2015/01/img_5280.jpgSpotted this lil guy in the shop window of Alliance Pastry in downtown Chicago



Minion Does Chicago

Cranberry Coffee Cake

Cranberry Coffee Cake

I had a chance to become reacquainted with my kitchen over the holidays. I took a break from throwing together the usual dinners, and helped prep a meal of steak filets. (I left the cooking to a more seasoned expert.) On another night, I tried a new recipe for smoked chicken with roasted red peppers. The key ingredient there? Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Yum.

I also spent a bit of time baking. Wanting to use some of the leftover cranberries from the garland-making festivities at my holiday party, I found a recipe for Cranberry Coffee Cake. The dates and brown sugar really add an extra kick of sweetness to the cranberry topping. It’s an upside down cake, and when flipped, it didn’t look like the prettiest creation. It did serve as a delish breakfast for the week. It also reminded me that I want to spend more time baking (and cooking!) when I’m not off traveling. I’ve already made plans to host two dinner parties this year. Huzzah!

Cranberry Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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The Makings:

  • Cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

The Sweetness:

Cranberry Coffee Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray to coat 9-inch baking pan and then dust pan with approximately 1 tablespoon of flour.

2. In a small bowl, mix together cranberries, walnuts, dates and orange rind.

3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir in brown sugar, orange juice and cinnamon, mixing frequently for 3 minutes.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

4. Pour brown sugar mixture into pan and cover it with cranberry mixture.

5. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, use a mixer to blend butter and granulated sugar. Add in vanilla and egg.

6. Alternate stirring in flour mixture and buttermilk into granulated sugar mixture. Be sure to start and end with flour mixture. Once blended, pour combined mixture into pan atop cranberries.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

7. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife along edges of pan and once cooled, invert cake onto a serving plate.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

8. To create glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, butter and orange juice. Use whisk to drizzle glaze atop coffee cake.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

This recipe is from Cooking Light: Comfort Food

More Sweetness:
Blueberry Pie Bars  Cranberry-Orange-Pecan Swirls  Cranberry Avocado Salsa

Lemon Strawberry Cookie Cakes

Lemon Strawberry Cookies 001

I was seeking a bright, sunny burst of sweetness in my kitchen. These Lemon Strawberry Cookie Cakes pack quite a lemony punch, but not in a super sour way, at all! They’re baked in a pan, and then cut to make single servings. I used my circle cookie cutter as a mold (and ate the scraps in the process). :) I paired my cookie cakes with a glass of sparkling water, topped with strawberry slices. If you’re still craving more lemon love, you could serve these with a glass of lemonade.

The Makings:

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

  • Flour – 2 1/4 cups
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Butter or margarine – 1 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Lemon zest – 3 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Diced strawberries – 3/4 cup

Optional glaze:

  • Lemon juice – 3 tablespoons
  • Powdered sugar – 1/2 cup

The Sweetness:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pan with tin foil.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies
3. Cream butter and sugar together in a separate bowl. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest and egg. Then mix in dry ingredients.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

4. Fold in strawberries.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

5. Add mixture to lined baking pan, lightly pressing dough down into bottom of pan.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. To create glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Use whisk to drizzle glaze atop cookie cakes.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

This recipe was adapted from Bakeaholic Mama.

More Sweetness:

Strawberry Banana Bread  Lemon Cool Whip Cookies  Cranberry-Orange-Pecan Swirls