Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

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I have a friend who, like me, doesn’t like to bake. As a consequence, we torment each other with various delicious looking recipes for baked goods. When she sent me the recipe for this orange cranberry cake, featuring this beautiful Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt pan, I couldn’t resist. Not only did I buy the pan and the release spray, I also made the cake. I sent her pictures along the way, because she was as curious as I was as to whether or not this pan, like so many others have failed to do, would release the cake in one piece, to be consumed in all its elegant glory, instead of finding itself as a layer in a trifle.
As you can see from the pictures, happily it did come out just beautifully. But, I’m not going to lie, this cake was a lot of work! Because baking gets on my nerves, I did it in stages throughout the day. Measuring dry ingredients and setting them aside, getting out wet ingredients, setting them aside, making the cranberries, making the orange sugar, you get the picture.
It was worth every ounce of energy that I put into it. Not only am I extremely proud of my efforts, but my friend deemed it as “fabulous” as it is beautiful. It is loaded with flavor (I must confess that I replaced the orange juice in the glaze in the original recipe found here, with orange liquor, because I can never leave well enough alone) — sweet, tart, refreshing, complex, and certainly elegant enough to serve for company. Make it if you dare!
Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake


2½ c. flour
¾ t. baking powder
¼ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 T. fresh orange zest
10 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 c. low-fat buttermilk, room temperature
¼ c. cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 t. vanilla extract
1¼ c. fresh cranberries, chopped

Sugared Cranberries

2 T. sugar
2 T. water
½ c. fresh cranberries
¼ c. sugar


2/3 c. powdered sugar
1/8 t. salt
1½ T. fresh orange juice

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 10-cup Bundt pan generously with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; reserve one tablespoon flour mixture to toss with cranberries.

Combine sugar and orange zest in a food processor and pulse for 1 minute; combine with butter in a large mixer bowl and beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time. Combine buttermilk, orange juice, and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture), just until incorporated. Toss cranberries with reserved flour mixture and gently fold into batter.

Spoon batter into prepared Bundt pan and smooth with an offset spatula. Tap pan sharply to reduce air bubbles. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until cake is golden, springs back to the touch, and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; carefully invert onto rack and cool completely.

While the cake bakes, make the sugared cranberries. Place a wire rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add cranberries to the saucepan and coat completely in the simple syrup. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cranberries to the wire rack. Separate the cranberries into a single layer, spaced 1-inch apart. Let dry for 1 hour, then roll the cranberries in sugar to coat. Transfer to a clean baking sheet and let dry for 1 hour before using.

For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, salt, and orange juice in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake and let set before topping with sugared cranberries and serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.


Linda said...

Pattie this is a masterpiece! I love that it has fresh cranberries instead of the shriveled ones; also that it alternates adding buttermilk with the flour mixture. In my opinion that makes for really superior baked goods. I wonder why this Bundt pan releases better than others?
I laughed reading about your impatience with baking - you wouldn't know it with all of the beautiful creations that come from your kitchen. I love every part of it, and having all those bowls lined up with ingredients ready to add makes me feel very happy - lol!

Unknown said...

Well thanks for the warning Pattie....since it's a lot of work I'll skip it - no time for that!! :)