Monday, December 10, 2012

Brilliant Brunch: Cranberry Coffee Cake

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I've been thinking a lot about the holiday season over the past few weeks.  I love the whole feeling that you get walking around the city, looking at Christmas trees, and drinking warm eggnog and mulled wine.  I try to hold onto my love for the season when we're standing in line for 30 minutes to buy a Christmas tree at Home Depot, or when someone cuts John off for that parking spot at the mall. 
I also think the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas go way too fast; once the calendar hits December 1st, it's rush, rush, rush until January.  I'm super busy at work, I'm busy at home, and I'm wondering when I will find the time to shop, wrap, and send my Christmas cards!  The more I thought about it, the more I thought that other people HAVE to also be feeling this way, right? 

I really wanted to bake for all the apartments on our floor but with the weeks rushing by, I knew I was going to have to try something different.  I'm going to put my emphasis on Christmas morning and Christmas treats.  I only have one cookie recipe planned for you (gasp) but have seen so many floating around lately, that I thought we could all use a break!  I hope we can still all stay in the holiday spirit but dare to be a little different.  Starting with this coffee cake.
Cranberry Coffee Cake (adapted from King Arthur's Flour)
Serves:  24
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/3 cups flour
5 tablespoons butter

Filling: Make the filling first.  Combine water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat.  When it starts to boil, add the cranberries, and turn the heat to medium.  Stir while the cranberries "pop".  Once they have all popped, add the orange juice.  Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thickened but still lumpy.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Cake:  Grease a 9x13 baking pan.  Beat butter and brown sugar until well-combined.  Then beat in eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract.  Beat in baking powder, baking soda, and flour.  Pour two-thirds of the batter into the greased baking pan.  Top with the cooled filling.  Drop remaining batter over and swirl.  Set aside while preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Topping:  Combine sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and flour.  Then, cut in the butter, until the butter is pea-sized.  Using your hands, clump the topping together and drop evenly over the cake. 

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is browned and the cake is set.  A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.  Serve immediately.  Or, let cool completely and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.  To serve, defrost the cake for 2 hours on the counter.  Serve.
My favorite part about this cake?  It freezes really well.  I made it right after Thanksgiving and pulled it out last week.  For any of you who follow me on Facebook, you know John LOVES coffee cake, and he woke up happier than ever the past few days. 

Until the next time my oven is on...


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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