with christmas quickly approaching and thanksgiving just behind us, i’ve come to the realization that this year i am not as prepared as years before. usually by this time i have already prepared several quick breads to freeze for upcoming events or to have on hand for guests as well as having several icebox cookie logs in the fridge for a quick treat to bake up for friends and family. i had a bag of cranberries left over from thanksgiving and decided to use them for this great and tangy quick bread recipe. yes, it is called a coffee cake, but i prefer to describe it as a bread considering it is prepared in a loaf pan.
the recipe calls for one loaf. i doubled it and make one 9×15 inch loaf as well as 4 mini loaves (which is equivalent to one 9×15 inch loaf). these mini loaf pans are perfect for hostess gifts or handing out for a small treat. especially when wrapped in wax paper with a pretty ribbon. this is a wonderful moist bread with a tart kick to it. i think the next time i make it, i might try some lemon zest in the batter. the lemon zest and the cranberry mixture would work really well together.
2 c fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1 3/4 c sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 lg eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
confectioners’ sugar for garnish, optional
preheat oven to 350 degrees. generously butter a 9×5 loaf pan.
place cranberries and 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor and pulse until the cranberries are finely chopped and sugar is incorporated, careful not to puree. place in a sieve and let drain while you prepare the cake batter.
in a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. set aside. in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, cream together butter and remaining 1 1/3 cup sugar for about 3 minutes on high-speed until light and fluffy. reduce mixer speed to medium and add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. add in vanilla. reduce speed to low and alternatively add flour mixture and milk in three parts, beginning and ending with flour.
spread 1/3 of the batter in bottom of prepared loaf pan. spoon 1/2 of the cranberries over the batter, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. top with another 1/3 of batter and remaining cranberries and finally, top with the last 1/3 of batter.
bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
recipe source: The Gourmet Cookbook