We made it! Whether your home is clean as a whistle or looks like it was hit by a gift wrap tornado, this year’s Christmas is over and the new year is just around the corner. And after yesterday’s dessert spread, I for one am ready for a bright and fresh recipe to start the day. I know that, technically, the days are starting to get longer, but it’s still full dark when I wake up, and having a rich piece of this cranberry and orange coffee cake goes a long way toward jump starting my day.
The cake itself is rich, thanks to the sour cream in the batter, and every bite has the unexpected surprise of orange zest and tart cranberries. I made a quick frosting with cream cheese, orange juice and powdered sugar that highlights those bright and tangy flavors, and the result is a coffee cake worth waking up for.
To start, generously butter a bundt pan and preheat the oven to 350°F.
To make the batter, mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low and add the egg, mixing until combined. Add half of the dry ingredients, followed by the sour cream and then the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing only until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the cranberries, then pour the batter into the bundt pan and smooth it with the spatula.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes, then flip the cake over onto a wire rack and cool completely.
While the cake cools, make the frosting. You can either use a handheld mixer or a stand mixer. Combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and orange juice and beat them until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Pour into a measuring cup with a spout and drizzle it over the coffee cake once it has cooled completely.
- ¾ cup sugar
- Zest of two oranges
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup cranberries
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (from 1 small orange)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Generously butter a bundt pan and set aside. For the best results, I used softened (not melted) butter and made sure to get every nook and cranny. It took at least a tablespoon of butter for the entire pan.
- Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, add the sugar and orange zest. Rub the zest into the sugar until it's fragrant.
- In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat butter until smooth and creamy, about one minute. Add sugar and orange zest and continue to beat for two minutes more. Turn mixer to low and add egg, mixing until combined.
- With mixer on low, alternate adding half of the dry ingredients, followed by all of the sour cream and the rest of the dry ingredients.
- With a rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries.
- Pour into bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then flip over onto a wire rack.
- To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the powdered sugar gradually, followed by the orange juice. Frost cake as desired.