Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mmmm...Start the day with a little sweetness:

I just wanted to pop on here tonight and share a wonderful recipe for coffee cake that I made for Mother's Day brunch.  It's full of cranberries, orange peel, cream cheese, and it is sooo yummy.  Even my dad and my brother-in-law, who normally don't partake in cranberry dishes, ate second helpings of this.  Of course, lots of sugar and cream cheese will have a tendency to make just about anything palatable. 

My children helped me make this the night before Mother's Day.  While watching me chop up the frozen cranberries, my son said (over and over with the most forlorn expression), "Sad berries.  Berries so sad.  Chop. Chop."  And as my little kitchen helpers sat on the counter top assisting me, I heard myself saying something that probably doesn't fall under the category of typical meal preparation talk: "If it falls on your sock, don't throw it in the mixing bowl." 

I have several old issues of Taste of Home, and this came from one of their recipe contests for coffee cake.  It was tough for me to choose which one to make.  I figured I'd just start with this one (which, by the way, was a runner-up, not even the winning recipe) and work my way down their list.  So, without further ado, here's the rundown:

Creamy Cranberry Coffee Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp grated orange peel

Cream cheese layer:
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter

In a large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients.  Then combine the egg, orange juice, butter, and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients until well mixed. Fold in cranberries and orange peel. Pour into greased 9-in. springform  pan.

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add egg and vanilla; mix well.  Spread over batter.  Combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle over the top.

Place springform pan on a baking sheet and bake @ 350 degrees for about 70 minutes (I checked mine beginning at the 60 minute mark) or until golden brown.  Be sure not to overcook!  Cool on wire rack for 15-30 minutes before removing sides of pan (I didn't remove mine until the next morning -- after it safely made the journey to my parents' house).

My favorite part of this cake is the custard-like layer right there in the middle.  I'm not a fan of dry, crumbly coffee cakes (is anybody?).  There is definitely zero chance of this cake tasting dry or crumbly.  It turned out moist, creamy (with just a bit of crunch from the topping), and had just a hint of tanginess from the cranberries and a light citrus zing from the orange peel.  A perfect balance of flavors.  A must-try for your next brunch or, really, any morning when you need a little motivation to get out of bed and start the day!  If there had been any leftovers from our Mother's Day brunch, I would have raced down to the kitchen the following morning to eat every last morsel.


  1. Cross your fingers that this comment pops up! Cranberries, oragne, and cream cheese now you're talking! This looks so good and yes, something to get out of bed for! Let us know when you try the winning recipe!

  2. Opps, sorry for the typo on my previous comment, I meant to say orange. Was just too excited that the comment was working on my end!! Hooray!
    P.S. I didn't have to enlist the hubbies help for the comment snafoo, I did it all on my own. I may be computer literate afterall!

  3. J-
    I'm so relieved that you're able to put in your (ever so thoughtful) two cents now! So weird about that comments thing.

    And yes, I will post the winning recipe here once I make it. Until then, I am going to chip away at the top 10 list. Oh my, having to eat delicious, comforting, satisfying coffee cakes every week for the next 10 weeks?? How will I ever manage?! ;)