Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cranberry Upside-Downer

This recipe is for sure not a 'downer' but what is a 'downer' is that I did not make anything new or exciting this week. I made this tender yummy cake back in December I think. I brought it to a friend's house and it went over very well. It is very simple, a little rustic but still very pretty.


1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole-wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups of cranberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not thaw)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
1/3 cup red currant jelly, for glazing the cake


1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350F. Put an 8x2-inch round cake pan on a baking sheet.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

3. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan. Sprinkle in 6 tablespoons of the sugar and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Pour the mixture evenly over the bottom of the cake pan, then scatter the nuts over the mixture and top with the cranberries, smoothing the layer and pressing it down with a rubber spatula.

4. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the remaining stick (8 tablespoons) of butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to beat until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Pour in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter over the cranberries and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes (35-40 for a 9-inch pan), or until the cake is golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and run a blunt knife between the sides of the pan and the cake. Carefully turn the cake out onto a serving platter. If any of the berries stick to the pan, just scrape them off and return them to the cake.

6. Warm the jelly in a small saucepan over low heat, or in the microwave. Gently brush the glaze over the hot cake.

Recipe courtesy, Baking From My Home to Your by Dorie Greenspan

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