You know what’s awesome about Christmas? It’s all those late night chats or early mornings in the kitchen with someone who’s come to visit. Picture it, you’ve got your hands wrapped around a steaming coffee mug (decaf or regular depending on the hour), and the center piece of the conversation is this Cherry Nut Crumble Cake.
The orange zest in the recipe gives it a little refreshing kick; the cherries are a bit ahead of season, but you shouldn’t have any trouble folding them into the batter as frozen berries work just fine here. This recipe hails from my Coffee Mates chapter in Sunday Best – isn’t it a gooey, mouthwatering marvel just before it goes into the oven?
There are so few days to go before the big day arrives. I would love to know what kind of sweet treats you serve in the weeks leading up to, and on the day of Christmas. I’m sure you have a tradition. Delicious pastry happens to be one of mine. See all my annual traditions (but translated into food of course) in my new cookbook, SUNDAY BEST DISHES. Once you add it to your collection, you can sing “my true love gave to me”, the gift of YUMMMEEE….
Cherry Nut-Crumble Cake
MAKES 9 SERVINGS
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted with stems removed
¾ cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 medium orange, about 2 teaspoons
Chop the cherries on a board with a sharp knife and place them into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and orange zest.
6 tablespoons butter, melted
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup chopped walnuts, about 3 ounces
¼ cup brown sugar
Place the flour, walnuts and brown sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly to combine. Pour in the melted butter and pulse 2 or 3 more times.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups butter, room temperature, 3 sticks
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a 9-inch square cake pan with vegetable oil spray.
Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in the eggs. Spread half of the batter into the pan.
Drain excess juice from the cherries and spoon over the top of the batter. Dollop the remaining batter over the top and spread with a spatula to somewhat cover the cherries. This doesn’t have to be perfect! Run a knife through the batter to swirl everything together. Sprinkle the streusel on top. Bake until the coffee cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.