cranberry orange poinsettia coffee cake

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A lazy, lazy day here at our house. After the flurry of decorating and cooking yesterday, I’m taking a break. Lots of tea sipping and reading under a blanket while a fire dances in the fireplace. Tonight’s dinner… leftover turkey soup with rice, crock pot roast, a simple baby spinach salad… and if anyone wants dessert we’ll have pancakes. I know, it’s hodge podge, but it’s cozy and easy and I like the fact that nothing goes to waste.

Here’s a wonderfully colorful, pretty and festive coffee cake that would be delicious for a Christmas brunch, afternoon tea, or dessert. It’s chock full of fresh cranberries and everyone here just loves it.

for the coffee cake:

2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 package active dry yeast

2/3 cup whole milk

2 Tablespoons real butter

1 large egg

1 Tablespoon orange zest

for the filling:

3 Tablespoons melted butter

2 cups fresh cranberries, halved

1/3 cup raspberry, cherry or strawberry jam

1/3 cup sugar

juice of one orange

for the icing/garnish:

1 cup powdered sugar

6 teaspoons Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum (or milk)

zest of one orange, divided

frosted cranberries

a fresh, green herb sprig

In a large bowl, combine one cup of the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and yeast. Mix well. In a saucepan, heat the 2/3 cup whole milk and butter until warm (120 degrees F.) Add milk mixture, egg, and the orange zest to the flour mixture. Blend on low until moistened, and then beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. Fold the rest of the flour by hand.

On a floured surface, knead until dough is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes.) Place dough in a buttered bowl, cover with buttered plastic wrap and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Grease a large round cookie sheet or pizza pan. Punch down dough several times to remove all air bubbles. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle. Brush with the melted butter. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the filling ingredients until evenly combined, and spread this mixture evenly over the dough.

Starting on a 12-inch side, roll up the dough as tightly as possible. Press edges together to seal so it doesn’t pop open. Cut into 12 slices, saving the 2 end pieces for the center of the “poinsettia.” Arrange the remaining slices in a circle on the greased pan, leaving a 2 to 3 inch space for the center. Form the end pieces into little dough balls and place the balls in the center. Cover cake with buttered plastic wrap, set it in a warm place, and allow to rise and additional 40 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover dough after it has risen the designated amount of time. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow cake to completely cool before glazing and garnishing.

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, spiced rum, and half of the orange zest. Transfer to a squirt bottle, and drizzle all over completely cooled cake. Place some frosted cranberries in the center, sprinkle some extra orange zest over the whole cake, and garnish with a pretty green herb sprig for a lovely contrast to the red cranberries.

Happy Holidays!


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  19 comments for “cranberry orange poinsettia coffee cake

  1. Sandy
    December 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    What size greased pan do you bake it in? Would a pizza stone work?

    • Melissa
      December 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Sandy, you don’t bake it “in” a pan, but on a cookie sheet… anything that will accommodate the cake will work. I have never tried making this on a pizza stone, so I can’t say. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. pat hayes
    December 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Where is the coffee in the recipe? OR does it just mean cake to eat with a cup of coffee?

    • Melissa
      December 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

      Hi Pat 🙂 Yes, this is called coffee cake because it’s served in the morning with coffee. hee hee…. thanks for stopping by, and for the giggle. XO

  3. rachael
    December 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    i looked at the recipe and couldnt see coffee in the cake.

    • Melissa
      December 27, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Hi Rachael 🙂 It’s a coffee cake. served with coffee, coffee isn’t an ingredient in the cake. Sorry for any confusion.

  4. Sue
    October 19, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Could you substitue blueberries for the cranberries?

    • Melissa
      October 24, 2014 at 7:14 am

      You sure could, Sue 🙂 Blueberries aren’t as firm as cranberries so it might not look as pretty, but I bet it will taste great! XO ~M

  5. Sharon
    October 19, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Melissa, this looks yummy and I plan to make it. The main reason I’m commenting is I can’t believe that people don’t know what a coffee cake is! No offense to folks who didn’t know, but it did make me chuckle.

    • Melissa
      October 24, 2014 at 7:15 am

      Sharon, It made me chuckle too 😉 hee hee xoxoxo ~M

  6. Gina
    October 20, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    is it possible to use frozen cranberries. Can not find fresh cranberries in Queensland, Australia

    • Melissa
      October 24, 2014 at 7:16 am

      I bet that would work, Gina 🙂 Enjoy, and thanks for visiting! XO ~M

  7. Tessa
    November 15, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    This is such a delicious dessert!!! Very eassy to make, very good directions. Definitely a hit with the family. Will be a repeat very soon!

  8. lynne
    December 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Love this. Do you have a recipe with same ingredients for a bread? You know like a banana bread only cranberry and orange?

  9. Lynn
    December 17, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I giggled myself over the coffee inquiries. Is this a sure sign of age or the changing of the way we cook and eat? I remember a simple cinnamon streusel coffeecake we had on many a Sunday morning and there wasn’t a coffee drinker in the house. Thank heavens THAT has changed! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I intend to try it soon!

  10. Brooke
    December 18, 2014 at 5:02 am

    This recipe looks so yummy!! I’m going to attempt a gluten free version..fingers crossed!

  11. Addie
    December 19, 2014 at 7:58 am

    This looks absolutely scrumptious! I made a different “coffee” cake for Thanksgiving morning for my family and that was a hit, so I think this would be fun to try .. It’s SO pretty! Making my grocery list right now!

  12. Rebecca
    March 30, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it tonight and it was delicious.

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