Super-Simple, Decadent Dessert Perfect for Busy Holidays

Though I vow every year not to let this special season turn into a crazy-busy time, the holidays often have more packed into the daily schedule than what comfortably fits. So, if you’re anything like me, dessert definitely should be stress-free, right?!

Consider a change-up or addition to your usual Christmas and holiday fare with this country-French dessert called clafouti (kla-foo-TEE). Originating in the Limousin region of France, clafouti is made by topping fruit – traditionally cherries – with a crepe- or pancake-like batter. After baking, it’s served warm, cut into wedges or spooned out of the pan, often with whipped cream. Clafouti is as special as serving pie, minus the challenge of tackling a crust.

Filled with fresh cranberries and apples, this version of traditional clafouti is decidedly fit for the holidays. It’s delightfully simple and quick to make, especially attractive for a season of meals featuring often-lengthy menus. Simply place fruit in buttered pan. Whisk together batter. Pour over fruit. Bake. That’s it … really!

Plan to bake the clafouti so it will be warm when serving to guests. Also, expect that this custard-like dessert will perfectly puff up during baking. Then, it will fall soon after removing from the oven. No worries! That’s exactly what it’s supposed to do … similar to an oven-baked pancake. A touch of fresh whipped cream is the perfect topping. It’s a thing of real beauty when a simple-to-make, casual dessert delivers an amazing grand finale of flavor. 


Cranberry Apple Clafouti (Kla-foo-TEE)


  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed and patted dry cranberries
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar for dusting top (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)


Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 10-inch, deep-dish pie pan or similar-sized baking pan. Add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and tilt pan to coat. Add cranberries and apple to bottom of pan.

In large bowl, combine ¾ cup granulated sugar and flour. Whisk in eggs until completely combined. Add milk, vanilla and salt; whisk until smooth. Pour batter over the fruit. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F; bake an additional 35-45 minutes, or until center is puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool about 20 minutes. Top with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.

Makes about 6 servings


  • Plan to bake this during your meal and serve warm. For easy prep: place fruit in prepared pan; whisk together batter; just before sitting down to the table, pour batter over fruit and pop in the oven.
  • Instead of whisking by hand, use a blender or food processor to mix together the batter mixture.
  • Remember, the clafouti will deflate almost immediately after removing from the oven. It is supposed to do this.
  • Homemade whipped cream is simple: mix cold heavy cream and powdered or granulated sugar (to taste) by hand with a whisk or in a mixer until desired consistency.
  • Whipped cream may be flavored with vanilla, brewed or instant coffee, favorite liquor or cocoa powder. Vanilla is a nice addition for this dessert since it’s also called for in the recipe.
  • Pair this dessert with our Café Special® coffee for a rich, smooth flavor or try our Private Reserve® Founder’s Blend for a unique twist on your typical coffee.


Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.