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Cranberry Vanilla Coffeecake

More cranberries. I can’t help myself. Soon it will be summer and they won’t be available, I have to think about the future!

I made this cake twice in one week. That is a very good sign. I first made it the day that I received this issue of Gourmet in the mail—within a couple of hours I was in the kitchen baking this cake. Also a good sign. I then baked this cake again for my friend Molly’s birthday. Another good sign.

It’s just that good. I like coffeecake, maybe its my favorite type of cake—but why should I have to choose?! It isn’t too sweet, many times it is filled with some sort of delicious fruit filling and there is often crumb topping. I mean, what is it about crumb topping? I guess it’s probably the butter.

In any case, this cake really demonstrates everything I love about coffeecake and it relatively easy to make, which makes me love it even more. It would be great for a holiday breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Just try it, you’ll like it.

Cranberry Vanilla Coffeecake (adapted from the December issue of Gourmet)

Make sure you read the directions carefully, the vanilla sugar you make ends up getting divided between the cake, filling and topping.

  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (6 oz)
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.

Generously butter a 9- by 2-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment.

Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a food processor with tip of a paring knife (reserve pod for another use if desired). Add sugar and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl.

Pulse cranberries with 1/2 cup vanilla sugar in processor until finely chopped (do not purée), set aside.

Whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together 1 stick butter and 1 cup vanilla sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down side and bottom of bowl. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour, until just combined. Spread half of batter in pan, then spoon cranberries over it, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edge. Top with remaining batter and smooth top. Blend remaining 1/4 cup vanilla sugar with remaining Tbsp each of butter and flour using your fingertips. Crumble over top of cake. ake until a wooden pick inserted into cake (not into cranberry filling) comes out clean and side begins to pull away from pan, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool in pan 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely, crumb side up. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.