this month is thanksgiving shout out month so we’re paying respect to traditional thanksgiving sides or desserts. this week is a side spruced up and sugared up…and turned into a dessert….the cranberry. i’m starting to look obsessed…but smitten kitchen is again the blog to thank for this recipe.
cranberries are a side that i pass on when it comes to thanksgiving dinner….however….in the form of a coffee cake…”please pass the cranberries!” i was pleasantly surprised with how tasty this crumbly cake was…just the right amount of bitter to contrast the right amount of sweet-fluffy-crumble….add a little vanilla bean…even better! (unless you’re on a tight budget….then ax the vanilla bean…those little guys are pricey!)
1/2 vanilla bean
2 cups fresh or thawed cranberries
1 3/4 cup sugar – this will be divided read recipe carefully
2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
confectioners sugar for dusting
9 in circle cake pan
gulp….as i wrote down the ingredients….i got that sinking feeling…that realization that i actually messed up my measurements. sigh. well….i’ll tell you what i did wrong in a second….but let the record show, that even with my goofs….it turned out mighty tasty….so maybe happy accidents?!?!
the “correct” instructions
start by preheating your oven to 375°F. generously butter your cake pan. add parchment paper to the bottom to the pan and butter as well. set aside.
split vanilla bean lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a paring knife. add to food processor with sugar and pulse until vanilla bean seeds are mixed through all of the sugar. transfer to bowl and set mixture aside.
pulse cranberries with half a cup of the sugar/vanilla mixture until cranberries are finely chopped…be careful not to purée this mixture.
sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. beat 1 stick of butter with 1 cup of sugar/vanilla mix (remember to leave 1/4 cup aside for crumble top) beat until fluffy. add in eggs one at a time. at a low-speed alternate mixing in flour and milk until all ingredients are combined.
pour out half the batter into pan and spread evenly. scoop out cranberry mixture onto batter, leaving about a half-inch border. scoop out remaining batter and spread out (carefully) to edges.
mix your remaining sugar/vanilla with tablespoon of butter and flour until mixture has formed small balls, crumble over top of cake.
bake cake for about 40-50 minutes until toothpick can be inserted and come out clean (except for that cranberry filling). the top should begin to brown and the edges will begin to pull away from pan. cool in pan for 30 minutes on top of a wire. remove from pan and cool completely, with crumb side up.
“happy accident” instructions
• forget to set aside that last 1/4 cup of sugar (for crumble top) and add it all to batter. which means ultimately you will need another 1/4 cup for crumble top
• use a whole cup of milk instead of a half cup….i really have no excuse for this mistake….i had the instructions right in front of me and somehow completely misread it. however, other bloggers complained about the batter being a little too thick….and i didn’t have that problem (obviously) so this mistake worked out for me and the cake tasted great.
• i also forgot the confectioners sugar dusting. as i was drifting off to sleep i remembered that i forgot….and almost set a reminder on my phone to do it in the morning….but didn’t….so there you go….if i don’t write it down…it doesn’t happen.
all in all i thought this was a success. as someone who isn’t wild about cranberries….i am very happy with how this treat turned out…and i may have even scooped out all the filling that stayed behind in the pan…with my finger….instead of sending it to the sink….maybe i do like cranberries?!
next time i would probably use the whole vanilla bean as the vanilla wasn’t a prominent taste and a little extra vanilla is usually a good idea. but…vanilla beans are also quite pricey….so maybe i would just add vanilla extract to the batter.
happy turkey month friends! enjoy!