Netflix fans everywhere may have had just as much fun as we have binge-watching The Great British Bake Off, with all its European charm and great cooking tips. Now, spinoff The Great American Baking Show has come to ABC, and Tahoe City’s own Amanda Nguyen will appear on the show. Have fun baking alongside Amanda on television with this spicy, fruity coffee cake recipe she shared with us.

The recipe calls for homemade cranberry sauce, and you can find a bunch of great ways to make it online. If that doesn’t interest you, we suggest buying local. Check your neighborhood grocery store for a sauce that’s low in sugar and includes whole cranberries — none of that jiggly canned stuff.

~ Le’a Gleason/Moonshine Ink


Coffee Cake


½ cup butter (room temperature)

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

8 tsp orange zest

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

1 cup cranberry sauce (homemade is best)


Prepare your cranberry sauce. While cranberry sauce is cooking measure out coffee cake ingredients and spray the inside of a coffee cake ring pan with baking spray containing flour. Then, cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Remove cranberry sauce from heat. While cranberries are cooling in an ice bath, slowly add one egg at a time to creamed butter and sugar. Don’t forget to scrape down the mixing bowl.

Next, add vanilla bean paste and orange zest to batter. Add sifted flour, ground cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to batter, alternating with sour cream. Once batter is combined, place into a large piping bag and pipe a layer in the bottom of pan and two rings of batter on the outside and inside edge of pan.

Place cooled cranberry sauce in another large piping bag and pipe half into the center well in the batter. Pipe another thin layer of batter on top of cranberry sauce and two rings on inside and outside edge. Pipe the remaining amount of cranberry sauce in the well. Add last bit of batter to cover the cranberry sauce and smooth top with small offset spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cake should have an internal temperature over 200 degrees. Let cake cool slightly then remove from pan, placing cake on wire rack. When completely cooled, garnish cake with icing and candied orange peel, if desired.


2 oranges

3 cups water

1 ½ cups sugar


Use a zester to remove long strips of orange rind. Place peel in small pot of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, drain and repeat process once more. Then, place boiled peel in a clean pot with water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil for about

5 minutes or until sugar syrup is thick but not caramelized. Remove peel with tongs and place on a sheet of waxed paper to cool. Once cool and dry, roll peel in caster sugar (super-fine cane sugar) to coat.


4 ounces powdered sugar

2 Tbsp fresh orange juice


Using a spatula to mix, slowly add orange juice to powdered sugar and stir until icing is smooth and thick. Place in a plastic bag with a round pastry decorating tip.


  • Le'a Gleason

    LE‘A GLEASON, a recent transplant from the Big Island of Hawai‘i, has happily transitioned from teaching yoga in the rainforest to driving powerboats, biking with bears, and learning how to fall gracefully on skis. She is passionate about writing and editing, as a means to share and connect with people, and thankful to be on the Moonshine team.

    Connect with Le'a

    M-Tu, Th-Fr 9:30am - 6pm
    10317 Riverside Dr
    Truckee, CA 96161

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