Spache the Spatula

Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

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While shopping at Whole Foods the other day, I noticed a delicious looking bag of fresh cranberries and I couldn’t resist; I just had to have them. Not that I knew at all what I was going to do with them, mind you, but they were calling out to me. Well, they have been sitting in the fridge for around two days now, and I finally decided something needed to be made with them. I scoured the internet for scrumptious-sounding recipes that utilized fresh cranberries and, let me tell you, I found a ton! It was actually rather difficult to make a final decisions\ when I had to choose between tarts and scones and other delectable delights, but alas, this one had my name all over it. When I cam across a coffee cake that included fresh cranberries I knew I had found “the one.” You see, I have a very soft spot for coffee cakes .
I originally found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen where it was taken from the December 2008 issue of Gourmet Magazine.
The cake turned out simply delightful! It’s sweet and yet tart, crumbly and yet creamy. Basically, this coffee cake rocks! (And for the record, the batter is so freaking delicious that I would eat it all day long until I got sick and still not regret it… as bad as that sounds hah.)

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Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake
recipe adapted slightly from here

ingredients:
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (yes, you absolutely need to use a vanilla bean and not vanilla extract)
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (6 ounces) frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Confectioner’s sugar, to garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9 inch circular cake pan with parchment paper and grease pan sides and paper.
  2. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into a food processor, add sugar, and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. (I like to save the scarped out vanilla bean pod and leave it on the counter. When it’s dry, I put it in with my granulated sugar to give it a vanilla-y taste!)
  3. Pulse the cranberries and 1/2 cup of the vanilla sugar in the food processor until finely chopped- you are not making a puree.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and the salt and set aside.
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream 1/2 cup of butter with 1 cup of the vanilla sugar. When pale and fluffy, add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour mixture and heavy cream, alternating between the two, beginning and finishing with the flour.
  6. Spread 2/3 of the batter into the lined pan and then spread the cranberry mixture over it, making sure to leave a 1/2 inch border around the sides. Top with the remaining batter and smooth the top.
  7. With the fingers, mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of vanilla sugar with 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour. Crumble the mixture over the top of the cake.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake (not the cranberries!) comes out clean; mine baked for 42 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 30 minutes then remove from pan to slice and serve!
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4 Responses to “Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake”

  1. Tasha - The Clean Ea — November 20, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Holy Yum!

  2. kim — November 22, 2009 at 3:14 am

    I really want to try this one!

  3. Diane — January 24, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Made this for Christmas family breakfast. Absolutely incredible. What other fruits would you suggest since I can no longer get cranberries.

    • Rachael replied: — January 29th, 2013 @ 11:01 am

      Oh, I'm so glad you liked it! I think it would be different, but very tasty with blueberries and lime zest instead of the vanilla. But, if you want to stick with the vanilla, you could try it with raspberries or strawberries. Keep in mind, though that these fruits all have MUCH more moisture than cranberries. A mixture of fresh dried fruit (like fresh and dried strawberries) might work best.

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