Total Time
2hrs 5mins
Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 35 mins

These cakes have been a standard holiday ritual for a very long time. I have made them for church bake sales and for gifts. The recipe yields 2 cakes, so you can keep one for yourself, and be generous with the other! This is a lovely cake served with a cup or tea or coffee, or for brunch!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix 2 cups of the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Heat shortening, water and milk to 125 to 130 degrees (shortening may not be melted); stir into flour mixture. Mix in egg; beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix in enough of the remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth, 3-5 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make cream cheese filling: Mix cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 T. flour and egg yolk until smooth and fluffy. Set aside.
  3. Grease two 9-inch round pans. Mix cranberry sauce with lemon peel or almond extract (your choice); reserve.
  4. Divide dough into halves; roll each half into 15-inch circle. Fold into fourths; place in pan with point in center. Unfold; press dough against side, allowing edge to hang over edge of pan. Spread half of the cream cheese filling over dough in each pan; top each with half of the cranberry sauce. Make cuts at 1-inch intervals to about 1/2-inch above filling around outside edge of dough. Twist strips and fold over sauce.
  5. Beat egg white with hand beater until foamy; brush over dough. Sprinkle each cake with 1/4 cup almonds and 2 T. sugar. (At this point, coffee cakes can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours; rising time may be slightly longer.) Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
  6. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes; cool slightly.