Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

Last weekend I decided to use up the remainder of my bag of fresh cranberries by making breakfast – specifically this Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake recipe. I’m glad that I did. It wasn’t difficult to make. The coffee cake was a delicious breakfast and made a great snack for us during the week, too.

Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake
Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 vanilla bean, split
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cups flour + 1 tbsp flour (I used 1/4 cup whole wheat flour in this)
2 tsp baking powder
3/8 tsp salt
1 stick + 1 tbsp margarine, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (mine was soy)

I scraped the seeds from the vanilla bean and ground them with the sugar. I used a food chopper to dice the cranberries, and mixed in 1/2 cup of the vanilla sugar. In the stand mixer, I creamed 1 stick margarine with 1  cup of the vanilla sugar. I added the eggs one by one. I combined the 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt, and alternated adding this mixture and the milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour, stirring until just combined. I spooned half of the batter into a greased 9×2 inch round springform pan. I spooned the cranberry mixture over it, leaving a 1/2 inch ring of batter empty at the edges. I topped the cake with the remaining batter, being sure to cover all the berries and the sides. I mixed together the remaining 1/4 cup vanilla sugar with 1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp margarine, and sprinkled this streusel topping over the cake. I baked the cake at 375F for 40 minutes, until a toothpick came out clean. I cooled the cake for 45 minutes before serving.

This was pretty good. The cake was moist and soft. My vanilla beans are mild so I didn’t get a strong vanilla flavor, but the cake had a nice hint of vanilla. The cranberries were pleasantly tart, which even Alex liked. The streusel on top added some crunch, and made the top prettily mottled. I perhaps should have baked it a few minutes longer, because the bottom layer of my cake was a little gooey in a few spots. I must not have divvied the batter evenly between the top and bottom layers, or there must have been excessive cranberry liquid and sugar on top of the spots. Even so, we still enjoyed the cake. I enjoyed this recipe, and I would make it again.

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