Chocolate Cranberry Coffee Cake

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Coffee cake with a chocolate swirl, the taste you can see!

This is my favorite coffee cake and it just might become yours too! Filled with sweet cranberries and a ribbon of cinnamon-scented chocolate, this Chocolate Cranberry Coffee Cake (C4?) adds another layer of flavors to a dense sour cream coffee cake. This is a BIG cake and it will stay fresh in an airtight container for a few days, so you might find yourself looking for occasions to make it even if you aren’t having a crowd over for brunch.

We all drink our coffee black at my house (which a friend of mine once said was barbaric) but strong black coffee is the perfect thing to drink with a slice of this coffee cake. My dad, who has the hugest sweet tooth of anyone I’ve met, says that it’s sweet enough even 20160326_192237though it doesn’t have any frosting, haha! I’ve made it for number of holidays at home and the incredible baking smells of cinnamon and chocolate (and the whole process of getting covered in flour while I make the batter), is one of the things that means “home” to me.

As with Grandma Mary’s Banana Bread, a key element of this recipe is making sure that after 20160326_154751the dry ingredients are incorporated the batter is thick enough to hold its shape but loose enough so that it doesn’t stick to the beaters of your mixer. If your batter looks too thick add some milk a couple tablespoons at a time until you have the right consistency.

Layering can also be a bit of a challenge with this recipe, be sure to save enough batter so that there are a couple distinct layers of chocolate, this will give you that pretty marbled effect. To get an even layer of chocolate I use a spatula to spread out the chocolate chips as much as possible after sprinkling them into the pan.

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To cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the bundt pan, I remove the center portion of the pan and trace around it on the parchment. Then I fold it in half and cut a semi-circle out of the center.

I made this cake as part of our Easter festivities this past weekend, along with Eggs Benedict for our late in the day brunch. What are some of your favorite brunch foods?

Chocolate Cranberry Coffeecake

  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet mini-chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar, divided use
  • 1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) butter, softened
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 lb sour cream, light or regular
  • 3 eggs
  • Preheat oven to 325°. Grease  a 10” Bundt pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to .fit the bottom of the pan and place it in the pan. Grease the top of the parchment, then flour the entire pan.
  • Combine chocolate chips, cocoa, cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar, set aside.
  • In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  • In another large bowl beat together butter with remaining sugar. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.
  • Gradually add vanilla, sour cream and eggs to butter and sugar mixture, beating to incorporate each new addition to the batter.
  • Beat for another 2 minutes at medium speed. Batter should be thick enough to hold its shape but loose enough so that it doesn’t stick to the beaters. If the batter is too thick beat in some milk 2 tablespoons at a time until batter reaches desired consistency.
  • Gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in dried cranberries.
  • Pour 1/3 of batter into Bundt pan, sprinkle with half of the chocolate chip mixture. Top with half the remaining batter followed by the rest of the chocolate chip mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top.
  • Bake for about 1 hour and 16 minutes, or until  the top of a cake is an even golden brown and a tester inserted into the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool cake completely in pan on a wire rack. Invert cake to remove it from pan.
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Golden Brown and Delicious

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