Baking on Friday (Thursday edition): Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

Today I vowed to finish the top-stitching on the Checkerboard Flowers applique.  Which gave me just the excuse I needed to procrastinate by baking this coffee cake that I found on The Curvy Carrot.  Since I still have leftover cranberries in my freezer from last year, I used them in this recipe, although fresh were listed in the ingredients.  My frozen ones worked just fine.  This is a recipe that seems to defy the laws of baking (those would be the laws I made up in my own head) in that it has no leavener and no milk.  That means the batter is rather stiff.  I'll admit to having my doubts about whether this was going to work, but it did.  It has a lovely crumb, kind of like the best soft-baked cookie, but still cake-like.  It's good for breakfast, but as is noted on The Curvy Carrot blog, it would be good as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

I'd like to try adding a little orange zest to this, and maybe substitute orange extract for the almond extract.  Also, the original recipe suggested sprinkling granulated sugar over the top, but I like the extra sparkle and crunch of Demerera sugar.  I did as The Curvy Carrot suggested and chopped whole almonds, but I think I would stick with slivered almonds in the future, or else substitute hazelnuts.  With that, here's the recipe:

Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake
slightly adapted from The Curvy Carrot

3/4 cups  unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) -- melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups  sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon  almond extract
1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
pinch  salt
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries -- plus more for top of coffee cake
1/2 cup  slivered almonds -- divided
Demerera sugar for sprinkling over the top -- optional

Set aside 2 tablespoons of the slivered almonds to use for the top of the cake.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Generously spray an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and the salt; set aside.

In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs until pale yellow and smooth, about 3 minutes.

Add the cooled butter and almond extract and mix until well combined.

With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cranberries and almonds; mix well.

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth with an offset spatula.

Sprinkle the top of the batter with extra cranberries, the 2 tablespoons of almonds, and a little Demerera sugar, if desired.

Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

3 comments from clever and witty friends:

Happy Turtle said...

That looks good! Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

Snoodles said...

Looks awesome....but I gotta show my ignorance here --- I'm off to google search and see what the heck that sugar is!! LOL

quiltzyx said...

You are just so cruel to display such culinary yumminess. You should just send us all samples.

Just sayin'.