I know I’ve sometimes mentioned in my blog that Christmas always sneaks up on me. I’m really not the best planner. I seem to always take care of what I need to the week before Christmas. It’s frenetic and it’s sometimes a little stressful, but I always get things done.
I’m happy to be participating in the Twelve Weeks of Christmas group. The group is now on week 4 of presenting Christmas treat ideas. I thought baking these little cranberry cake beauties would be a good reminder of a gift I always want to give: mini tea cakes at holiday time. The recipe is found in The Gourmet Cookbook from 2003 (gosh, do I still miss that magazine!). It’s supposed to be made in a regular size loaf pan. You can make it in mini ones like I did or even a bundt pan.
Are you a great holiday planner or more last minute? :)
A little about the cake: After you pulse the cranberries and sugar, you’re supposed to let them drain out a little. I used frozen cranberries and didn’t wait for them to defrost before pulsing them. There wasn’t any liquid to drain. If you are like me and have exorbitant amounts of cranberries to bake up, be sure to wait until it defrosts and drain out the liquid or you will have oozy cakes…not that anyone minded over here. But if you’re gifting them, you don’t want the wrapper to be sticky with cranberry filling. You can also switch out the cranberries to blueberries or use your imagination. As I mentioned above, I made them in mini loaf pans and I ended up with three. Be careful when you add the filling and be sure to not go all the way to the sides of the pan. I really love this recipe. My kids loved this recipe. We will be making it over and over again.
Cranberry Coffee Cake
slightly adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
for the filling:
2 cups fresh cranberries
for the cake:
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (I used Earth Balance margarine)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1/4 sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray (or grease it).
Pulse cranberries with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in a food processor until finely chopped (do not puree). Transfer to a sieve and let drain while making batter.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and orange zest. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternatively in batches, beginning and ending in flour. Mix until just incorporated.
Spread a third of batter evenly in the prepared loaf pan. Spoon half of drained cranberries evenly over batter, leaving a 1/2-inch border along sides. Repeat with batter, then cranberries and finish with batter. Sprinkle on the almond.
Bake for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let cool for 30 minutes. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.