Friday, February 3, 2012

VHD 2/12 - Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake

Considered as one of nature's super foods, cranberries are known for a wide range of health benefits. This would be my first time working with these nutritious berries. Our friends Hema & Madhu visited us in January and I wanted to bake a welcome cake for their daughter --- 4-month-old baby Maya! Of course, Maya was certainly not eating the cake but I created an opportunity for us to include some hearty antioxidants in our diet and also created the perfect excuse to pile on those sugary calories :)

The first thing that came to mind was the frozen cranberry sauce from our Thanksgiving dinner and thus began the quest! I initially thought of making this Cranberry-Swirl Quick Bread I found on The New York Times' website. But then I figured this recipe may not have enough butter and eggs to make it moist and cakey so I decided to go ahead with a coffee cake recipe (excuse my ignorance but I always thought coffee was a key ingredient in coffee cakes, well, you learn something new everyday!!) which looked exactly like the picture I had in mind :) I also dug up a simple glaze to go on top. As always, I was nervous about using eggs - I hate it when cakes have a strong eggy smell and taste! - but I was very happy with the taste and consistency of this cake :)

Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake
Inspired by kingarthurflour's Cranberry-Almond Coffee Cake

Butter - 1 stick or 1/2 c
Sugar - 1 c
Eggs - 2
Buttermilk - 1 c
Orange zest - 1/2 - 1 T (or any other flavoring but orange zest adds a wonderful flavor to the cake!)
Baking powder - 1 t
Baking soda - 1 t
All purpose flour - 2 c
Salt - 1/2 t
Cranberry sauce - 1 c (if you are using frozen then make sure to put it out ahead of time)

Preheat your oven at 350 deg F. Grease and prepare a 8" round pan and set aside.

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter till smooth and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and orange zest. Now, very slowly mix the buttermilk, do not over-mix as it might curdle the mixture. Yes, it happened to me the first time! The next step is to add (continue using the stand mixer) the baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour.

Pour half the batter into the baking pan, level and then spread 1/2 the amount of cranberry sauce. Repeat the process with the remaining cake batter and sauce. Bake for 55 minutes. Remove and cool in pan for 10 minutes over a wire rack. Place a parchment paper on the wire rack and flip the cake out of the pan and cool for another 5 minutes.

Orange Sugar glaze
Inspired by evilshenanigans

Butter - 2 T, melted
Powdered sugar - 1 c
Orange juice - 1 T
Vanilla - 1/2 t
Water - 2-4 T

WHISK together ingredients 1-4 and 2 T of water in a bowl. Add more water if required! You need a thick yet pourable mixture. Pour this over a very warm or cool cake. Top it with grated nuts and dried fruits if you like!

  • I substituted the lemon juice in the original glaze recipe with the orange juice. I beat the glaze with a spoon, big mistake! I should have whisked it, whisking takes care of all the fine little lumps and results in a smooth glaze. 
  • Also, the glaze I prepared was quite runny, I am not sure if this was because of not whisking. So, note to self, next time start with 1 T of water next time and then add more if required and of course whisk, whisk, whisk!!! 


  1. luv it....i dont see the color change....the slice looks lovely!

  2. What a nice looking cake, just what I was looking for, thanks so much.


Welcome to our food blog. Please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions for improvements in a recipe. If you try any of the recipes here, please send us your feedback or pictures and we will post it on the blog.