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Cherry Almond Wreath

 Cherry Almond Wreath
I usually serve this spectacular coffee cake on a silver tray with a small artificial poinsettia blossoms and leaves in the center. My daughter and I enjoy making specialty breads like this one and find they make excellent Christmas gives for family and friends. —Gwen Roffler, Grassy Butte, North Dakota
20 ServingsPrep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 35 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • FILLING:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped red and green candied cherries
  • GLAZE:
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk and water. Add the eggs,

2 of 2

Cherry Almond Wreath (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • butter, sugar, salt, lemon peel, cardamom and 2 cups flour; beat
  • until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6
  • to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • In a small bowl, beat butter, flour, sugar, extract and lemon peel.
  • Stir in almonds and cherries. Refrigerate.
  • Punch dough down. Turn on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a
  • 30-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Crumble filling over rectangle to within
  • 1/2 in. of edges.
  • Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to
  • seal. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. With scissors,
  • cut lengthwise down the middle of the roll; carefully turn cut sides
  • up. Loosely twist strips around each other, keeping cut sides up.
  • Shape into a ring and pinch ends together. Cover and let rise for 1
  • hour.
  • Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until browned. Cool for 15
  • minutes on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm
  • coffee cake. Cool completely. Yield: 20 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 194 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 34 mg cholesterol, 237 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.