Monday, December 20, 2010

The Cake Slice December 2010 - Cranberry Cake

The votes are in for December and the cake we would be baking from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman would be a Cranberry Cake.  I did a little happy dance because I love cranberries.  You don't have to twist my arm to use them in both sweet and savory dishes. I tend to over-buy during the season and therefore have bags and bags of them in my freezer.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing because it results in me having cranberries to use throughout the year.

Before starting a recipe I like to read through it to make sure that I have all the necessary ingredients available and ready to use.  There is nothing worse than getting half way through something special and finding that you don't have what you need to finish.  I have to admit that it has taken me a while to learn this lesson, but now that I have, I have found it invaluable.  For this recipe I discovered that I had whole almonds rather than sliced.  A quick whirl in the food processor solved this problem, and although it would mean the top wouldn't be quite a decorative, it still worked.



For the first part of mixing the cake batter I used Snow White, my trusty KitchenAid mixer.  When it came time to adding the flour and cranberries I changed to hand-mixing with a spoonula.  Be warned that this cake batter is quite thick and chunky and you won't be pouring it into the prepared pan so much as spooning it in.  Don't worry as this is completely normal for this cake and this is why the spoonula worked so well.  Once the batter is in the pan just use the back of the spoon to smooth the top, and then sprinkle the streusel on top and press lightly.  Although I did not have any problems with the batter leaking, it is a good idea to place the springform pan on a cookie sheet just in case.  I'd much rather clean a cookie sheet rather than the oven.



My cake was baked in an oven set at 325°F for 1 hour 15 minutes.  I then left it to cool for at least 20 minutes on a wire rack.  I had wrapped the bottom of my springform pan in non-stick foil so that I would have an easy release.  To release the cake I unlocked the side of the springform and removed it.  I then placed a plate on the top and flipped it over. 

 


I then gently removed the springform base from the cake and placed my serving platter on the cake.  A simple flip back over again and my cake was almost ready to serve.




Although it was not called for in the recipe I decided to sift a little powdered sugar over the top for a festive look to this cake.  Just make sure that you wait for the cake to be fully cooled before doing this step or your sugar will melt into the cake.  This cake definitely delivers on both taste and texture, and it is one that I am sure I will be making again and again.  I may even try a little almond essence in the next one I make.

Click here to check out all of the other Cake Slice Bakers blogs and see their version of this cake.



Cranberry Cake
(Printer Friendly Version)
 
Ingredients - For the Streusel
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar

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

Preparation - Streusel
  1. Heat the oven to 325°F
  2. Grease a 10-inch round springform pan. 
  3. Combine the butter, almonds and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Work the mixture between your fingers to form large crumbs. 
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preparation – Cake
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. Stir in the vanilla.   
  5. Gently but thoroughly fold in the flour mixture, half a cup at a time. 
  6. Then stir in the cranberries. 
  7. Scrape the butter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. 
  8. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter. Bake the cake until it is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. 
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. 
  10. Release the sides of the pan and use a large spatula to slide the cake from the pan bottom onto the wire rack.
  11. Cool completely.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
  12. Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Makes one 10 inch round cake


21 comments:

  1. Your cake looks great. Icing sugar sure does look festive on the top.

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  2. Wow that looks good. Sign me up for a slice. ;)

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  3. I just started thinking I wanted to make something with cranberries when my parents get here for Christmas. I may have to try this cake.. it sounds delicious!

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  4. Love the step by step photos.

    It went down very well here too.

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  5. That slice of cake looks delicious! I love cranberries.

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  6. The sifted powder sugar makes your cake look even more festive, what a great idea!

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  7. I have a few bags frozen from Thanksgiving waiting for this dessert. Fantastic! Cranberries are so good for you too, so how can you go wrong? :)

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  8. How absolutely lovely! It looks so festive and delicious. I especially like the last shot which shows the cranberries :)

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  9. What a beautiful cake Felice!! I still have to learn that lesson though... would have come in handy yesterday even!
    We are sitting in our 4th day of rain, but Brian is over with you again... I'm SO jealous!

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  10. Oh yum...now i"m hungry for this cake again. Love it with powdered sugar on top and thanks for making me laugh with your nickname for the stand mixer :)

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  11. Spoonulas look very handy - thanks! Your streusel looks divine - I followed the recipe for mine and it was rather crumbly so you may be on to something! Yours looks beautiful :)

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  12. Gorgeous job Felice!!! I made my Cranberry Cake last night and hope to "post" on my blog later today or tomorrow about it. I LOVED the cake....had a lovely piece of it for breakfast this a.m. and can't wait to share it with others. Great idea of the powdered sugar and added almond extract the next time around....yummy ideas! :-)

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  13. Beautiful cake and great idea to chop the whole almonds for the top. It looks so pretty with the snow fall of confectioners' sugar!

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  14. Your cake looks gorgeous and I bet the crumbled almond topping added a lovely crunch. Have a great Christmas

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  15. That last pic of your cake looks awesome. I wish I had cake left because I'm craving it all over again!

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  16. Oh I love cranberries (the problem is - Im the only one around here who does). Im sure they wouldn't mind if I are an entire cake myself then! Happy Holidays!

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  17. wow.. it looks scrumptious ! .. I love it.. it must try recipe.. thx for sharing Felice..

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  18. Love the little bit of powdered sugar sprinkled on top! I should have baked mine at the 325 since it took forever to bake and mine still seemed underdone to me. Just now able to post mine due to some kitchen issues =(

    Merry Christmas!

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