To start the beginning of the busy holiday season i've made this delicious and easy Cranberry, Orange & Pecan Coffee Cake. This recipe makes two cakes perfect for hostess gifts and Christmas party dessert tables, as well as an easy breakfast treat served with fresh coffee. The combination of the tart cranberry with the bright orange citrus is refreshing and not overly sweet while the chopped toasted pecans add the perfect nutty flavor and crisp crunch. The cake is topped with a steusel-style topping and drizzled with a simple powdered sugar glaze. These two cakes are a great way to kick off the holiday season of baking and giving. Here is how you can make your own.
You can find the entire recipe here. Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans with Pam For Baking then line each pan with enough parchment paper to create an overhang on each side of the pans. Spray the parchment with Pam For Baking and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cake: Toast the pecans in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Coarsely chop toasted nuts and set aside to cool before incorporating into batter. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in chunks of the room temperature butter and work into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, fresh orange juice, orange zest and vanilla extract. I added 1 teaspoon of orange extract for a little more flavor. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until well incorporated. Use a silicon spatula to fold in the chopped cranberries and chopped nuts. (Hint: I mixed 1 Tablespoon of flour with the chopped cranberries before adding to the batter. This helps keep the cranberries from sinking to the bottom of the cake while baking.) Divide the batter evenly between the pans.
Topping: Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl and rub the chilled butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly. Divide the topping evenly between both pans. I topped each of the loaves with a little pearl sugar for decoration. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, this should be 50-65 minutes. If the tops are getting too dark, tent with aluminum foil and continue baking. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When cakes are completely cool, drizzle with glaze.
Glaze: Whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1 Tablespoon milk. Drizzle glaze over cooled cakes. Allow glaze to set up for 15 minutes before cutting.