Just as I am happy to see cranberries arrive in November, I am always a bit sad to see cranberries go after the first of the year. To everything there is a season, I suppose, and one thing I love about this simple cake recipe is that it truly is seasonal. If you have a cup of cranberries in your refrigerator or freezer, you can bake this cake now. Come springtime, you could cover the cake with sliced strawberries. The original recipe suggests baking the cake with blueberries or blackberries in the summer or pears or figs in the fall. I might try them all…
I have not shared this recipe sooner as I have been staring at a blank screen all day. Either literally at my computer or figuratively in my mind. My lack of ability to write little worth reading did not seem like an adequate excuse to hold back this recipe, so I did what I typically do in such times and looked for interesting quotes. No one has said anything interesting about cranberries, but I did find some interesting cranberry information, so let’s play trivia!
1) Name the three fruits native to North America.
The answer: the cranberry, the blueberry and the Concord grape
2) Do cranberries grow on trees, bushes, or vines?
The answer: Vines. The vines are found in beds commonly known as bogs.
3) What state are cranberries native to?
The answer: Massachusetts. The state accounts for approximately 14,000 of the 47,000 harvestable acres. In the United States, cranberries are also grown primarily in New Jersey, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Washington. Maine, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, and Michigan also produce some cranberries.
4) Why do cranberries float?
Each cranberry contains four air pockets.
Now that you know all that you probably cared to know about cranberries, allow me to tell you about this cranberry cake. All it takes to bake this cake is eight ingredients, a round cake pan and parchment, a working oven, and a bit of time. The most complicated thing you will have to do is prepare the pan – buttering and lining with parchment then buttering some more before flouring.
If you can manage that, you can mix up a cake for an afternoon snack, dinner, or, dare I suggest it, breakfast. It pairs perfectly with coffee or tea, and I liked mine with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
I gathered the information in the trivia section from the Cape Code Cranberry Growers’ Association.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- Butter a 9-inch round cake ban, line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, butter then parchment paper, then dust the entire pan with flour, making sure to shake out the excess.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter, 1 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
- Slowly add the flour mixture, continuing to beat until just combined.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and arrange the cranberries on top in a single layer.
- Sprinkle the cranberries and top of the cake with the remaining two tablespoons of sugar.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until the top is light golden-brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- When the cake has cooled, remove it from the pan by using a paring knife to loosen the edges from the sides. Place a plate upside down on top of the cake pan, then invert. The cake should now be facing with its top against the plate. To remedy this situation, place a second plate over the cake so the cake is now sandwiched between plates. Flip the whole thing over one more time and remove the top plate so the top is now facing upwards.
The very slight adaptation I made to this recipe is the use of 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla in place of "2 drops almond extract."You can also bake this cake in a spring-form pan. In that case, simply butter the pan (no need to line with parchment or coat with flour) and release the ring to remove the cake.