Cranberries are best known in fall and winter recipes. Cranberries are a “super food” and have many health benefits. The flavors of orange, cinnamon, and cardamom add to the naturally sweet and tartness of fresh cranberries to create this winter coffee cake. My new favorite baking project is the coffee cake. I can add a variety of fruits, nuts, and spices, with each layer having its own distinct flavor and texture , and together creating a beautiful cake. In variation to a traditional coffee cake this recipe begins with a lightly spiced cake, a layer of fresh cranberries, and then a oatmeal pecan streusel topping. This recipe is quick and easy to make and has healthy ingredients including maple syrup, olive oil, fresh orange, oats, and pecans.
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Ingredients and Baking Tips
- Fresh cranberries are available from October through December. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month and frozen for up to one year. Cranberries are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, polyphenols, and proanthrocyanidins and have many health benefits, preventing infections, decreasing inflammation, and promoting heart and digestive health.
- I like using maple syrup in many of my cake recipes, reducing the need for added sugar. Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index compared to cane sugar and brown sugar and is rich in antioxidants and calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese.
- A combination of olive oil and butter adds flavor, while making a moist and tender cake.
- This coffee cake has less sugar, is higher in fiber and includes healthier ingredients compared to traditional coffee cake recipes. Substituting healthier ingredients in baked dessert recipes is possible and the results can be flavorful and taste amazing. For ideas on how to make healthy substitutions to your recipes see 10 Tips to Healthy Home Baking.
- Baking tools and Equipment. An electric stand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, two 6-inch spring form cake pans (or one 8-inch spring form cake pan), baking spray, parchment paper, and a baking cooling rack.
Cranberry Streusel Coffee Cake
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup extra light olive oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries (a mix of whole and sliced)
Oatmeal Streusel Topping
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2- 6 inch spring form pans or one 8-inch spring form pan with baking spray then line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl whisk together, sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
- On medium speed with an electric hand or stand mixer beat butter and sugar together until smooth, add extra light olive oil and maple syrup, continue to beat until light and creamy about 3-4 minutes.
- Add vanilla, then eggs one at a time mixing well between additions.
- Add orange zest and orange juice, and mix well.
- On slow speed of electric or stand up mixer alternate flour mixture and buttermilk to cake batter mixing just until flour begins to disappear. Try not to over mix.
- Spoon batter evenly between two -6 inch spring form cake pans or one 8-inch spring form cake pan.
- Top batter with fresh cranberries.
- Prepare the streusel topping. In a small bowl mix the flour, oats, chopped pecans, brown and white sugars. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or with two forks until topping resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle batter with streusel topping.
- Bake on center rack of preheated oven for approximately 40- 45 minutes, or until cake is baked through and lightly springs back or by inserting a toothpick. Cool in pan for 15 minutes then release and continue to cool on a baking rack.