A Christmas treat from Victoria Abbott aka Victoria and Mary Jane Maffini
Around here, we're all in the mood for Christmas.
We’ve wanted to make this recipe since last year when we first came across a version of a coffee cake that goes from freezer to table on Christmas morning when the cook relaxes in new slippers, possibly sipping eggnog and enjoying the aroma of fresh baking with cinnamon and other goodies.
This year we’re going for it. But of course we had to try it out before putting all our Christmas eggs in one basket. This version is a combination of a number of recipes we’ve found and tinkered with. We liked that this one used coconut oil (and we had almost the exact quantity already). We think it would have been excellent with orange zest and juice instead of lemon but there are some allergies here.
We’re happy to announce that our first try was amazing. The coconut oil makes a terrific taste, but you could use the same amount of butter.
This cake is a keeper for us. So here it is from our home to yours for Christmas:
Make Ahead and Take It Easy Christmas Morning Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake
Makes: One 9-inch cake
For the topping
2/3 cup brown sugar
¾ cup slivered almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp lemon zest
Pinch of salt
For the cake
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped – we used a Fuji
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
2 tsps lemon zest
Juice from half a lemon
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp almond flavouring
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Mix together brown sugar, almonds, cinnamon, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp lemon zest and salt in a small bowl and set aside for topping.
Mix chopped apple, dried cranberries, lemon zest and juice in a bowl and reserve.
Beat coconut oil with brown and white sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, vanilla and almond flavoring until blended.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat at low speed until blended.
Mix in apple, lemon, cranberry mixture.
Pour into greased 9-inch springform pan and sprinkle on the brown sugar and almond topping.
Wrap tightly with foil or plastic and refrigerate or freeze. Or bake right away, like we did! Lots of options.
Preheat oven to 350 F (we used 335 F with convection). Unwrap your cake and bake: 35- 40 minutes if put in oven at room temperature, right after making; or about 40 to 45 minutes if refrigerated overnight; 60 to 90 minutes or more if you are baking from frozen.
It's done when brown on top and tester comes out clean.
If you want to take some of the pressure off Christmas Eve and Christmas morning prep, this could be your answer.
Victoria Abbott is the mysterious collaboration between the artist and photographer Victoria Maffini and her mother, the mystery writer, Mary Jane Maffini. Strangely enough, their three book collector mysteries, The Christie Curse, The Sayers Swindle and The Wolfe Widow all contain Siamese cats. Coming in September 2015 The Marsh Madness.
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