by Debra on December 13, 2010

Musical pairing – Please Come Home For Christmas by The Eagles

This will be one of those posts I beg forgiveness in advance about my photos (which I normally don’t do); you see, I made this coffee cake last year for Christmas before I started blogging or had any inkling about photography.  At the time, I had no idea to bounce light, style a shot or even how to use natural light.  And not that I do these things perfectly now, but let’s just say I’ve been practicing . . . regardless of what you may think about the photos, I am begging you to make this Cranberry Vanilla Coffeecake!!!  Notice the triple ‘!!!’ – that means this cake ranks quite high on my very snooty nose in the realm of coffee cakes!!!  And it’s perfect, perfect, perfect for Christmas morning while opening gifts or any other holiday brunch table!!! Oops – I did it again!!!

Because we’re now less than two weeks away from Christmas, I’m going to make this post short and sweet . . . pun absolutely intended . . .

Start by making vanilla sugar which is simply the insides of a vanilla bean scraped (save the pod for another use, like simple syrup) and whizzed in a food processor with the sugar; set aside . . .

Finely chop fresh cranberries with 1/2 Cup vanilla sugar taking care not to puree (using the pulse button provides best results) – you still want some texture, just not whole cranberries

Mix your batter ingredients together; then spread half the mixture into prepared pan; NOTE: the batter will be thick and does not pour

Spread with chopped cranberries but . . .

don’t go all the way to the edge; leave a 1/2-inch border all the way around

Top with the remaining cake batter by dropping pieces of batter onto the cranberry mixture similar to making cobbler biscuits.  If you try to spread the batter, the cranberries will lift and become part of the cake batter – not what you’re looking for here.

Gently close as many of the gaps in the batter as possible – the cake will spread once it’s in the oven

Add 1 Tablespoon softened butter and remaining flour to the vanilla sugar and mix with fingers until crumbly; sprinkle onto top of the coffeecake.

TA-DAAAA!! Moist, sweet, sour cake with a hint of vanilla and the buttery crumb topping is perfect – make a latte and enjoy!

Make ahead: I made this Christmas Eve and it was perfect Christmas morning; wrap tightly and store at room temperature.
You might also like:
GF Dense Chocolate Yogurt Cake – Sensitive Pantry
Florentine Christmas Fruitcake – What’s for Lunch Honey
Parsnip Muffins – A Good Appetite
Cardamom Citrus Coffeecake – Good Life Eats
Yogurt Cranberry Coffeecake – Elle’s New England Kitchen