Friday, April 13, 2012

Cranberry-Streusel Coffee Cake

There are advantages to living in Brooklyn. There are two 24 hour grocery stores within two blocks of my apartment. Within that same distance, there's another grocery store and a convenience store.

I pass no fewer than five food stores on my way home.

I should know. Last week I went in all of them to try to find frozen sour cherries.

I had my heart set on making Martha Stewart's sour cherry streusel coffee cake for brunch. It's just gorgeous, and I loved the idea of that burst of sour hidden within the typical sweetness of a coffee cake.

Not one of the stores I went in carried sour cherries. Not one. Most didn't even carry sweet cherries.

Yes, there are advantages to bring able to walk to the grocery store anytime you forget an ingredient, but their selections just aren't as varied as the Meijer's of my youth.

At this point, perhaps it would have been best for me to abandon ship and search for a new recipe, but instead I forged ahead. I pulled out some frozen cranberries and made a cranberry streusel coffee cake instead.

The cranberries produced a much thinner layer of filling than the cherries would have, but the taste combination was spot on. Each slice had bursts of contrast, both through the flavors and the textures provided by the streusel and the glaze.

A word of caution: a Hansel and Gretel bundt cake pan may not be ideal for this coffee cake. One: the turrets cook unevenly. Two: you can't really flip a cake shaped like a castle upside down to serve it so the streusel is on top. But, I live in a Brooklyn apartment. I have to be creative.

My only problem with this dish is that I made WAY too much streusel topping (I've adjusted the quantities appropriately for you) and I'm not sure what I do with the leftover streusel I froze. Any suggestions?

Cranberry Streusel Coffee Cake
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cranberries, thawed and drained well if frozen

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/8 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Milk Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch bundt cake pan.

Prepare streusel: In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter, until large, moist clumps form.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Beat the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the sour cream, but beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl often.

Spoon about half the batter into the prepared fan. Arrange the cranberries in a single layer on top of the batter. Try to place them away from the edges of the pan so they don't burn. Top with the remaining batter, making sure it is evenly distributed. Smooth the batter with a spatula. Sprinkle the streusel eenly over the top of the batter.

Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back with touched, about 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, and then reinvert it so the streusel side is up.

Prepare milk glaze: Combine milk and sugar in a small bowl, whisking well until combined. Drizzle over the sides of the cooled cake.

This coffee cake will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days.


  1. The cake sounds fabulous with the cranberries! Your pan is wonderful, but I do see what you mean about the topping on the bottom. :) Leftover streusel? If you have more cranberries, maybe some muffins with a streusel top. I may have to do that myself.

    1. Oh, I really love cranberry muffins, but I've never put streusel on top before. Thanks for the great suggestion. I will make those this weekend for sure.