Cranberry Streusel Coffee Cake

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~ Cranberry Streusel Coffee Cake ~

For the past few days I’ve been reaching around a big container of cranberry sauce sitting in my refrigerator – a left over from our Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve pointedly ignored it until yesterday, when I realized I needed to take action, either by freezing it or repurposing it. I am done with turkey for the moment, so the thought of freezing sauce for another round of dolloping over a roasted bird was not terribly enticing. Baking, however, was something I could get excited about. It’s been raining cats and dogs lately, and the holiday season is before us, so something warm, spiced and sweet, wafting fragrant aromas from the oven into the kitchen would be perfect.

Cranberry Cake TasteFood

Cranberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Use a whole cranberry sauce (not gelee) for this recipe – preferably homemade. A recipe for a quick and easy sauce is included at the bottom of this post. Serves 12.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cubed

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups whole cranberry sauce

For the streusel:
Combine all of the ingredients except the butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to blend. Add butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside while you prepare the cake.

For the cake:
Heat oven to 350 F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Beat sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the zest, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the butter and sugar in 3 batches, alternating with the yogurt and finishing with the flour. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Spoon the cranberry sauce evenly over the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the cranberry sauce (it will be sticky). Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the cake. Bake in oven until knife inserted in center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. The flavors will develop as the cake cools.

For the cranberry sauce:
Place 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon orange zest and a pinch of salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Ginger Pear Streusel Cake

Pear Ginger Streusel Coffee Cake

Come in from the cold and enjoy some cake. This coffee cake is perfect for a winter afternoon pick-me-up. Spiced with ginger and not overly sweet, this cake is light enough to enjoy for breakfast, tea or dessert. While it’s delicious straight from the oven, the ginger flavor will intensify nicely as the cake cools – that is, if you can wait that long.

Pear and Ginger Streusel Cake

Makes one (8-inch) cake; serves 6 to 8

For the streusel topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped crystalized ginger
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, in small pieces

For the cake:
2 firm pears, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch spring-form pan lined with parchment paper and butter the parchment.
2. Make the streusel: Combine the flour, sugar, gingers, and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is pea-sized.
3. Toss the pears with the lemon juice in a small bowl.
4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
5. Cream the sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix to blend. Add the flour and mix on low speed until just combined without over-mixing. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange the pears in a concentric pattern over the batter and spread the streusel evenly over the pears.
6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a rack. Run a knife around the sides of the cake and release the sides of the pan. Cool the cake and serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The cake may be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.