Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cranberry~Pecan Coffee Cake

I'm not one to rush through the seasons...or the holidays, but when I was out and about this weekend, I saw several stores with their wrapping papers and ornaments for Christmas out already--Geeze!!  I guess I should have expected it since Halloween candy and costumes have been out since Labour Day!

At our house, we didn't really get into the spirit of Christmas until after Thanksgiving; that was the rule:-))  Thanksgiving was a big deal at our house with preparations for dinner starting at least a week ahead.  I may have a lot of fancy gadgets, double ovens, food processors, stand mixer, etc., but let me tell you I have helped my mom prepare this large meal in a kitchen that was barely a 10' x 12' room with none of that and it was memorable.

Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving, I decided to create a coffee cake that would be perfect to serve to your family either the morning of, or if you have company staying over, the morning after.  My mom and I made up cranberry and pumpkin breads the day before so everyone could have a substantial breakfast without needing to come into the kitchen to make it.  (The night before, we baked pies!)

In 2009, when I was in Kentucky during Kelly's chemo regiment, I flew to my sister's in Virginia for Thanksgiving.  (Our oldest daughter, Erin wanted to be with Kelly during Thanksgiving and I wanted them to have precious time alone together).  Also, I had just reconnected with my sister after 13 years, when Kelly and I made a road trip in June to her house.  She made the traditional cranberry~nut bread, but now has some dietary restrictions and I think I've come up with a delicious way for her to enjoy this coffee cake without worry.  I baked it in a 10-cup ring pan, but you could adapt this recipe to make two loaves just as easily.

Cranberry~Pecan Coffee Cake
Streusel topping:
4T + 1 1/2 tsp. King Arthur all-purpose flour
6 T granulated sugar
2 T firmly packed light brown sugar
3 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup pecans 

Using a food processor, combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl and pulse until the pecans are finely ground.  Add the butter and pulse again to combine.

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Spray a 10-cup ring cake pan with baking spray and set aside.

1 3/4 cups pecans (toasted in a 350F-degree oven for 8 minutes)
1 1/2 cups + 2 T granulated sugar

Cool toasted pecans, then, combine in the food processor bowl, along with the granulated sugar and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand.

2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
3/4 c milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 1T unsalted butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then, add the pecan/sugar mixture and stir.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, milk and melted butter and stir to combine.

3 cups fresh cranberries
2 T confectioners' sugar

Once again, using the food processor, combine the cranberries and confectioners' sugar and pulse until the cranberries are a medium chop.  Add them to the batter and stir again.  

Pour batter into the prepared pan(s) and top with the streusel topping.

Bake in the preheated oven for 38-40 minutes until a tester comes out cleanly when poked in the center.

Allow coffee cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then place a plate, covered with wax paper, over top and invert.  

Place your choice of serving platters over the bottom of the cake and invert once more so the streusel is on top again.

Vanilla Glaze
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 T Light Karo syrup
1/2 tsp. Orange juice powder
1-2 T very warm water

Mix ingredients together thoroughly and drizzle over the top of the streusel.

Times flies, but having baking plans will help the hectic season that is about to befall us in November.  This coffee cake will make a wonderful morning treat or serve it at "tea time." Enjoy! 

Congratulations to Susan from "Writing Straight from the Heart"--your name was chosen for the Sunflower pendant necklace!  Please email me your address so I can mail this gift to you, XOXO



  1. The coffee cake looks luscious, Susan. Congratulations! Also, thanks for telling me I won the necklace! That was a fabulous way to begin the new week of life! Susan

    1. Congratulations! I'll get it packaged up today and it will be on its way. XOXO

  2. congratulations to susan! your necklace is just beautiful. and your cranberry pecan cake would be so perfect right now! i'm sure your sister really appreciated the adapted recipe (which looks delicious!)
    i feel the same way about muir woods susan :)

    1. This came out perfect and especially for anyone with G.I. problems, finely grinding the nuts and cranberries makes a difference, but it also made a beautiful cake. Wish I was close enough to bring a big portion over to you right now!

  3. Fresh cranberries are quite pricey over here..I guess I need to get some frozen one instead.
    The coffee cake has turned out so beautiful with smooth and light crumb, Susan. Well done!
    Congratulations to Susan!

    1. You can also reconstitute dry ones is they are any cheaper,but frozen will work too. I'd be interested in seeing your substitutions when it comes to flour, etc. I grew up baking traditionally (and trained at the CIA the same way) and don't venture into that area:-))

  4. Your cake looks delicious! We have a new (within the last 7 years) Thanksgiving breakfast tradition. In the past, I always had two ovens, so baked my pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving morning in one oven while the turkey was roasting in the other oven. When we moved to this house where I have just one oven, I had to bake the pie the day before. Well, we all love pie for breakfast; so guess what? Ate the pumpkin pie in the morning! It's great, because no one really has room for pie after Thanksgiving dinner anyway.

    1. I don't have the problem now of having to manage my time roasting a turkey:-) and like to bake my pies in the morning too. Like my mom, I usually have dinner around 2 or 3 p.m. so there's always room for pie later!!

  5. Susan can you send me a piece of that coffee cake? hmmmmmm? all your recipes sound good and I know from eating some of your cookies and cakes when you lived here in CT.
    It is terrible that holidays are so commercial nowadays. oh well, such as life.
    stamping sue

    1. Don't I wish we lived closer again! I'm feeling the pressure from all the work ahead of me and the holidays approaching, not to mention CHA is early this year:-(

  6. I couldn't agree with you more. I like to enjoy each holiday as it comes. I've noticed lately, that the merchants play-up Halloween much more than Thanksgiving. It's like Thanksgiving is an after thought. What a is one of my favorite holidays.

    1. I guess because we lived in the "sticks," Halloween was not a big deal for us. And, especially with my girls, who went to parochial schools, "All Saints Day" was more important;-) Thanksgiving is one of my favorites too--a real history of what America and family means to me, but just because retail stores don't gain from it, the importance has waned.

  7. Good morning Sis, the coffee cake looks delicious and grinding the nuts and chopping the cranberries in the cuisinart (as opposed to cutting the cranberries in half for the crumb cake) should do the trick for my diet.
    I'm not even sure Mom's kitchen was 10X12---what I am sure of is that she was a wonderful cook and she loved to cook. Everything was made from scratch---biscuits, rolls, bread, pies, cakes, cookies, and she always had a crowd to cook for. I, like you, feel very blessed that she let us create and "do our own thing". When I see you and Ari and Maddie baking together, I see Mom and our son, Rick, making cookies and he is cracking the eggs, so very carefully---he was 3 at the time! I love baking with my granddaughters. I hope that one day they will have memories of the time we spent together just like the ones that I have of the times spent in Mom's little kitchen!

    1. Hi Sis, One of my most vivid memories of Thanksgiving at Mom's is of you "dancing your way" to the compost pile for clean-up!! We're a testament that our best memories with mom are in the kitchen with her and I know it will be with our grands with us:-D Love you, XOXO

    2. Ah, yes, I also remember it well!! Hugs, Me

  8. I love the stories of you cooking with your mother! Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time to enjoy our family without having to worry about gifts. Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier in the stores each year.
    The cake looks so delicious! I have never baked much with cranberries. They are never the freshest here where I live so I shy away from them. I must find some fresh ones!
    Can't wait to see what else you make this week!
    Congrats to Susan on the necklace :)

    1. Cranberries are one of my favorite fruits...and one of the only three indigenous to the United States! My mother would make fresh cranberry sauce, never out of a can, so the true flavors and freshness always came through. I can't imagine a Thanksgiving without them.
      I agree, it's one of my favorites; center around sharing food and stories with family and friends around the dining room table! XOXO

  9. Susan, I have just caught up on all your blogs from the last two weeks. We have been away celebrating our 45th anniversary. I can't wait to try this lovely cranberry and pecan coffee cake. It looks amazing! I love to hear your stories about your family. It's what brings me back to your blog every day! Thanks for sharing. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

    1. Congratulations on your 45th; I was going to travel with my hubby to Ohio when we celebrated our 44th, but ended up having to fly for work instead:-( We keep promising ourselves a trip to Portland, but honestly, with our schedules I don't see it happening.
      Thank you for your kind words; Followers like you is why I love sharing memories and stories, XOXO

  10. Replies
    1. It's one I'm going to make for Kelly's guys when I'm there next week...maybe some will find its way to your house:-D

  11. oh my goodness! that cake looks and sounds fabulous! how perfect for Thanksgiving or fall. beautiful!

  12. Congrats to Susan on the lovely necklace!
    I just put some cranberries in my freezer. I'd love to make this recipe! I wonder if you bake every day... I'm trying my best to stay out of the goodies right now. I have no willpower! If it's here, I eat it!
    I have tried a white choc cranberry oatmeal cookie that isn't too sweet and I really liked it. I think the recipe is on the dried cranberry bag.May have to bake a half batch!