Cranberry Vanilla Coconut Coffee Cake

serves 8

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

2 cups fresh cranberries

2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (4 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and divided

2 extra large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 375º F.  Line an 8-inch round baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick baking spray; set aside.

Scrape the seeds form the vanilla bean into a food processor.  Add the sugar and pulse to combine; transfer to a bowl.  Add the cranberries to the empty food processor along with 1/2 cup of the vanilla sugar.  Process until finely chopped (do not purée).  

In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, baking powder and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup of the vanilla sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the extract and beat to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.  Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour mixture and milk, alternating in batches, beginning and ending with flour, just until combined (do not over mix).

Spread a little more than half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Spoon the cranberries over the batter, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.  Top with the remaining batter and smooth the top.  

Blend the remaining 1/4 cup vanilla sugar with the remaining tablespoon of butter, tablespoon of flour, and coconut using your finger tips.  Crumble over the top of the cake.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake (not cranberry filling) comes out clean and sides begin to pull away from pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Check after 25 minutes to see if top is browning too quickly.  Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil to prevent over browning.  Cool in pan 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely crumb side up.  Enjoy! 

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