Saturday, December 13, 2014

Make Ahead Christmas Morning Coffee Cake

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
2 eggs
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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  1. Wow, this sounds like a really interesting recipe. I love the way it includes some apple and cranberries. And, yes, I have coconut oil. I'm prepared!

    1. I'm still salivating over your blondies, Sheila. I think you would like this. Of course like me, you'll tinker with it.



  2. I've never tried coconut oil---but this recipe sounds so good that I think I will try it.

    1. Sue, I'll be interested in what you think. You CAN use butter, and you should be aware that the coconut oil seems to be solid. Almost looks like shortening or lard, but smells much better.

      Hope you like it!



  3. How easy and delish. I love make ahead things! Yum.

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Thanks, Daryl! You are so organized, so I am not surprised.



  4. What a great idea--delicious ingredients and options for when to bake.
    Many thanks
    Hm, maybe a bit of brandied butter on the side to gild the lily?

  5. I agree, Libby. Guild that lily! After all, it's Christmas, why not brandied butter? There's always a bit of whipping cream too .... cardiologists are standing by!



    1. Well, we wouldn't want the "poor" doctors to be lonely, now would we!?

  6. This looks wonderful! I'm all for make-ahead dishes so the baker can relax and enjoy the celebration, too. Apples in cakes are just always so good. I'm looking forward to trying this!

    1. Thanks, Krista. It really did taste and smell great. And the cook does need a break!



  7. This looks nice. I love things you can make a head of time.

    1. We like the make-aheads too, Babs! Glad you like the look of it as well.