Cabrera was raised in a Mexican American family in Denver, Colorado and then graduated from Washington State University. After school, she worked for NBC affiliate KHQ-TV in Spokane, Washington. She then returned to her hometown to work as the morning news anchor at KMGH-TV Channel 7 News in Denver where she earned an Emmy Award for her in-the-field reporting as part of a news team covering the High Park fire in 2012. The morning team was also awarded the Associated Press TV and Radio Association’s Annual Mark Twain Award for Best Morning Show Broadcast in 2013. In 2013, Cabrera joined CNN as a correspondent in Denver and then served on the CNN Investigative team. In March 2017, she was named anchor of CNN's weekend prime time new program, CNN Newsroom, succeeding Poppy Harlow.