I love coffee cake. It’s cake masquerading as breakfast, and what’s not to love about that?
Cake. Breakfast. Two of my favorite things.
I remember waking up to the warm cinnamony smell of my mom’s cream cheese coffee cake when I was growing up. It was a comforting scent that wafted through the house, giving me permission to have cake for breakfast and have a blood sugar crash later. I loved that cake. It was dense and iced haphazardly with a beautiful, delicate white lace.
Why am I telling you about my mom’s coffee cake when the recipe I’m sharing with you today is quite unlike the one she made? I guess it’s just important to me that you know how far back and how deeply my love for coffee cake runs, and how that cake inspires me… cake makes great things happen, ya’ll.
My recipe is a lightened-up version of my mom’s dense cream cheese coffee cake. It’s quite literally a much lighter, fluffier version of hers, but it is also partially made with almond meal and is bursting with juicy cranberries… so it’s healthier..? What hasn’t changed, however, is the crumbly cinnamony top and the lacy icing.
This Almond Cranberry Coffee Cake is bursting with flavor. The almond meal, extract, and toasted almond on top give the gave a deliciously sweet and nutty flavor. The sweet and toasty almond flavor perfectly compliments the juicy, tartness of fresh cranberries. Top it all off with a crumbly brown sugar and cinnamon crumble, the warmness of which permeates the entire cake, and a beautiful icing… this is the ONLY way I want to start my mornings.
The batter comes together very quickly and is a little thick. When you spread it into the greased pan, make sure to spread it all the way to the corners. The same goes for the brown sugar topping — get that goodness into every nook and cranny of the cake, but don’t pat it down! After topping with shaved almonds (completely optional, but adds a nice crunch and yummy almond flavor) and baking, precariously drizzle icing across the top. Then try not to eat the whole thing in one go…
- 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1/3 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1/2 Cup Almond Meal
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cardamom
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1 Cup Cranberries
- 1/2 Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 Teaspoons Flour
- 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1 1/2 – 2 Teaspoons Water
Make the cake:
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, almond extract, and sour cream and beat until incorporated.
- Add in all the remaining ingredients except the cranberries. Stir until all dry ingredients are incorporated, then fold in cranberries.
- Spread the batter into a greased 8×8 pan. Batter will be thick. Spread all the way into corners.
Make the Crumble Topping:
- Melt the butter in a bowl.
- Using a fork, stir in all other ingredients, except the almonds. The topping should resemble wet sand.
- Sprinkle topping across the batter.
- Sprinkle almonds across the top.
- Bake at 375 for 30-32 minutes.
- You can choose to use a 9×9 pan instead. Reduce the cooking time to 25-28 minutes.
Make the Icing:
- Pour the powdered sugar, almond extract, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of water in a bowl and stir.
- If the icing is too thick, add more water, 1/4 teaspoon at a time. If it becomes too thin, add powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time. The icing should be thin enough to pour off a spoon in a steady stream, but not watery.
- Wait until the cake has cooled (at least 15 minutes) before drizzling the icing over the top. You can use as much or as little as you like!