Countdown to Thanksgiving: Cranberry Christmas Cake

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I know…you’re thinking “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, why is she sharing a Christmas cake recipe?”  Simmer. It’s because this cake is BEAUTIFUL and will be perfect with coffee on Thanksgiving morning whilst you work in the kitchen preparing the feast.

A recipe of this type has been floating around Pinterest for a while.  I found the ingredient list intriguing and wasn’t sure it would turn out.  My family members are willing taste-testers in the Twist Laboratory and are pretty clear when they like or dislike anything.

The recipe is pinned to my Pinterest Cake board.  Stop by there because there are tons (291 to be exact) of great recipes waiting for your to peruse.

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It’s starts with a 12 oz bag of these ruby jewels.  During the fall and winter season I stock up on fresh cranberries because they freeze really well.  Tip:  If you freeze them don’t wash them first or they will get soggy.  Just keep the bag intact and tuck inside a ziplock bag and throw into the freezer.   You can add a handful of cranberries to your muffin recipes and throw a palm full into your oatmeal while it cooks on the stove.

Cranberry Christmas Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour *
12 oz fresh cranberries

* Gluten Free Substitution:
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.

Spread in a buttered 9×13 pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. (I baked mine for 43 minutes.) Let cool completely before cutting.

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It wasn’t even cooled when the Twist Lab assistants converged onto the cake.  They both ate two slices and said this was a winner!

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I did sprinkle the finished cake with powdered sugar because it looks like snow.

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And, for a twist, I made a smidge of powdered sugar and cream icing and drizzled a little on a slice.

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This cake is a MUST for your holidays.  I could easily see this cake divided into two 8×8 square disposable pans, tied with ribbon — perfect as homemade gifts!

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