March 17, 2013 by Meg G.
It’s no secret that we love a good orange-cran combination. You can’t go wrong with freshly squeezed citrus and sweet-tart cranberries – especially when it involves a crumbly coffee cake topping!
I found this recipe via the lovely Joy the Baker, but I made several substitutions, including using some whole wheat flour, subbing in some brown sugar, and using dried cranberries (not ideal, but what we had).
This recipe makes two loaves, so you’ve got a LOT of oranges to squeeze. (You’ve been warned.) Here goes!
Orange Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake – adapted from Joy the Baker
For the Cake:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into medium chunks
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (about 7 small oranges)
- 2 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
For the topping:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Line loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on each side. Grease the parchment paper and dust with flour on all sides. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add chunks of butter and work the butter into the flour with your fingers. Try to blend the butter into each bit of the dry ingredients. The mixture will resemble a coarse meal.
- In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir together to incorporate. Add the cranberries and pecans and fold into the batter.
- To make the topping combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly.
- Divide the batter between the two loaf pans. Sprinkle each loaf with topping.
- Place in the oven and allow to bake until the cake is golden brown and the center is cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Use the parchment paper to lift the loaves from the pan and allow to cool further on a wire rack.
I opted to make one nut-free loaf and to keep the topping nut-free on both (Joy adds pecans to the topping), just because I’m not a huge lover of nuts. The recipe seems like it lends itself well to substitutions – so feel free to try a different fruit/nut combo. The orange flavor is surprising subtle, despite the fact that it’s the primary liquid ingredient. I actually forgot to reduce the amount of sugar in the batter (usually recommended when using dried instead of fresh cranberries), but I didn’t find it to be overly sweet. You can probably cut it back to 1 1/2 cups of sugar, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I shared one loaf with our book club and gave one to our neighbors – thank goodness! I think I may have eaten half the loaf myself, given the chance. Enjoy!