Are there still cranberries in your frig?  Wondering what to do with them? Of course, you can always freeze them but REALLY?  Will you use them in July or whenever you finally decide to organize the freezer?  Use them now.  Bake a cranberry cake.  It’s so easy.  I call it a “dump” cake.  No need for a mixer.  Just stir everything together. You can whip it out in a couple of hours.  You probably have everything you need already in your kitchen.  The recipe is even “kid friendly” so get the whole family involve in the fun. Kids love to help with this project and you will have a great dessert for a couple of days. Small family? Freeze cake and cut as needed to enjoy.

Social Insurance

I call this cake “social insurance”.  It’s so versatile.  Not only can it be used for a casual supper or snack, it can be dressed up.  It even works for elegant dining. Set slices in a pool of Grand Marnier crème anglaise or alongside of a scoop of homemade Grand Marnier ice cream.  Then garnish with candied orange peel.  Wow!  What a presentation and so easy.

How to Get Started

Look at the recipe and then match it with the photos.  You will be all set.

Recipe for Cranberry Walnut Cake Recipe

2            cups                                  whole cranberries

2.5        cups                                  flour, all-purpose

1            teaspoon                          baking powder

1            cup                                   sugar, granulated

2            cups                                  walnuts, halves or large pieces

2                                                     eggs

1            cup                                   buttermilk*

¾           cup                                   vegetable oil

2                                                     zest from oranges

½           cup                                   orange juice

½           cup                                   sugar

*buttermilk may be replaced with ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons regular milk and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar

Method

  1. Combine cranberries, flour, baking powder, first amount of sugar, and walnuts in a large bowl.  Set aside
  2. Combine eggs, buttermilk, and oil.  Stir to mix well.  Add to dry ingredients.  Stir to combine.
  3. Remove zest from oranges and add to batter.  Stir.
  4. Line the bottom of baking pans with waxed paper or parchment paper.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Fill prepared pans about ¾ full with batter.
  6. Bake in a 350-degree oven until tester come out clean and cakes are golden brown.  Baking time will vary depending on size of pans.  I usually make small cakes (about 5” X 3”).  They need about 35-45 minutes in oven.
  7. While cakes are baking, prepare the orange glaze. Place the 2nd amount of sugar and orange juice in a pan and heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  8. When cakes are finished baking, remove from the oven. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes.  Remove from the pans.  Brush the orange glaze on all sides of the cakes.  Keep brushing until all the glaze has been used.  Sometimes I even dunk the cakes in the glaze.
  9. When cakes are cool, wrap in plastic.  They will keep several days at room temperature, longer in the frig and almost indefinitely in the freezer. 

Next Holiday Season

Cranberry Walnut Cake is the perfect small gift.  Next year bake several small cakes. Wrap and freeze. When you need a small gift, take from the freezer and tie it with a ribbon. Instant gift!

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