Don’t Shop. BAKE!

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Gift giving time is getting near.  But who wants to go into crowded stores?  Way too scary.  Don’t shop. BAKE!  Bake  cranberry cakes for all of your gift giving needs.

Cranberry Cake is the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  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.

Even if you have your shopping all wrapped up, still bake this cake.  I call it “social insurance”.  It’s so versatile.  Not only can it be used for gift giving, 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 and fresh cranberries.  Wow.  What a presentation and so easy.

Need a little something extra on that holiday brunch plate?  A slice of cranberry cake would be a wonderful idea.

Have convinced you to bake not shop?  OK, look at the recipe and then match it with the photos.  You will be all set.

Cranberry Walnut Cake

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.
  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.  These cakes are great for gifts or to serve unexpected guests. 

 

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