Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cake Slice Bakers Orange Cake with Cranberries

I love it when we get to the third week of the month and it's time for the Cake Slice Bakers.We usually have four recipes to choose from and it's fun to imagine baking one, then another, and often all four of them. Still, Sweetie continues to drop the pounds from his frame and has asked me to keep the baking down to just a few, so I do have to choose.

This month I chose the Blueberry-Nut Loaf Cake, but the blueberries at the market were going for $5 a basket, so I decided to substitute dried cranberries and to soak them for a while in the fresh orange juice to soften them up. I love the flavor combo of orange and cranberry, so why not?

This is a fairly light cake with a delicate crumb and I enjoyed it a lot. The pecans added both crunch and flavor and the cranberries and assertive orange flavor played well together.

I baked the batter in a combo Bundt pan so I got two smaller Bundt cakes in two different designs. We each had a piece after dinner while the cake was still a little warm. Delicious! There is a lot of orange zest in the batter, so large parts of the finished cake are a pretty orange color, which looks nice with the cranberries.

Because I didn't use fresh blueberries, my directions are different than the original recipe, but this is really an easy cake, so just follow along and you, too, can have a nice little cake to enjoy in the afternoon with tea or coffee or as a dessert later in the day.

Cranberry - Nut Bundt Cake

1 1/4 cup pecans
2 large, deep colored oranges
1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
grease and fine dry bread crumbs for pan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I used a butter substitute with no dairy)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg at room temperature

Coarsely chop the pecans. Set aside.

Grate the rind, zest only, from the oranges. Reserve the zest and cut the oranges in half, then juice them. Measure 3/4 cup orange juice. Place the dried cranberries in a narrow container ( a Pyrex measuring cup that holds two cups works well) and pour the orange juice over the dried cranberries. Let sit for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10 1/2 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pan or a Bundt pan that has two smaller cake pans in it, or a small Bundt pan. Dust with fine dry breadcrumbs and knock out excess crumbs. Set pan aside.

Melt the butter and let cool.

Sift together the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg just to mix. Add the butter and mix. Drain the cranberries and add just the orange juice to the egg mixture and beat to mix. Set the cranberries aside.
On low speed add the sifted dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat only to mix. Remove from the mixer and stir in the drained cranberries, the grated rinds and the nuts. If you use a spatula, you can make sure that all is well combined with just a few strokes.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan((s), smoothing the top and knocking the pan against the counter a couple of times to dislodge air bubbles. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester gently inserted into the middle comes out clean and dry. If the cake cracks on the top, it's OK.

Cool the cake on a rack for 10 minutes, then cover the cake with a rack and turn out onto the rack. If using a bread pan, turn cake right side up. If using a Bundt pan, keep it upside down. Move to a cake plate and let cool completely.

To serve, if desired, sift some powdered sugar lightly over the cake.


Emily said...

Hiya Elle!

Love your combo Bundt pan and the amazing results! I think I will love the tangy taste of cranberries with the orange in your version too!

Laura@ Baking in Pyjamas said...

They look great Elle, they would be perfect for the holidays.

Carlee said...

I love cranberries and orange together. I bet this would be a great variation! I love the shape too, so much more fun that loafs!

Jolena TheRubyKitchen said...

I love the combo of cranberry and orange. What an excellent way to offset high produce prices. I cannot wait for blueberry season so I can go pick them from the farm and pay less than two dollars a pound. I am like a kid in a candy store then! Thank you for sharing - love the bundt pan too!

Hazel said...

Oooh I love how they looked baked up in a bundt!! They are super Elle! Hazel x

OvenDelights said...

Brilliant idea on the cranberries! I have tons of dried cranberries and haven't any clue how to use them up! I've done granola and cookies, but soaking them in orange juice for pound cake sounds amazing! Thank you for the great tip! Your cake baked up beautifully!