Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cranberry Coffee Cake

Before I go any further, please learn this one thing from my blog: It's a good sign when recipes for cakes/cookies have sour cream in the ingredients list. It just really is! Moving on...

I told you I like cranberries — and I suspect that this won't be the last cranberry post of the season! Once again I found myself with a couple bags of Jersey cranberries and thought I might use them to try a new recipe. I also thought that the folks in my department would appreciate it at the staff meeting the next morning.

A lovely cup of tea — thanks for the mugs, Ash!

How would I describe the end result? Well, as Brad and his two brothers might have said when they were little boys, it was a big, hurkin' cake! It looked huge as it puffed up well beyond the side of my 9x13" pan, and this thing was heavy to carry too! But somehow the cake was still light, moist, and delicious! 

It was well received at work, so I hope you'll try it out also! You know, if you like that sort of thing (and I do). The recipe is adapted from Joy the Baker's recipe.

Cranberry Coffee Cake Recipe (makes a big, hurkin' 9x13 coffee cake)

Cake ingredients:
4 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup sour cream mixed with 2 tbsp. of milk
4 cups fresh cranberries, roughly chopped*

Topping ingredients:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, well-softened
2/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/3 cup oats

  • Put a rack in middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9×13" pan and set aside.
  • For the cake, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Combine the butter and both sugars in a a stand mixer and beat at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and then beat in almond extract. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and sour cream/milk mixture in alternate batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and only mixing until combined. 
  • Fold in cranberries. Spoon the delicious batter into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
  • For the topping, place the flour, brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon, and oats in a large bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon. Roll your sleeves up and work the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until evenly distributed. Take two full handfuls of the topping and spread it over the cake batter. Using a knife, swirl the topping into the batter. Then spread the remaining topping evenly over the cranberry cake batter.
  • Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean — about 60 to 75 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Delicious when served warm with a cup of tea (or coffee if you're into that — I'm just not!). Also delicious at room temp.

*For me, chopping cranberries is a B. It ranks right up there with de-veining shrimp and chopping pistachios (see Summer Squash Cake). So, I recommend using a cutting board with a well so the cranberries don't end up on your kitchen floor! But they sure are pretty, aren't they?


  1. First of all, I love your profile photo! The colors of the background are so vivid and pretty.

    Thanks so much for your visit ;) This cake would be welcomed in my home - I love cranberries, in a hurkin' cake or otherwise.

  2. The cranberries are really pretty.

    Love the sound of this cake, I made a similar one recently (used frozen cranberries and didn't bother to chop them!) and it was really, really good - I'm a convert!!

  3. Hmm...maybe I should try not chopping the cranberries next time. It really was a pain in the neck!

  4. Yes, here here re the sour cream...or any cream!!!! i just love cream, 40% fat please too :-D Merry merry Christmas :-D

  5. This looks delicious! (Thanks for the tip about cutting the cranberries :) )


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