12 Days of Sweets: Day 2
I’ve never been the biggest fan of cake. If’s always a huge hassle to mix and frost, and oh my – the dishes! It has never seemed worth the work. I do, however, love using my Mom’s old trusty Bundt pan. This cake pan is such a workhorse; it has baked treats for decades. It’s starting to look a bit worse for wear but I might never retire it (my nostalgic heart won’t let me). When my sister and I were baking this cake I realized my bread loaf pan was not big enough for this job. Cue the entrance for my trusty old Bundt pan.
This cake is one of the most delicious treats that have ever come out of my oven. Part of that is owed to the beautiful cranberries that provide small pockets of bitterness to balance out the sweetness of this cake. It might seem funny, but lightly coating fruit in flour before adding it to the batter helps keep the fruit suspended through the cake. If you skip this step gravity will bring the fruit down to collect at the bottom as everything bakes.
Because this cake is essentially a pound cake it needs to be baked at a lower temperature and for a longer time. There is a lot of eggs and butter in the batter which means cooking it at a higher temperature will make the outside brown and caramelize before the inside has had an opportunity to finish baking. By letting the cake bake too long you also run the risk of it not releasing from the mold well because the cake turns too dense and crumbly.
If you choose to ice the cake you must let it fully cook before drizzling the glaze over top. If you glaze the cake while it’s still warm the icing will melt and sink into the cake. It does not affect the flavor; however, you will lose the beautiful effect the glaze adds to the cake. After drizzling the glaze over top you can serve immediately with a hot cup of tea!
- 1 1/2 cups of butter (3 sticks) – softened
- 8 ounces of cream cheese – softened
- 2 1/2 cups of sugar
- 6 eggs
- Juice and zest from one orange
- 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract (plus one teaspoon reserved)
- 3 cups of flour (plus two tablespoons reserved)
- 12 ounces of fresh cranberries
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- Sugar sprinkles for decoration (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°F and generously grease and flour a Bundt pan and set aside.
- In a mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, orange juice and zest and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Keep mixer whipping wet ingredients while measuring out the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture scraping down the sides of bowl often if needed.
- In a separate bowl add reserved flour to cranberries and stir until well coated.
- Add cranberries to cake batter and gently stir in by hand.
- Spoon cake batter into Bundt pan smoothing out evenly.
- Bake cake for one hour and forty minutes – or until lightly browned on top and a knife comes out clean.
- Allow Bundt to cool for 30 minutes before flipping out onto a baking rack to continue cooking.
- Once cake has cooled completely mix together powdered sugar, milk and reserved vanilla extract until a smooth glaze forms.
- Drizzle glaze over cake and top with sprinkles.
If you don’t have a Bundt pan you can divide the batter between two loaf pans and bake for approximately one hour at 325°F.