Monday, December 20, 2010

Cranberry Cake Slice Delight


Want a pretty cake for Christmas that is absolutely wonderful? Look no further. The Cake Slice bakers have chosen the Cranberry Cake for December’s cake. It was so good that I’ll be making it again for Christmas dinner at Sweetie’s request. The top has crispy streusel with almonds and brown sugar. The interior is soft and not too sweet, especially because the fresh cranberries give a nice tart tang to almost every bite.

Due to advancing age or something like that, I forgot on the day I made the cake that I had taken a cup of slivered blanched almonds and ground them in the food processor with 2 tablespoons brown sugar the day before. The reason? I couldn’t find sliced almonds in my pantry. SO, the day I made the cake I bought a nice big bag of sliced almonds, and when it was time to make the cake I melted the butter, added the brown sugar and sliced almonds, stirred them together…and saw the other almonds in the food processor bowl.


My solution?...Spread the sliced almond mixture on the bottom of the springform pan, put the cranberry rich batter over them and then sprinkle the streusel, made as directed, including cooling in the fridge…but with chopped slivered almonds…on top.

I’m here to tell you that this kind of senior moment is divine! This may be Sweetie’s all time favorite cake and those sliced almonds crusting the bottom are part of the appeal. I followed the recipe as written for the rest, with the exception of adding ½ teaspoon dried, ground orange peel to the flour mixture. I just love orange and cranberry flavors together! The cranberries make the cake…they add just the right amount of tartness to play up the richness of the cake and buttery almonds. I baked my cake the full hour and ten minutes, then another five minutes and the interior was still pretty soft. Turns out that it is perfect that way. The photo at the top of the post shows a slice of warm cake with the interior still pretty soft…we couldn’t wait for it to cool completely.

Make this cake! Just be sure to whip that egg sugar mixture the full five minutes, to pour in the butter in a THIN and SLOW stream, and to gently fold in the flour mixture and in parts as suggested, stopping as soon as the flour is incorporated. Taking the time to do it right yields a soft, sensuous cake with a nice crust on top. I wouldn’t be surprised if your cake disappears quickly, but if it doesn’t I can tell you that it is just as delicious three days later.

Click HERE to view other Cake Slice Bakers renditions of this delightful cake!

December’s Cake: Cranberry Cake
Makes one 10 inch round cake

Cranberry Cake(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)

For the Streusel
1 cup sliced almonds
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp light brown sugar
(this is the mixture, uncooled, that I put on the bottom of the pan…see notes above)

2nd Streusel
1 cup blanched slivered almonds, chopped in a food processor with
2 tbsp light brown sugar, then mixed in a bowl with
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, and then all of it chilled until cold
(this is the mixture I used for streusel on top of the cake batter)

For the Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp dried ground orange peel
3 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries

Method – Streusel
Heat the oven to 300F. Grease a 10inch round springform pan.
Combine first Streusel mixture in a bowl and, once combined, sprinkle over bottom of greased springform pan. Set pan aside.

2nd Streusel
Combine the butter, chopped almonds and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Work the mixture between your fingers to form large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Method – Cake
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and dried ground orange peel (if using) in a medium bowl. Combine the eggs and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium high speed until the mixture is lightened and increased in volume, about 5 minutes.

With the mixer on low speed, add the butter in a slow stream. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for another 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.

Gently but thoroughly fold in the flour mixture, half a cup at a time. Then stir in the cranberries.
Scrape the butter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter. Bake the cake until it is golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1hour 10minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Release the sides of the pan and use a large spatula to slide the cake from the pan bottom onto the wire rack. Cool completely before cutting into wedges and serving.

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

9 comments :

Emily said...

Good Job!

Wish mine came out better!

Katie said...

Your cake looks wonderful and I love the sound of the almonds on top and base of the cake. Have a great xmas

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Looks lovely. I definitely approve of extra almonds - mmmmm.

Lisa said...

What a yummy and so moist looking cranberry cake, but I'm here to let you know that *drum roll,please*..You won the $25.00 gift certificate to use at OhNuts.com! Just send me your info (addy) and I'll forward it to Sam Feferkorn at OhNuts and he will mail it right out to you! I'm so happy you won because I know you will bake some amazing stuff using all those nuts, dried fruits and/or chocolates that you choose, I already emailed you, but wanted to make sure you got the news (you know emails can get some times..lol)

Anonymous said...

I too like the combination of cranberry and orange, as you may have noticed from last Christmas' muffin mix gift (although the orange flavor did not exactly leap out at you in that one).

NoHandle.

Felice said...

Nice save with the almonds! I think that it is a great idea to put some almonds on the base too.

Next Sister Down said...

Congratulations on winning the gift certificate! I'm glad Lisa posted, so the rest of us got the news too!

thedaintyapron said...

Looks super yummy! I was just now able to post mine due to some kitchen issues.

Merry Christmas!

Monica H said...

Double the almond lone and added orange zest? I bet this cake was divine!