Monday, December 12, 2011

Cranberry and Cinnamon Coffee Cake

One of my favorite foods during the holiday season are beautiful, bright red and tart cranberries. They are so versatile that you can combine them with savory as well as sweet flavors. I prefer fresh cranberries much more than their dried and sweetened counterpart because I enjoy the sour flavor.

On top of being tasty, cranberries have a number of health benefits. They contain vitamin C, lots of fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants (both have similar effects in fighting oxidative damage), and they help prevent the development of urinary tract infections if ingested regularly.

Cranberries go so well with typical holiday flavors and spices, like cinnamon and brown sugar. This recipe for coffee cake I adapted from the King Arthur Flour website, but I only used the recipe as a general base with which to add other ingredients. This cake makes a great breakfast, as it is only lightly sweet, and the tart cranberries help wake up your palate in the morning.

Cranberry and Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Adapted from King Arthur Flour


  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ounces vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour an 8.5 x 4.5 in. bread pan.
  2. Combine walnuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Set aside.
  4. Whisk the oil, white sugar, and egg until pale and thick. Add the yogurt and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
  5. Pour half of the cake batter into the greased bread pan and smooth the top. Add half of the brown sugar, walnut, and cinnamon mixture to the top of the batter in an even layer. Pour the rest of the cake batter in another layer and smooth the top. Add the rest of the brown sugar mixture in an even layer.
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 45-50 minutes or until the center is set and the cake is fully baked.
You can easily make this recipe dairy free by using a milk alternative plus one teaspoon of vinegar in place of the yogurt. You could also use a non-dairy yogurt. I like to eat this cake with coffee (obviously) or a bold tea. Whether it is green, black, spiced, etc., virtually any tea will taste good with it.

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