Monday, January 11, 2010

Orange Cranberry Cake

The all time favorite kind of cake in our house has always been this type of loaf cake to eat with afternoon or late night tea. This recipe is really a winner, combining the flavors of orange and cranberry with some oatmeal in the batter giving a little crunch with every bite! And speaking of crunch, adding some nuts such as walnuts or pecans would be great, too! And a cake like this is always better in a day or two..if it lasts that long! For a lower fat version you could try substituting yogurt for some of the butter.
I found a supplement type booklet today from Better Homes and Gardens called, " All-Time Favorite 2010 Cookbook" and this cake looked like the perfect one to try.
The original recipe calls for using a 10 " tube pan but I wanted to use a loaf pan. Because I thought there might be too much batter for the pan, I also made some muffins with the extra batter. And, of course, the muffins would cool alot quicker than the loaf cake..meaning I could eat them alot sooner!
This cake has a wonderful flavor and texture and the glaze just brings out the orange even more. It's easy to put together so give it a try.

Start by stirring the oatmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

In your mixer bowl, add the softened butter and beat about a minute. Then add the sugar and beat another minute til combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
It has a nice yellow color.

Throw your cranberries into a food processor and pulse to chop into small pieces.
Warning!: Cover your ears if you're using frozen crans..Yikes , it's loud!
Once the cranberries have been pulsed, throw in 2 tablespoons of sugar and mix a little.
Set this aside a minute or two.
Meanwhile, go back to the batter and add the flour alternately with the milk.
First some flour...
Then some milk... til it's all combined.

Next, grate 2 teaspoons of orange zest into the batter and give a stir to combine.

Fold your chopped cranberry mixture into the batter.
Spoon cake batter into your prepared pan...

And some into your prepared muffin pan! I used one of my muffin pans and made only 4.

Bake in a 350 oven. The original recipe says to bake 50 to 60 minutes. My muffins took, maybe about 30 minutes. The loaf took about 45 minutes to one hour. Do the toothpick test to be sure.
Let the cake ( or muffins) cool in the pan about 20 minutes. Take them out of the pan to cool completely before putting on the glaze.
To make the glaze, put 1 cup of confectioners sugar into a small mixing bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest ( or more if you're like me and think more is better!). Then add 2 to 3 teaspoons of orange juice to make drizzling consistence. ( I used my orange for the juice, rather than OJ from the bottle).
Stir the mixture til you get a nice thin smooth glaze.
Pour over the cooled cake or muffins.
Then reward yourself for a job well done! Make yourself a cup of tea and have a big slice!!
Orange Cranberry Cake
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats ( I used old fashioned)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter, softened ( I used unsalted)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped ( Iused frozen crans and didn't bother to thaw them.)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. orange zest
2 to 3 tsp. orange juice.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 10 " tube pan. ( Or a 5" x 9" loaf pan or muffin pan)
1. In bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In large mixer bowl, beat softened butter about a minute, then add sugar and beat another minute.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
4. Add flour alternately with milk, beating on low speed after each addition.
5. Grate 2 teaspoons of orange zest into batter.
6. Chop cranberries in food processor and toss with 2 tbsp. sugar.
7. Fold berries into batter and spoon batter into prepared pans.
8. Bake 50 to 60 minutes for tube pan or til toothpick comes out clean. Bake about 45 minutes to one hour for loaf pan and about 30 minutes for muffins).
Let the cake or muffins cool in the pan about 20 minutes.
Then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.
9. Make the glaze by placing the confectioners sugar into a small mixing bowl.
10. Add 1/2 tsp. of orange zest and 2 to 3 tsp. of orange juice and stir to make a smooth thin consistency. Spoon over cooled cake.

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