2- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar (to taste)
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1/3 Cup Melted Coconut Oil (Or melted butter or other oil)
2 Large Eggs
1 1/4 Cup Frozen (or fresh) Cranberries 
Zest of 1 large orange.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a small cake pan or bread pan with parchment paper.
  2.  In a small bowl combine the Milk or your choice with the lemon juice. Set aside for 5 minutes or so to let the “buttermilk” develop.
  3. In a large bowl combine the Almond Flour, Starch, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt and stir well. Add in the Melted Coconut Oil, Eggs and “Buttermilk”.
  4. Stir in frozen cranberries and orange zest. (Note: The frozen cranberries make the coconut oil in the batter harden- don’t be alarmed if you batter suddenly thickens! It will do just what its supposed to in the oven.) Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out service. Place in oven.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes- A toothpick should come out clean and the edges should be slightly golden brown. Let cool slightly before slicing.

Store at room temperature in a sealed container or freeze for another day!

The Glaze I used in this recipe was simple- just a combo of Orange Juice and Powdered Sugar. I make my own non-glycemic powdered sugar by throwing some xylitol into a blender or coffee grinder. I then add a pinch of starch and it work great!


PS. If you eat Gluten Free Grains and need to avoid eggs and nut flour try my Gluten Free/Vegan Cranberry Orange Quick Bread Recipe instead! Its quite delicious!


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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Kyndra November 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm

You list 2/4 Cup Starch (Potato, Tapioca or Arrowroot), is there a reason you listed it as 2/4 Cup Starch (Potato, Tapioca or Arrowroot) rather than 1/2 Cup?


Brittany November 14, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Just fixed that! It was a typo- sorry! I meant to call for 3/4 cup starch.


Melody November 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

This looks so incredibly spectacular! And for my dairy/gluten/corn/pea free hubby, I’m stoked. He used to LOVE the cranberry bliss bars at Starbucks this time of year and I think this could be a nice substitute. One question though-do you think it would alter the taste greatly to use dried craisins instead of frozen cranberries? I have lots of those on hand, so that’s why I’m asking. I know you don’t make 100 variations so don’t worry if you’re not sure. You’re just a more experienced GF baker than I so I thought I might ask.
Thank you either way! This recipe makes my day!


Brittany November 14, 2012 at 10:49 pm

They would work BUT I think fresh cranberries will taste a million times better! :)


Melody November 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Ok. Thanks for this!!! So excited! Going to get frozen cranberries STAT!


Eve November 14, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Is 2/4 starch correct or a typo? I’m trying this recipe out right now and just wanted to make sure. Thanks!


Eve November 14, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Oh – never mind – I see you already answered that. ;)


Brittany November 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Yes! Sorry about that! Hope you really enjoy it :)


Karen November 14, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Can I use Xylitol in place of the cane sugar? I believe it’s a 1:1 ratio. Is that accurate?


Brittany November 15, 2012 at 12:35 am

A 1:1 ratio is correct! :)
The texture of the cake will be a little different than the original recipe but it should still be quite good!


Norma November 15, 2012 at 12:19 am

Brittany those look soo yummy ! can I somehow substitute the eggs? what would be a good substitute if so?


Erica November 15, 2012 at 12:25 am

My cranberries will be in my co-op order this weekend BUT I think I will make this tomorrow and substitute blueberries (and omit the orange zest) :)

It sounds too good to wait to make it!


Brittany November 15, 2012 at 12:34 am

Instead of using orange zest use lemon! Blueberries and lemon were made for each other :) !


Erica November 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Great idea! I didn’t have any though so I added a splash of vanilla. It was SO good! my oldest son ate 3 pieces!


Donna November 15, 2012 at 1:43 am

This screams Sunday Brunch!!!…Do you think coconut palm sugar would work as a suitable sub for the organic cane sugar?…or a “Swerve”/Truvia ?..I only have the coconut palm “palets”..”hockey puck” format of the CPS…but could I pulverize it in the food processor for decent results?…
Your photography entices the palate by the way..excellent eye!


Brittany November 15, 2012 at 2:06 am

I think either of those options should probably work! Let us know what you try and how it turns out!! :)


Debbie November 15, 2012 at 1:53 am

Ohhh – so want to make this but cannot eat almonds! Can you suggest another flour/meal – or combination?


Brittany November 15, 2012 at 2:05 am

Debbie- read my little P.s comment at the bottom of the post, I have another recipe for you! If you bake quickbread in a cake pan- it in essence becomes a breakfast cake :)


Norma November 15, 2012 at 2:04 am

ooppss..sorry…just read about the eggs…It looks sooooo yummy that I skipped all that to go to the ingredients …


Brittany November 15, 2012 at 2:07 am

That happens ALL the time! :)


Kristen November 15, 2012 at 2:49 am

This may be a silly question…but what size pan is a “small cake pan”? This recipe looks fantastic! Planning on making it this weekend. Thanks for another awesome recipe!


Brittany November 15, 2012 at 2:52 am

Not a silly question at all! I actually used a 7.5 x 7.5 inch square pan. A 9 inch circular pan will probably work as well but the cake wont be as thick. If you don’t have a small pan I think the best option is a bread pan!


Anna November 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Did this cake this morning. Had no cranberries but a frozen mix of blueberries and raspberries. I left out the Orange though, and I am so amazed. It is really delicious. Thank you!


Brittany November 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm

That sounds really good! So glad you enjoyed it!


Trish November 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I am so thankful for all the work you do providing these fantastic recipes! I am an old school cook that has had to learn new ways and substitutions due to my grandchildren’s gluten, dairy and peanut allergies. You make it so much easier!! And I greatly appreciate that your recipes are healthy and nutrient dense. Thank you so very very much!!


Catherine November 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Hi!! so excited to make thisnfor my Thanksgiving morning party. Do you think fresh cranberries would work instead of frozen?


Brittany November 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Fresh Cranberries should work just fine!


Stacey November 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Omg this looks amazing. You have made going grain free so much tastier to me! I do love including starch in my grain free goods because it makes everything so much lighter and more bread like. I used fresh cranberries and followed the recipe exactly except next time I’d like to make it low sugar and maybe try blueberries and lemon zest instead.


Kate keegan November 17, 2012 at 2:05 am

Hi Brittany, just a query re the starch. I know potato starch and flour are different but what about tapioca/ arrowroot starch. Are they different to the respective flours ? I’ve not come across them. I thought tapioca and arrowroot were the same animal also. Thanks. Kate


Shannon Clark November 17, 2012 at 2:21 am

I’m attempting to make this right now. I’m going to try and make cupcakes instead of a loaf. I’ll let you know how it turns out :)


Elizabeth Good November 17, 2012 at 9:18 am

Okay Brittany, I’ve had it. ;-) You gotta start selling this stuff by mail order. I simply don’t have the time/energy/will to make all that you do, and these posts just make me drool! Er…with a erythritol or non-glycemic sweetener version, that is. Love ya! Thanks for all that you do.


Elizabeth Good November 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm

P.S. In re-reading this recipe I saw my comment, it sounds ornery & I ONLY meant it as a joke and BIG compliment, dear Brittany. Sometimes the written word comes across without inflection~you know I love what you do and am always so grateful! This one looks so yummy.


Brittany November 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Oh gosh I didn’t read into it that way! Took it 100% as a compliment! xxx


Tasha November 17, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I’m going to make this for the holidays and I don’t have any oranges or orange peel so my question is can I use lemon peel instead? If not ill just run out and get the orange peel.


Brittany November 18, 2012 at 12:09 am

Go for it! Lemon will taste great!


jenni November 18, 2012 at 12:11 am

Oh Holy Lord, this was delicious!!! I LOVED everything about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I went out and bought several additional bags of cranberries to freeze because I have a feeling this practice batch will not last long.


Brittany November 18, 2012 at 3:08 am

That was literally the best comment I have ever gotten! ” oh holy lord”!! Omg. You made me laugh and smile so hard :) . Glad you loved it!!


Tasha November 18, 2012 at 5:42 am

Thank you so much!! I’ve changed my mind I’ll be making tomorrow, because I’m estactic lol.


Brittany November 18, 2012 at 6:13 am

HA! :) I know that feeling. I might just make it tomorrow again too! xx


Tabitha November 19, 2012 at 12:37 am

Made it and loved it. It was a hit with my kids an even my gluten preferring husband enjoyed his piece. Thank you. It smelled like Thanksgiving morning today.


Shannon Clark November 19, 2012 at 12:51 am

The cupcakes/muffins turned out brilliantly!!! They are sooooo yummy!!! Thank you for the recipe!


ericka November 19, 2012 at 4:23 am

I didn’t have any success with the glaze. mine didn’t harden at all, just got soaked in by the cake. any idea what I may have done wrong? even without it though, the cake was delicious!!!


Brittany November 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm

You probably needed more of the powdered sugar to make it thicker. Typically I only use a tiny bit of liquid. Also if you made your own sugar and it wasn’t finely ground that could be a problem too.


Carla November 19, 2012 at 5:03 am

Seriously YUM. I honestly dont make much GF because I think the GF industry products are so much worse for you than even eating gluten itself sometimes. But, it was a low number of ingredients and super duper easy and seriously incredible. It was that good. My 3 sisters, Mom and Aunt are all GF and I will be bringing this to the farm for Thanksgiving to share. I had to put it in the freezer or I would have eaten it all…I cant tell you how yummy this was. If you can make that crust you mentioned on your FB post as yummy I will kiss you. I miss a good quiche and pie crust something terrible. Your the best. And your page name is top notch. Thanks!!!


Bekah November 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Do you ever use Konjac powder (glucomannan) instead of starch or arrowroot? I might try it with that because I don’t like using starch at all but it looks so delicious I may have to just break a rule with this one! I read that Konjac powder has 10 times the viscosity of cornstarch so I just don’t know how much to try. Hmmm…well, I will experiment and report back!


nina November 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Could I actually use real buttermilk instead of the milk and lemon “buttermilk”? Or does it come out best this way? Which is fine, I am just curious. I was even thinking of using soured raw milk. I used some awhile back instead of water in some gluten free pancakes I made that are usually flat and boring and bland, but the soured raw milk made them like a gluten dream all fluffy and amazing. What do you think? Thank you, and I’m so excited to have found your recipes!! I can’t wait for the almond pie crust one!


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Go right ahead and use the real stuff! It should work and taste great! (Ps. I just posted the almond pie crust recipe yesterday: recipe:


Patrycja November 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

You said eggs are needed,but do you think it will work if I add egg replacer Ener-G instead? I really want to make this cake,but I have to make it also vegan,not only gluten free. :/


Brittany November 21, 2012 at 12:07 am

Eggs are what make this cake light and fluffy. Without them your going to end up with more like a dense-cake bar. Also the eggs help it cook through. Without them it may end up under baked.


Patrycja November 21, 2012 at 12:09 am

ow… bummer :( This cake is going to chase me in my dream tonight.. ech….. :(


Brittany November 21, 2012 at 12:46 am

I know :/ I wish I could change the chemistry of the flour- but it’s just very heavy! Making cake or bread out of almond flour without eggs is practically impossible. Gravity works against it.


Tiffany November 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm

I’m fairly new to your site. Is it possible to use corn starch in this recipe? Just curious because you say starch but only list 3(of course my local whole foods was sold out of arrowroot and potato, and I had no time to run around)



Brittany November 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Yes! That should work. I just don’t list corn starch often because many of my readers are allergic to corn!


Tabitha November 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Made this earlier this week. It was Ah-mazing! My glaze didn’t work right, but I’m pretty sure I added too much juice. We will try again. All the tastes of “Thanksgiving morning”…good memories and the tradition can be safely reinstated with your recipe.


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