Mary Anne here. Oh what a year this has been! We truly cannot believe that the holidays are in full swing and despite the advent of the season, we have yet to post a new and Feast-worthy recipe. Between the new baby, Mariel’s kitchen construction, and that annoying inconvenience called a job, the past six months have literally been an eddy of all things wild and wonderful.
Well, never has thewait been so deliciously worth it! My son-in-law, who for countless years has adored my Walnut Crumble Cake on Christmas morn, declared this Cranberry-Almond beauty his new fave and wants it for this year’s holiday breakfast. Who am I to argue? He is, after all, the father of my cherished cherub of a grandson!
Somewhat inspired by Mom’s Cranberry Nut Bread – as well as a Plum Upside Down Almond Cake from Kiran Tarun – this combines just the right amount of sweet and tart. The crumble topping could actually handle a few more of the ruby orbs than I used, but it’s strictly a matter of preference.
And if cake isn’t what you’re wishing for this year, we have a dazzling treasure trove of holiday recipes, whether it’s Christmas fare or a belated Hanukkah feast. No matter how or what you celebrate, we wish you a very jolly season filled with laughter, love and, of course, a bountiful feast!
Christmas Cranberry-Almond Crumble Coffee Cake
Note: This cake doesn’t just have to be for a holiday breakfast. We think it would be a gorgeous addition to the sweets tray at an afternoon tea party. And if you plan to prepare it for a holiday meal, it can be frozen ahead of time. Simply wrap well with a layer of plastic and then tin foil. To defrost, crack open the wrappings and allow the cake to come to room temperature on the counter-top. Re-heat in a 325 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.
½ cup blanched slivered almonds, lightly toasted and chopped – $3.99
1 ½ cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped – $1.99
½ cup (1 stick) sweet butter, softened – stock
1 cup sugar – stock
2 eggs, lightly beaten – stock
½ Teaspoon almond or vanilla extract – stock
2 cups all-purpose flour – stock
1 ¼ Teaspoons baking powder – stock
½ Teaspoon baking soda – stock
¼ Teaspoon salt – stock
½ Teaspoon cinnamon – stock
¼ Teaspoon ground cloves – stock
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
For the Topping:
3 Tablespoons flour – stock
2 Tablespoons sweet butter, softened – stock
¼ cup blanched slivered almonds, lightly toasted and chopped – included above
1/3 cup brown sugar – stock
¼ Teaspoon almond or vanilla extract – stock
½ Teaspoon cinnamon – stock
¼ cup fresh cranberries (or to taste), coarsely chopped – included above
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $5.98
Total Per Slice: $0.50
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly toast the chopped almonds on an un-greased cookie sheet until pale gold, stirring once, about 4 or 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
2. Oil or butter a 9-inch spring-form pan.
3. Using a mixer, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the almond or vanilla extract.
4. In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Stir in the cranberries and almonds.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar batter, alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Note: The batter will be quite thick and I finished it by hand, so as not to over-mix and produce a dry cake.
6. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly with a rubber spatula.
7. In a small bowl combine the topping ingredients, using 2 knives as cross swords to cut in the butter. Or do what I do and use your fingers! The mixture should be crumbly, no matter your method.
8. Sprinkle the crumbles evenly over the batter. Bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
7. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.