in keeping with a tradition, christmas brunch will be at my house again. this is such an enjoyable meal because no one has expectations but there are so many creative holiday options to make brunch festive. let alone, i don’t have to worry about christmas dinner as it is always at my mom and dad’s house.
this recipe is a make ahead recipe for brunch and it turned out wonderful. it can be called a coffee cake, cake, or simply a bread. depends on how you want to bake it. i made an 8 inch round cake and a loaf. it makes 2 cakes or loaves. i have made several cranberry breads in the past and decided to blend together what i like most about a few of the recipes to make this one. feel free to use just the fresh cranberries and skip on the dried. it will be just as delicious.
3 c sugar
1 c (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
4 lg eggs, room temperature
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
3 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 c fresh cranberries
3/4 c dried cranberries or blueberries
1 c pecans/walnuts/almonds, you can use a mix for variety
preheat oven to 350 degrees
place the chopped nuts in a dry pan and heat over medium heat. stirring occasionally. toast the nuts until they become fragrant and remove from the heat. they will continue to toast. be sure not to burn them.
cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy in a mixer with a paddle attachment. slowly add the eggs one at a time until incorporated along with the vanilla. add the lemon juice and zest. blend in the flour and salt until just combined. remove batter from blender and stir in the fresh cranberries, dried berries, and nuts.
place batter in prepared 8″ inch round pans, 8×8″ square, or 9×15″ loaf pan. bake f0r 55-60 minutes, or until it is nice and browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean. let cool completely before removing from pan.