19 December 2012

Deni's Cranberry Coffee Cake

An easy and delicious use of leftover cranberry relish .... that's where this recipe started its run at the grey cottage (and before that, at the Hopkinton Homestead). My dear friend, Deni always made this for staff brunches and also as holiday coffee break treats for our little classroom staff kaffeeklatsches. She graciously shared her recipe all those years ago and I have been making it at least two times a year ever since!

Our family never eats the whole can of cranberry relish, sooo .... what a nice way to use the leftovers!


I have a question for readers to ponder ... so please read on and let me know through comments your ideas. Here's my quandry ... I love this coffeecake, but the ends and edges of the cake get too browned while baking ... how can I make this coffee cake and keep the outer edges of the cake tender and lightly brown ? Ideas anyone?

Deni’s Cranberry Coffee Cake


½ c. softened butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp almond extract
½ can whole berry cranberry sauce, broken up with a spoon
½ c. chopped pecans

Making the Coffee Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a large loaf pan.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in a deep mixing bowl and whip with a mixer until creamy light yellow. Add one egg at a time, beating well between additions.
  3. In a large measuring cup measure out the flour, baking soda, and salt – whisk together.
  4. Add one third of the flour mixture to the egg and butter mixture, mixing well.
  5. Add the almond extract and one third of the measure of sour cream and mix well.
  6. Repeat with a second third of the flour mix and then the sour cream, mixing well.
  7. Finish up with the last of the flour and then the sour cream.
  8. Place one third of the batter in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan, spreading the batter right out over the bottom of the pan
  9. Use half the cranberry relish, placing dollops over the surface of the batter, but staying away from the edge of the pan.
  10. Repeat layering with more batter and more cranberry relish and more batter.
  11. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the chopped pecans and press them gently into the top of the batter.
  12. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted dead center in the loaf.
  13. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for about ten minutes. Then, turn it out of the pan and onto a nice platter to cool completely.
  14. Whisk together a glaze and use a fork to dribble the top and sides of the coffeecake. Let the glaze ‘set up’ before covering the cooled coffeecake with plastic wrap for storage.

Glaze Ingredients:

¾ c. confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp. almond extract
1 tbsp. warm water

I would love to show you what the inside of the coffeecake looks like, but this is a Christmas present for my parents ... so you must imagine a layered confection - deep red layers of cranberry sauce with the occasional berry sticking through where the slice has been cut - a soft golden cake with a rather large moist crumb ... and that darn crispy brown outer edge - a heady whiff of almond along with the tart cranberry flavour. Delicious ... but it could be better!


  1. IT looks wonderful! I had this problem with my white fruitcake; I lowered the oven temp to 325 and cooked it 1/2 hour longer. Hope this works.

  2. it's a simple solution... just line the cake tin with 2 layers of greased proof baking parchment... take the layers half the height again of the tin... should sort it out although i've got to say it looks stunning how it is... great great recipe x

  3. This looks wonderful. I've found I get better results using "silver" pans than I do with the dark ones. You asked about the meat I used with the gratin. I serve them only with steak or plain chops or roasts, because, even trimmed back, they are very rich. Have a wonderful holiday. Hugs and blessings...Mary

  4. Isn't it funny how some cakes brown more easily than others. You have a couple of good solutions in the comments. I would be interested in knowing which one works best. The cake looks delicious and your parents are going to love it.

  5. Looks great!! I'd have to say first of all if you're using a non-stick (darker) pan, it might make the edges brown faster. Also, you could probably lower the temperature a bake longer. I'm sure it tastes awesome, regardless :)


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