Here's my favorite cranberry walnut coffee cake recipe. What's great about this coffee cake is the interesting mix of flavors. The cranberries add a bright tartness to the sweet cake, and the toasted walnuts in the topping give it a smoky, nutty flavor, not to mention a nice crunch. Plus there's a touch of orange zest in the batter to add a faint hint of citrus. It's not only beautiful to look at, it's also scrumptious (and easy to make)!
CRANBERRY WALNUT COFFEE CAKE
For the cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cup melted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (zest from about 1/2 a normal sized orange)
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter - room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and get an 8"x8" pan ready by greasing it up with butter.
I start with the topping, so it is ready to sprinkle as soon as the batter is mixed. Mix the flour, granulated and brown sugar, and the salt together. Cut the butter into small chunks, and add it into the mix. You can cut it in with a knife, but I like to just work it with my fingers until it is it crumbly. Then you can add the walnuts (I crush most of them but add a handful of halves) and set aside and start the batter.
Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) to a mixing bowl and whisk together. In another bowl, add the eggs, melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and buttermilk. Beat with an electric mixer on high for about a minute, or until it is thoroughly mixed.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently mix with a fork. Over mixing can lead to a tougher cake, so just mix until the batter barely comes together.
Pour half the batter into the cake pan. Add the cranberries to the remaining batter, and pour the rest on top. This helps keep the cranberries from settling on the bottom.
Now use the topping to cover the top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees, checking periodically with a toothpick (should come out clean).
And look how pretty it is when you cut into it (it's even prettier in person). :)