*expletive* cranberries *expletive*

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

-This cake harnesses the power of cranberries in order to kick ass.-

I didn't mean to swear that loudly in the store. It had just sort of slipped out in all the excitement. One guy turned away from me assuming me to be some crazy youngin' who didn't know better. The stock boy paused his task of corn stacking and raised his eyebrow at me in curious stupor. Down the aisle next to the celery a mother glared at me as her children, little girls now poisoned by my filthy mouth, were doomed to grow up into delinquents with pink hair and dog collars that matched their boyfriends' eyebrow jewelry.

Whatever. I can't help it if the first thing that comes out of my mouth when I see bags of crimson cranberries is, "Oh sweet mighty God, FUCK YES! CRANBERRIES!" Seriously, these things are only available for what, 60 days of the year? Damn right I get excited.

As Mrs. Prudy McPrude shuffled her kids away from my negative influence and devil speak I began to build up my cranberry cache. Most of these would be thrown into what would in the next few weeks can only be described as a nervous horde. A stockpile of cranberries in my freezer and fridge that might rival the larder of an apocalypse-theory obsessed nutjob's bomb shelter.

Cranberry sorbet, cranberry bread, cranberry scones, cranberry granola... Cranberries had become part of my fall and winter ritual just like busting out the good blankets from storage come the cold rains and cursing out the squirrels who dug up my potted plants. Every year I try to do something a bit new and inventive, I try my best to break out of the ruby colored mold.

This year was no different. I went and broke the mold by breaking out the springform pan: cranberry cake - a super simple one. A quick rendezvous in the kitchen resulting in a cake that everyone would fawn over in a cranberry colored haze. This cake is simple as can be: sugar, eggs, butter, flour, some salt and milk, and an entire bag of cranberries.

It's definitely something that'll make you swear out loud for cranberries too.

-Look upon this cake in all its neon red-streaked cranberry glory and weep for joy.-

Cranberry Cake
makes 1 9x13 or 1 10" springform cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon kirsch (optional)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of milk
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups cranberries (1 bag)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan or a 10" springform pan.

2. Beat eggs and sugar together for 5-7 minutes; the eggs will increase in volume quite a bit, streaming into ribbons when you lift the beaters. They will also turn pale yellow.

3. Add butter and extracts and beat for 2 minutes. Add the milk and salt and mix for another 30 seconds.

4. Stir in flour and fold in cranberries. Pour into greased pan.

5. Bake 45-50 minutes for a 9x13, or a little over an hour for the springform. You may need to tent the cake with foil in the last 15 minutes or so to keep the top from browning. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

62 comments:

  1. This was my same resonse, lol. I make a cranberry cherry pie with honey cream that is to die for. Cannot wait to try your cake recipe!

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  2. I had Monkey Boy with me when I bought cranberries this week so had to curb my tongue, but I understand your excitement. Making cranberry upside down cake this weekend.

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  3. Your cake looks beautiful. I must admit that I had a similar reaction when I discovered fresh cranberries at the store yesterday, as well. I figure that I will buy 2 bags a week from now until Thanksgiving and then I'll be set for a while (January, at least)!

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  4. You know someone is going to comment that they like your blog except for all the swearing!

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  5. God I love reading your posts! They really do capture the essence of everyday life.

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  6. Asides - I am intrigued. Cranberries and cherries go so well together.

    Andrea - Upside down? Oh lord, that sounds delish. Looking forward to a recipe!

    Jen- Yours last far longer than mine. ;)

    Jade - Eh, so it goes.

    Lisa - Thanks so much! Always nice to hear positive feedback!

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  7. I feel the same way when I finally see stacks of cranberry packages in the store! Love your blog...it always makes me smile.

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  8. My dad has a secret cranberry bog he found somewhere near his home and always ends up with gallons of them, and only ever makes cranberry relish. Will definitely talk him (or my mom) into trying this!

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  9. I stumbled onto your blog for the first time today and I f***ing laughed out loud. Seriously, the recipes look great. I'll definitely have to try a GF version of the cake.

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  10. Oh. my. god. If you truly said that in the middle of the grocery store, I bow down to you in all of your glory, and only have one question... can we be friends?

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  11. Your site is so good--recipes yummy, photography yummy--and, you just flat out make me laugh! Thanks for it all--CP

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  12. I would like to laugh... because I did the exact same thing. Except I was on the phone with my Mom. She wasn't pleased. Haha!

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  13. How lovely. It's a really gorgeous cake. I miss cranberries now and they're not available from where I leave, even frozen ones. I would probably have the same reaction if I do find it here.

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  14. I used to hate cranberries as a child. There must have been something seriously wrong with me. I got better. I'll have to check to see if these deliciously tart little orbs have made it to my grocery store yet :)

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  15. i just made this... yum! i had the same reaction to costco's giant bags of cranberries. hopefully my partner won't notice the stacks of cranberries adding up in the freezer!

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  16. Uh... can't say that's the prettiest cake you've ever made.

    But I can empathize with that feeling of YES! IT'S HERE!! with ingredients that only come around for a very short time.

    Gotta go get me some cranberries now. They're excellent in a chutney with venison...

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  17. There used to be this restaurant in Bandon Oregon that served the most amazing cranberry bread. It looked exactly like this bread, but it had a hint of lemon flavor to it. The restaurant was sold and no longer serves it. I thought I'd never have that bread again. But now I wonder if it's possible to maybe tweak this recipe a bit and be reunited with the best cranberry recipe I've ever experienced....

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  18. This looks fantastic! I'm going to go straight away and get myself some cranberries to make this cake....I haven't seen them in the store but I'm sure they're there.

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  19. I was so excited when I saw this, I searched high and low for fresh cranberries. Alas, they haven't arrived in Seattle just yet.

    So I substituted frozen blueberries, and almond extract for the kirsch (but less!. It looks and smells delicious, and hopefully tastes the same.

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  20. Who knew cranberries could elicit such passion? You should plan a trip to New England where they have entire cranberry bogs. Imagine what would come out of your mouth then?

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  21. Oh, their virgin ears needed a good pounding anyways. You did them a favor.

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  22. I had the same reaction to cranberries last week! This morning, cranberry muffins!

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  23. thanks for the recipe! i made this today in muffin form and sprinkled a bit of brown sugar streusel on top and put in almond extract (since i has no kirsch). it made a dozen and a half muffins at 350 for 32 minutes or so...so delicious! my favorite part was hearing the cranberries explode in the oven...

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  24. I feel terrible for saying it, but I'm the exact opposite; couldn't care less about cranberries. Too bad I live in a major cranberry producing state.

    Now CHERRIES in season....om nom nom. And strawberries. I have to say, asides's cranberry cherry pie sounds good for that reason; mixing cranberries with another berry makes them more palatable.

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  25. I love to bake with cranberries all year round so I stockpile like a crazy person in the freezer. I even had 2 bags left from last year when I first started seeing them in the grocery store this year. This cake sounds great. I just made some cranberry crumb bars and they were pretty much inhaled by everyone.

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  26. You rock. Mmmmmm cranberries.... can't wait to see what turns up.

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  27. I see you your cranberries, and raise you a pomegranate! They are my 2 favorite fruits of fall and winter, and I stock up like crazy on both. Can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks Garrett!

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  28. Your cake looks soooooo good. I am literally drooling over the pictures. It reminds me of this "fruit" cake thing I used to eat in India as a child. I have to give it a try! But most times, my baking endeavors don't turn out so great :(

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  29. Randeep, this recipe is pretty darn foolproof. Honestly, just throw the ingredients together, pour it in a pan and chuck it in the oven. When a toothpick or smooth knife comes out clean, you're done.

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  30. I love your site and your cranberry cake too! I can't stop eating it.

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  31. i made this and it was so simple and delicious! thanks for the inspiration.

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  32. Jade is right. First time on your site and you shocked the socks off me. Love the recipe and will try it; hold the F-bombs, please.

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  33. Anon: I like to swear, but only do it in my posts when I feel they are appropriate or necessary or when it is what I or someone else actually said.

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  34. Your recipe sounds terrific, can't wait to make it.....Don't mean to be an ol'prune.....keep the off-color words...off of this highly regarded magazine site.....we hear enough of those words on TV, on the street, from out of control people....

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  35. JoV: I love that Saveur guided you here, but please notice you are now on my site, not Saveur's. They simply guided you here for which I'm appreciative. Personally, I think they liked this particular instance of swearing since it condensed what we all sometimes feel about certain ingredients. =)

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  36. You refer to a 2 1/2 cup bag of cranberries. Most bags are labeled with weight. Is this a 12 ounce bag? 16 ounce bag, 250 gram bag?

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  37. Omnivore: A 12 oz bag is good and dandy. (I used Ocean Spray).

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  38. Thanks for the beautiful recipe! The cranberry cake is in the oven right now at 8 AM for and autumn brunch! Since it is an all red weekend I will be opening another bottle of Orin Swift's red varietal "The Prisoner" to pair with the cake! perfect way to start a beautiful autumn day in Virginia!

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  39. I made this yesterday and it is terrific. However, I noticed that there is no baking powder in the recipe. This made me a little nervous, so I added one teaspoon. Was this an oversight or was I just being overly cautious?

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  40. Linda - Nope, no baking soda in the recipe. Still if it worked out for you then that's just great too. =)

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  41. Mmmm. Next time you post a recipe for some baked goods could you remember that not all of us have machines to help us beat eggs, beat butter with extracts, mix flour into things. It means that one has to guess at the length of time something is mixed.

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  42. Alicia - I trust you have enough faith in yourself to tell when something is mixed well enough. The cake is forgiving so don't fret about having a machine or not. =)

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  43. Hi there, new commenter...
    I was so impressed by the photographs that I had to make it for thanksgiving... Much to my surprise the recipe was quick, easy, didn't-end-up-ruined, and delicious. The vanilla cake and sour cranberries were delightful together.

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  44. Wonderful! The first bite caused an explosion of delicious tart cranberrry mingled with sweet, moist, dense cake. Frankly I was afraid the 2 cups of sugar would produce an overly sweet cake, but the balance was perfect. I served it at an early meeting this morning, and six women (who profess to all be on diets) scarfed it up in minutes! I garnished the platter with sugared cranberries. What a beautiful presentation!

    I've already purchased more fresh cranberries just to make this wonderful cake again.

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  45. I found 12-oz bags of cranberries on sale for $2.50 each yesterday and thought of you and this post, Garrett!

    Also, re: potty mouths like ourselves, all I can say is... hey, it's my blog which means I get to express myself however I so choose. *insert snappy hand gesture here*

    My friend just gave me a recipe for a cranberry cake not so different from this one. I'm debating which one to make... nah, I think I'll make both. Because excess is fun like that.

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  46. I was smitten by this cake from the photo, and my leftover Thanksgiving cranberries were just waiting to be put to good use. I whipped it up (a half batch, baked in a 8x8 pan) on a Sunday night, and my roommate (who claims to not like sweets) ate 2/3s of it by Tuesday! Delicious.

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  47. Garrett - I had a spare bag of cranberries lingering in the fridge and begging for an amazing dish. This was it. The flavor is amazing, but...why did all my berries seem to come to the top of the cake? Seriously. This one seems like a no-brainer, but my berries simple refused to stay put. They're pretty all clustered at the top, but...the rest of the cake is rather, um, cakey! What did I do wrong??

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  48. Lisa - Hmm, I'm not really sure. I would just be sure to give it all a good stir to ensure even distribution next time.

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  49. Re: rising cranberries. I've seen recipes, perhaps involving blueberries, that suggest sprinkling some of the flour over the berries, just to coat them, before adding them to a batter. Might work with cranberries, too.

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  50. Hello, thank you for this recipe. I don't have kirsch but will use Combier, an orange liquer, in its place. I had a question about using frozen cranberries... do I use them the same or is there anything I should do to them first? TIA - Sharon

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  51. Sharon - Thaw the frozen berries first. =)

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  52. I bake ALOT, and consider myself a pretty good cook, esp. desserts. Well let me just saw, of the dozens of desserts I love, this is my favorite. It is dangerous to have in the house. Love it.

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  53. This was wonderful. Can't wait to make again. I didn't have enough cranberries so did almost a 50 50 blend of cranberries and frozen blueberries which I tossed in abit of flour. Came out excellent. I had company coming so I added some cassis to my whip cream bombe to serve along side. The dollop of cream really made your cake dinner party worthy. Thank you for sharing. Great blog by the way!

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  54. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YOUR BLOG, and I visit regularly to get my ROTFLMAO on! (I'm just 'revisiting' the cranberry episode and decided to share) I am seriously in love with you (dump the BF and I'll be yours forever) as well as your site. Please don't change a thing, including your fabulous use of words! It's part of what makes you so charming. And oh yeah, this is the only way I'll ever refer to cranberries from now on and I'll smile and think of you...

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  55. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit.

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  56. I made this cake for the first time last year (twice), just shared the recipe at a bridal shower when we were asked to submit a "favorite recipe," and I can't wait to make it again for Thanksgiving morning breakfast! Thank you, it's every bit as delicious as it looks!

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  57. This cake does indeed kick ass. I made it to take to my boyfriend's parents' house for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. Even the 13 year old nephew was all OMG this is really good.

    I made it as a cranberry-orange cake, with Grand Marnier instead of the kirsch and the zest of two oranges. Oh, and I gave the cake a light dusting of confectioner's sugar, just to make it look a little more festive. I'll definitely be making this again. Thank you!

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  58. I am making this right now and I forgot the other 1/2 stick of butter. Should i be worried? I think I might be ok...

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  59. I made this for a Christmas party and used Chambord instead of kirsch - it was a hit! Thanks for this recipe.

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  60. i've been making this 3-4 times every winter for the last 3 years. it's a nice combo of rich vanilla pound-cake like texture and tart cranberries. it's really good cold from the fridge, where it becomes even more dense. i LOVE it and so does everyone else! thanks for the recipe.

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  61. This may be a really stupid question, but do you have to cook the cranberries first? Or, do you just rinse them, remove stems and add to the batter?

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  62. Okay honestly I might've commented on this 5-year-old post before but in case I haven't: THIS CAKE, guys. I've made it so many times and given the recipe to so many people and it is always amazing, even . Made muffins with the batter once (liners were key there, heh) and they were also great. I almost never have kirsch around, but brandy/rum/whatever is also good and a bit of orange zest can be nice as well. It's a staple for winter holiday mornings as well because it does somehow pass as either a decadent coffee cake or a completely respectable dessert cake.

    Oh also we call it Fucking Cranberry Cake. Because of your story, of course, and also because it is that delicious.

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Hey, you're leaving a comment! That's pretty darn cool, so thanks. If you have any questions or have found an error on the site or with a recipe, please e-mail me and I will reply as soon as possible.
~Garrett

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