Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cranberry Orange Crumb Cake

I know you’ve probably had your fill of carbs by now from all the holiday baking but I felt the need to post one last recipe just in case you still have a house guests or need a New Years Day brunch idea.  I adapted this recipe from a blueberry coffee cake that Cook’s Illustrated did a few years back.  Blueberries are not in season so rather than pay a fortune for sub par fruit that’s traveled from great distances, I’d rather go with ones that are in season.  I thought cranberries and oranges would be a wonderful combination, perfect for the season, and it was.

What makes this cake so wonderful is the crunchy topping, which is the part of the recipe I copied from  Cook’s Illustrated.  The topping is a combination of sugars, cake flour, melted Earth Balance butter substitute and cinnamon.  You mix these ingredients together and pinch it into little chunks.

Then you make the cake, which is this vegan Crazy Cake recipe that I use and adapt to whatever kind of cake I need.  I substituted the cocoa powder with some unbleached cake flour (King Arthur is the only unbleached cake flour that I know of) and replaced some of the water with the juice of one large orange and the zest from the orange.  It’s a really good idea to line the pan with parchment paper first.  It makes removing the finished cake and cutting it into squares so much easier.

Once the cake batter is made you cover it with the pinched pieces of topping until the cake is completely covered.

When the cake has cooled you can dust it with some powdered sugar if you want.  It gives it a nice holiday look.

Cranberry Orange Crumb Cake
9 Servings - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated New York Crumb Cake
For the Topping:
1/3 cup unbleached sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick Earth Balance butter substitute, melted
1 3/4 cups unbleached cake flour
For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unbleached cake flour
1 cup unbleached sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest from one large orange
Juice from one large orange combined with water to make 1 cup
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries
powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350°
Mix the topping ingredients together in a bowl.
Pinch chunks together with your fingers until you’ve used up all the crumbs
Set the topping chunks aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda and salt.
Remove zest from the orange and sprinkle it into the flour mixture as you stir.
Juice the orange and add enough water to make one cup.
Add the oil, vinegar and vanilla to the juice and water.
Pour the liquids into the dry mix and stir, gently, until everything is blended.
Stir in the cranberries.
Butter a square baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly.
Top the batter with the crumb chunks.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool before removing the cake from the pan by lifting the parchment paper.
Dust with powdered sugar if you want.

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