It dawned on me that once I mentioned my Quest for Brunch Excellence, that I should probably make good on sharing some of those wonderful recipes. This morning we had friends coming over for a little vacation planning, which I thought was a perfect excuse for breakfast coffee cake!

As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite coffee cakes all seem to have copious amounts of dairy products in them. This is a bit problematic, as we try to keep our dairy consumption to a minimum, but we also try to keep our coffee cake consumption to a minimum, so I guess it works out! 🙂 Qualms about dairy aside, the cream cheese in this cake creates a texture that is absolutely wonderful – dense, but incredibly moist –  and adds such a rich flavor.

This coffee cake has served me well over the years, and is definitely in my top two after numerous trials during the Quest for Brunch Excellence.  I love that you can mix things up by changing the fruit, nuts, and extracts seasonally (or simply based on personal preference.) I usually use cranberries, but any dried fruit will do, even raisins in a pinch! You can also play with the nut topping based on what you have on hand. I’ve used almonds, pecans, and walnuts, all to rave reviews.

I’ve also made this recipe in muffin tins, and everything I’ve said about how awesome it is still applies, plus they look super cute!The only adjustment I would suggest is to double the crumb topping recipe, and watch them closely in the oven if you’re using a smaller tin. If you’re in a hurry, making this in a 9×13 will be delicious, but when presentation matters, definitely spring for the muffins!

Almond Cranberry Coffee Cake



  • 1/2 cups unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 1/3 cups ultragrain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, blueberries, raisins, currants, apricots)


  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (ground)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cups ultragrain flour
  • 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cups sliced almonds


Cream butter, granulated sugar, cream cheese, and extracts until smooth. Add eggs. Sift together try ingredients and add alternately with milk. Stir in dried fruit. Spread evenly into a greased 9x13 pan.
Mix together cinnamon, butter, flour and brown sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle over cake batter. Sprinkle almonds over crumble.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until tests done.

Recipe and photographs from Mayhem in the Kitchen!

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