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Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

Rustic Almond Coffee Cake with Cranberries

This gorgeous cake is just as suited for a holiday table as it is for a Tuesday-morning coffee cake. It is super simple to get the dreamy texture of this cake, because the batter is made in a food processor, so the almond paste is blended smoothly. It yields a cake that is dense and tender at the same time. Try the variation with kirschwasser-soaked dried cherries or cranberries in place of the grapes.
Course: Dessert
Servings: 1 10-inch / 25cm cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 7 oz (200g) almond paste, cut into small pieces, plus 4 oz (115g), cut into 1/4-inch (6mm) cubes See note
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) olive oil See note
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract homemade vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 5 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (240g) halved grapes (any seedless variety) Or halved cranberries or dried cherries

Topping

  • 1/2 cup (60g) almond slices
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 4 drops orange blossom water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F /175°C. Generously grease and flour a 10-inch / 25cm tube pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a food processor, combine the pieces of almond paste (7 oz), sugar, olive oil, vanilla, almond extract, and orange zest and process until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, pulsing to combine after each egg.
  • Add one-third of the flour mixture to the oil mixture and pulse just until combined. Repeat with another one-third flour and then the final one-third. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, fold the chunks of almond paste (4 oz) and half of the grapes into the batter.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and top with the remaining grapes.

Topping

  • In a small bowl, combine the almonds, sugar, orange zest, and orange blossom water and rub together with your fingertips. 
  • Sprinkle the topping over the batter and smooth with a spatula. Set the pan on a baking sheet. 
  • Bake until the cake is golden and a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving. 

Notes

  • The almond paste needs to be soft, or it won’t incorporate smoothly. If it is old and dried out, it will just stay in clumps.
  • You can use any oil, but there is something so special about olive oil in this cake