Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cranberry Cake

When I was in kindergarten or first grade one of my classmate's mothers shared a cranberry bread recipe with the whole class. I took that little piece of paper with the recipe on it home and from that point on every year we made that cranberry bread at Thanksgiving and Christmas! That recipe has long since been lost so when I saw a recipe pop up for cranberry cake on one of my favorite food sites The Kitchn I was itching to try it out for my family on Christmas! This cranberry cake was soooo good, everyone agreed it was way better than the old cranberry bread recipe we used to make. One of my sisters even went so far as to say that she thinks this is the best thing I've ever baked, surpassing her old favorite of the Dark Chocolate Cookies. (She later amended this after trying my Grapefruit Pound Cake to say that this cranberry cake and the grapefruit pound cake are tied as her favorites). So now I'm officially entering this cranberry cake recipe to my "recipe box" here at Grubbin Pugs where I'll be sure to never lose it or forget it. And so a new tradition has begun and I foresee lots of this cranberry cake in future Thanksgivings and Christmases!

Servings: Made two low loaves in my 9x5 loaf pans. The Kitchn said that this could make one 10-inch springformm cake or four 4-cup loaves or 24-30 cupcakes.

3 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups cranberries (one 12-ounce bag)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease pan(s) and dust with flour.
  • In a large bowl, use a stand or hand mixer to beat 3 large eggs and 2 cups sugar until the batter is very smooth and pale yellow, and has increased in volume. Since there is no leavening agent in this recipe, this is where the cake will get it's height from. By the end, the batter should have doubled in volume and should leave ribbons on top of the batter when you lift the beaters up.
  • Beat in 3/4 cup butter and 1 tsp vanilla for a couple minutes until butter is well incorporated into the batter.
  • Using a spatula or spoon, fold in 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 1/2 cups cranberries, and 1 tsp grated orange rind. By the end the batter will be thick and the cranberries should be evenly distributed throughout. 
  • Spoon the batter into the pan(s) and even it out. 
  • Bake for 60-80 minutes for the springform. For smaller pans start checking at about 40 minutes. My two 9x5 loaves took a little over an hour to bake. Toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. 
  • Let cake(s) in pan(s) cool for 20 minutes on a rack. Then run a knife along the inside edge of the pan(s) and remove the cake(s). Cool completely for an hour before serving. This cake also keeps and freezes well!

And now the photos!
My cakes did crumble and slightly break apart underneath during removal from the pan, but nothing too serious. Just be careful when removing from the pan!
Do you like my four loaves? Two cranberry loaves and two pug loaves!
Look at how sad Sunny looks here!
Oh oops this slice just came right off! Guess I'll have to eat it!
I made this on Christmas Eve to eat on Christmas, and when I first tried it I thought it was pretty good but when I ate it again the next day it tasted sooooo much better! I think having the night for all the flavors to meld together helped or something.
I insisted that everyone try a little piece of the cranberry cake when I first arrived, and that quickly turned into one of the loaves being devoured in just minutes by everyone. (Excuse the paper plates as we were trying to minimize the amount of clean-up that day!)
Sorry Rosy, none for you! But don't worry, she got a lot of delicious treats during Christmas dinner!
Adapted from The Kitchn.

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