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

Cranberry Orange Pecan Swirl Cookies

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After making another batch of Cranberry Avocado Salsa, I had a bunch of leftover cranberries sitting in my fridge. When I found a recipe for pinwheel cookies, I was nervous to try it out, as I’d never made cookies before that involved rolling up (and then slicing) dough. (The closest I’d ever come to that before = making the Pillsbury sugar cookies with the shapes in the middle, and yes, in that case, only the slicing part is required. :-P)

These Cranberry Orange Pecan Swirl Cookies ended up reminding me of the Cranberry Orange muffins you often see served for breakfast. They aren’t super, super sweet, and they have a light, fluffy consistency, which makes them perfect to eat in the morning (or really, any time :-P). If you do like your cookies super sweet, I’d recommend adding in an additional 1/4 cup of sugar. This recipe makes about 30-40 small cookies.

The Makings:

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  • Cranberries – 1 cup
  • Pecans – 1 cup
  • Brown sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Butter, softened – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Egg – 1
  • Orange peel, shredded – 2 teaspoons
  • Orange juice from 1/2 of an orange
  • Flour – 1 1/2 cups

The Sweetness

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1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a large mixing bowl on a medium speed. Add in sugar, baking powder and salt, and continue beating mixture together. Beat in eggs and orange peel next, followed by flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough for at least an hour.

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2. While dough is chilling, use a blender to create filling, combining cranberries, pecans, brown sugar and the juice from half of an orange. Blend filling until nuts and cranberries are finely chopped.

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3. Remove chilled dough from fridge and roll dough out between two pieces of waxed paper. Note: Be sure to use lots of flour here to prevent dough from sticking to paper. Using a butter knife, trim dough to a rectangle shape.

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4. Spread half of filling over dough, leaving a 1/2 border around edges of dough. Roll up dough, pinch ends together and lightly moisten the edges. Repeat process for remaining dough and filling, and chill rolled dough for a minimum of 4 hours.

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5. Slice rolls into 1/4 inch cookies. Heat over to 375 degrees and bake each batch for about 8 minutes. (These cookies do NOT spread out much in the oven.)

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I tried (unsuccessfully) to pinch the top and bottom of one of my dough rolls, to create a heart-like cookie shape. How cute would heart swirl cookies be for Valentine’s Day?

Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.

Cranberry Avocado Salsa

I discovered this salsa recipe on Martha Stewart’s website last year when I was looking for a fun dip (with a little kick) to bring to a holiday party. The colors of the ingredients are seasonally festive. The honey gives the salsa an extra bit of sweetness and the jalapeno gives it some heat. Plus, the cranberries provide some fun crunch to the mix.

Speaking of sweet honey, this lil guy was my favorite grocery store purchase of the week. (Don’t have any recipes that use honey? Oh bother. You can look below for starters!)

The Makings:

  • Avocados – 2
  • Halved cranberries – 3/4 cup
  • Jalapeno – 1 minced
  • Red Onion – 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Honey – 2 tablespoons
  • Lime juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Cilantro – 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

The Sweetness:

1. Chop jalapeno and red onion into tiny pieces, and mix them into a large bowl with honey, lime juice and lemon juice. Whisk briskly.

2. Section avocado into 1/4 inch pieces. (I use a butter knife to score each avocado half, and then scoop out the pieces using a spoon. Easy, peasy, presto avocado!) Add avocado into the bowl.

3. Halve cranberries and chop fresh cilantro, then combine with other ingredients in bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Now dip those chips!

More Sweetness:

Dragon's Deviled Eggs  Cranberry-Orange-Pecan Swirls  Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots