Coffee Cake Recipe from Great American Baking Show (Season 4) | Contestant Amanda Nguyen | Bake Off

First bake of Cake and Pastry Week for The Great American Baking Show, Season 4. Amanda’s recipe is a classic coffee cake decorated for the holiday season. The easy to follow video recipe produces a tasty, moist cake for fans of Bake Off to bake along with Amanda. Additional recipes are available at

Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake

Preheat Oven to 350F/180C on Fan

Cranberry Sauce from Scratch

Zest of Half an Orange
freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 tablespoons
water – 1/3 cup, 80ml
sugar – ½ cup, 100mg
frozen cranberries – 2 cups, 200g

Method for Cranberry Sauce
1. Measure out and place all ingredients into a small high-sided heavy bottom saucepot and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally and cover with lid to speed up cooking process. Save excess orange juice for icing.
2. Cook cranberries for 5 – 7 minutes or until softened or to 220 F.
3. Use an immersion blender in pot to chop cranberries leaving only a few small chunks.
4. Continue to cook on medium heat without a lid to evaporate off liquid.
5. Pour sauce into a small stainless bowl and place in an ice bath to quickly cool, stirring to release the heat.

Coffee Cake
unsalted butter (room temperature) – ½ cup, 115g
caster sugar – 1 cup, 200g
large eggs – 2
vanilla bean paste – 1 teaspoon
orange zest – 3 tablespoons
all-purpose flour – 2 cups, 256g
ground cardamom – 1 ½ teaspoon
baking powder – 1 teaspoon
baking soda – 1 teaspoon
salt – ½ teaspoon
sour cream – 1 cup
cranberry sauce (chilled) – 1 cup

Method for Coffee Cake
1. While cranberry sauce is cooking measure out coffee cake ingredients and spray inside of an 8 inch round tube pan with baking spray that contains flour.
2. Cream the butter, sugar, orange zest and vanilla bean paste in a stand mixer or use a hand mixer. Adding the orange zest and vanilla during creaming allows for optimal flavor infusion in batter.
3. Slowly add one egg at a time to creamed butter and sugar. Don’t forget to scrape down the mixing bowl.
4. Add sifted flour, ground cardamom, baking powder, baking soda and salt to batter alternating with sour cream. You can gently fold in the flour and sour cream using a spatula.
5. Once batter is combined, spoon a layer on the bottom of the pan forming a well in the center
6. Spoon half of the cooled cranberry sauce into the center well in the batter.
7. Spoon another thin layer of batter on top of cranberry sauce and create another well to hold the remaining cranberry sauce.
8. Add last bit of batter to cover the cranberry sauce and smooth top with small offset spatula.
9. Place in 350oF/180oC fan oven for 30-35 minutes or until set and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cake should have an internal temperature over 200oF/ 93oC
10. Let cake cool in pan slightly and then de-pan placing cake on wire rack.

Candied Orange Peel and Cranberries
caster sugar – ½ cup
water – ½ cup
Rind from 1 orange
frozen cranberries – ½ cup
1 cup caster sugar for coating (extra fine bakers sugar)

Method for Candied Orange Peel
1. While cake in baking make the candied orange peel.
2. Use a zester to remove long strips of orange peel.
3. Place peel in small pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes, drain and repeat process once more. This removes the bitter taste from the orange pith.
4. Now place boiled peel in pot with water and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes or until sugar syrup is thick but not caramelizing.
5. Remove peel with tongs and place on a wire cooling rack to dry.
6. Place cranberries in the same sugar syrup over low heat for a few minutes. Make sure the heat or syrup are not too high to prevent cranberries from bursting open.
7. Place on the same wire rack to dry for about 30 minutes.
8. Once cool and dry, roll peel in caster sugar to coat and then roll cranberries to coat. Place on a plate and let dry.

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed strained orange juice

Using a spatula to mix, slowly add orange juice and stir till icing is smooth but thick. Place in a plastic bag with Ateco #805 round tip

Assemble the Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake
1. Once the cake is cool but still slightly warm you can pipe a ring of thick icing on the top.
2. Use the warmth of the cake and gentle tapping to guide the flow of icing into a nice smooth top with just a bit of dripping down the sides.
3. While icing is still wet, sprinkle the top with candied orange peel and cranberries.

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