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parents week

Recipe: cranberry yogurt coffeecake

Our local sunset is now some time around 4:15 pm, because we have that giant wall of the Continental Divide as our western horizon. It sneaks up on you rather quickly and sometimes the best you can do is to admire it from the road or while you’re working or maybe even miss it altogether. But when it’s good it is awesome and I love watching the progression from yellow to orange to pink.

lighting up a wave cloud

turning orange

and pink

I’ve been spending time with my folks this week. They like to feed us when they are in Boulder. I think that’s a parent thing. I feel a little like a parent with my parents these days… bringing them groceries, making sure they have what they need, having them up to stay with us, planning outings that will be of interest, setting up play dates, and telling Dad when to use his inside voice.

dinner at mom and dad’s place

a visit to the denver art museum

seeing the fantastic “becoming van gogh” exhibit

[You really ought to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the Denver Art Museum if you are anywhere near the state of Colorado from now until January 20, 2013.]

It happens every year after Thanksgiving, that people post about eating their leftovers. I skip over much of it because I have a fairly cool relationship with turkey. But then there are the cranberries. I hoard cranberries. Organic whole cranberries only come around once a year and I buy several bags to store in my freezer. I love these tart little jewels and the brilliant color is simply mesmerizing. I make cranberry sauce for the sole purpose of having “leftover” cranberry sauce.

cranberries and sugar

just 15 minutes until you have…

cranberry sauce

A recipe for cranberry coffeecake caught my eye on the King Arthur Flour site over the weekend and I knew it was meant to be. Coffeecake says “casual” to me. Nothing fancy, but always good. I like the single pan dealio and love how versatile it is as a dessert, as a breakfast, for a snack, to go with tea and of course… coffee.

streusel ingredients: vanilla, butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt

mix it together

crumbly goodness

Coffeecake reads as “easy” cake to me and I really ought to be expanding my coffeecake repertoire. It’s a lot less weird to show up at a neighbor’s door with coffeecake on offer than some fancy layer cake. I mean, really. The other twist on this that I hadn’t thought of was yogurt instead of sour cream. I like sour cream in cakes, because they come out super moist. Yogurt is a nice alternative to sour cream and my cake was just as moist (I used Noosa, which I love). Oh, and I increased the almond extract to 1/2 teaspoon from 1/4 teaspoon, because almond and cranberry are terrific together.

beat the eggs into the butter and sugar

add the yogurt and extracts and leavenings

blend in the flour

The recipe calls for baking in a 9×13-inch pan, but I wanted to bake it in this cute flower-shaped pan (with removable bottom) that is more or less a 9-inch round. I worried there would be too much batter for my pan, but in the end, it worked out perfectly. I rather like taller coffee cakes anyway. So in case you are wondering, you can totally make this in a 9-inch round as long as it isn’t too shallow (less than 2-inches tall is too shallow). And instead of layering the batter, cranberry sauce, and streusel, I mixed the batter and cranberry sauce together just a touch because I think it looks prettier in cross-section.

spread some batter into the pan

layer the cranberry sauce

add remaining batter and swirl it about

top with streusel

If you like to serve cakes whole and out of their pans like I do, then let this baby cool completely (30 minutes or more) before releasing it from the pan. Take note that any cranberry sauce that touches the side of the pan will likely adhere remarkably well, so a little loosening with a knife is advised first. The edges are golden and the cranberry sauce caramelizes beautifully where it contacts the pan. The inside of the cake is moist, buttery, and studded with tart fruit. A lovely cake to share and enjoy with others. So if you have leftover cranberry sauce… or even if you don’t – this coffeecake is worth baking.

out of the pan (the streusel makes a crumbly mess)

yes to autumn!

Cranberry Yogurt Coffeecake
[print recipe]
from the King Arthur Flour site

5 tbsps (2 1/2 oz.) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (3 3/4 oz. or 110 g) brown sugar
big pinch of salt
2 tsps ground cinnamon
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tbsps (4.5 oz. or 130 g) flour, all-purpose or white whole wheat

1 cup of whole cranberry sauce

1/2 cup (4 oz.) butter, softened
1 cup + 2 tbsps (8 1/2 oz. or 240 g) brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (9 1/4 oz. or 260 g) yogurt, plain or flavored
1/2 tsp almond extract (original calls for 1/4, but I increased it)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda (1/2 tsp at 8500 ft.)
1 tsp baking powder (1/2 tsp at 8500 ft.)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups (8 1/2 oz. or 240 g) flour, all-purpose or white whole wheat

Make the streusel: Cream the butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Mix in the flour until coarse crumbs are formed. Set aside.

Make the batter: Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Beat in the eggs, scraping the sides of the bowl down. Beat in the yogurt, almond extract, vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until smooth. Beat the flour in until just combined.

Assemble the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round pan (or use a 9×13 like the original recipe calls for, but I like my coffee cakes to be tall), and pour 80% of the batter into the pan. Spread the cranberry filling over the batter. Top with the remaining 20% of the batter. Swirl it around and over the filling. Sprinkle the streusel crumbs over the batter. Bake for 40 minutes (it took me 65 minutes, probably because mine was thicker) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes before serving (it will be crumbly if it is hot). Serves 12-16.

21 nibbles at “parents week”

  1. Kelley says:

    YUM! As if I needed another reason to love Noosa… I wouldn’t have thought to use my “good” yogurt in a recipe like this, but I’ll give it a try. Question, though – do you think this would work with low-fat plain yogurt?

  2. jenyu says:

    Kelley – yes, probably would work just fine! Noosa is what I happened to have on hand :) xo

  3. Kathya says:

    Yay, I can’t wait to make this with leftover cranberry sauce. Of course your sunset shots slay me. :)

  4. debbie says:

    My kind of cake….to me a coffeecake is just about perfect…..

  5. Butter says:

    If I weren’t done done done with my little baking streak, I’d be very tempted to try this recipe with stinky sock berries (highbush cranberries).

  6. sara says:

    Yum! Looks so tasty…love the bright red swirl!

  7. Alison says:

    I’ve never thought of a cranberry coffee cake before; thanks! I use yogurt for sour cream all the time because I am much more likely to have it on hand. It’s always worked well except for that one time I accidentally used vanilla yogurt in a savory dish.

    Even though I’ve been to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, I am really looking forward to seeing this exhibit.

  8. Joy says:

    Great recipe. I had to pin it.

  9. Kurt Jacobson says:

    I really enjoy your wave cloud pictures. I remember admiring the wave clouds from my 20+ years living in Lakewood and Evergreen. I don’t see clouds like that here in Baltimore. Your pictures bring Colorado to me where ever I am, and that is a good thing.
    As for the Cranberry cake. I love King Arthur Flour and have a copy of the whole grain baking cookbook they put out. It gets used often. I have leftover cranberry sauce in the fridge and all the other ingredients on hand and just might give this recipe a go.

  10. Kate says:

    Love it that you can spend time with your parents, and that their retirement seems to include acting like kids in public. So sweet! My favorite cranberry cake has been N.Lawson’s upside down cranberry cake I flavor with orange flower water and cardamom. Mmmm your version of coffee cake will be made this weekend. If it’s a keeper for you at altitude it’s a keeper for the rest of us.

  11. Marisa @ Uproot From Oregon says:

    Noosa honey yogurt is my favorite yogurt ever- I’m so happy it’s finally in DC so I can eat it until I get back to Denver! What a delicious use of cranberries.. I need to hoard some cranberries in my freezer too! I love how tart they are and popping them while they cook down into sauce is quite fun.

  12. Katie (The Muffin Myth) says:

    I also make a cranberry yoghurt streusel cake, but with a layer of cranberries baked in the middle, rather than swirled through the cake. I’ll definitely have to give this version a go, it looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.2

  13. Corine says:

    I needed to bake a cake yesterday and I love easy to make fruity cakes, so this recipe came at a perfect time for me. But I did have to modify the recipe a bit as I had no cranberries left nor did I have almond extract. The berry season was pretty poor this year and our supply of lingonberries (the Norwegian wild cousin of the cranberry) did not last very long. Instead I used raspberries and blackberries that I still had in the freezer, and I substituted part of the flour by ground almonds. It worked perfectly and was very well received! Thanks for the recipe and sorry for changing it into a forest fruit yoghurt cake.

  14. Jill says:

    mmmmm, another recipe I must get my sister to bake!

  15. Amelia says:

    If you fancy trying your hand at another coffeecake, you might consider the yeasted Küchen from Grand Central…it’s simple, versatile, beautiful, not too sweet, and the choice of leaven adds another dimension to the flavor.

    (Frozen whole cranberries produce a very festive-looking specimen.)

  16. Margie says:

    Beautiful, beautiful photography!

    My youngest daughter is the ‘super-fan’ of fresh cranberries. She snacks on them raw! This cake will be served soon. I make the best cranberry sauce, thanks to you… The little secret is the addition of candied orange peels/bits on the cool-down. Magnificent!!!

    Be careful when visiting that KA site, it’s a most dangerous place to lurk (and shop). ;)

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  18. Penny says:

    Those wave clouds are really awesome. I have cranberries in the freezer too, so I think there is a coffee cake in my future. I love the shot of the cake on the cake stand with the slice is front. Beautiful.

  19. Dee says:

    I have been reading your blog religiously and I just love how you live life, it’s amazing! I’m definitely going to be trying a lot of your recipes because they are just soo YUMMY! wish me luck! :)

  20. jenyu says:

    Kat – <3

    debbie - pretty much!

    Butter - the name alone is worth it to make a sinky sock berry yogurt coffeecake ;)

    sara - it's lovely, really.

    Alison - wow, I bet that tasted interesting. I hope you like the exhibit, I thought it was fascinating.

    Joy - :)

    Kurt - yeah, the mid Atlantic doesn't get this kind of cloud formation (I grew up in Virginia). Hope you tried the recipe and enjoyed it!

    Kate - my parents are really funny and yes, I do feel as if the roles have been reversed now ;) I guess that's payback? But they are fun and I do appreciate the time together :)

    Marisa - I too love the popping sound!!

    Katie - You know, I think the layer in the middle might be better as I like my cranberries well-distributed. Maybe I'll try that next. Thanks for the tip!

    Corine - still sounds great!!

    Jill - :)

    Amelia - wow, that looks lovely!

    Margie - I love cranberries too, so I totally get your daughter's love of them :)

    Penny - thanks! xo

    Dee - good luck and thank you :)

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