In past years I have served a more loaded, protein-rich breakfast on Christmas morning, but I have realized that is kind of foolish given how late we get up. Also, my in-laws were with us this year for Christmas, which meant I made a more involved Christmas Eve dinner which meant in turn that I wanted a really low effort breakfast. So anyway, I decided I was going to make a coffee cake out of one of my new cookbooks, Lou Seibert Pappas’ Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet, and Savory.
I chose the Cranberry Pecan Orange Coffee Cake, because the orange and fresh cranberries is a celebration of early winter. I also chose it because it is heavy with a lavish crumble topping–and I love crumble toppings. This cake is also flexible–it worked well for Christmas morning, but it would work well for any morning. It is not too complicated or elaborate.
- the cake:
- 4 T unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 t baking powder
- ¼ t salt
- ⅓ cup thawed, undiluted orange juice concentrate (from the freezer section)
- 1½ cups fresh cranberries
- ⅓ cup (1½ oz) finely chopped pecans
- the streusel*:
- ½ cup (63 g) AP flour
- 4 T cold, unsalted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9 inch round pie or cake pan (Pappas calls for a pie pan but I did it just fine in a cake pan). Set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to incorporate. Mix in the flour mixture and the orange juice concentrate alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, in 3 and 2 additions respectively. Stir in the cranberries and pecans. The batter will be thick. Spread it into the prepared pan.
- Using a mixer, food processor or your fingers, cut the cold butter into the sugar and flour for the streusel topping/ Mix in the nuts. Set aside.
- Place the cake in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and quickly sprinkle the streusel over the top, pressing it lightly and evenly into the cake. Return to the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs attached.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, and then carefully but quickly unmold to cool right side up on a cooling rack. You may slice it warm or let it cool, wrap or cover, and serve the next morning.
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Yum! Sophie and I made Orange Cranberry bread yesterday! Those flavors definitely sound fabulous this time of year!
Do you think using fresh OJ, instead of the concentrate, and maybe some orange zest would provide enough orange flavor? I have plenty of fresh oranges around, but no concentrate. Oh, I also have some orange extract, but would prefer to use the fresh if you think it would work.
Mike: I wondered this too but was not sure and decided I did not want to fool with the risk on xmas morning! If you do try it let me know how it went. Also if you are feeling inspired, you could start with triple or even quadruple the orange juice and boil it down. I am sure that would help. I'd be wary of the zest bc the orange flavor is nice but not super strong–orange zest can easily overpower. Don't use too much.
That Girl says
Perhaps the best part if this is how quickly it can be made, or even made in advance!
I just love coffee cake, the 2 layers (crubmles/cake) they equal perfection. This is gorgeous.
Wilde in the Kitchen says
I love coffee cakes, I'll have to look at that cookbook! This sounds like the perfect, easy christmas morning breakfast.
I'd run to my kitchen and make this right now if I had some oj concentrate. This is a perfect winter treat with the cranberries and oranges (clementines too) wonderfully abundant right now. Luv the topping!
Fearless kitchen says
This looks really delicious. Good call on the low-key breakfast!
Kate @ Diethood.com says
Ooooh cranberry, oragne, pecan!!! YUM! I need to stop reading coffee cake recipes in the morning … I now want to head into my kitchen and make this!
Belinda @zomppa says
Beautiful flavor – fantastic way to wake up any morning.
I love the combination of orange and cranberry!
for me, 'streusel' is code for 'utterly irresistible.' nice coffee cake, laura–the flavors were made for each other.
Love the combination of flavors. Coffee cake is just a wonderful breakfast. Comfort food at it's finest. 😉
Some really interesting recipes that I must try when it gets colder here in New Zealand