Monday, February 11, 2013

Nantucket Cranberry Cake


This is a perfect recipe. Perfect. A golden, toothsome cake is the perfect foil for the slightly tart cranberries that are hidden below.

Here's how to make it.

This is my version of the recipe given at the King Arthur Flour website.
The ingredients are listed at the end of this post.

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Put 1.5 tablespoons butter into a 9" square cake pan; put this into the oven for a minute or two so it will melt. Set the timer to remind yourself to take it out. The goal here is simply to melt the butter, not to get the pan hot.

Coarsely chop 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries and ½ cup pecans.

Spread the chopped cranberries and nuts in the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, place 2 eggs, 3/4 cup very soft butter, 1 cup sugar, ¾ teaspoon salt, 1.5 teaspoons vanilla, and ½ teaspoon almond extract.

Beat until smooth. An electric hand-held mixer works well for this.

Stir in 1 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour.

Blend until smooth, but do not over-mix. Scrape the bowl, as I did right after I took this photo.

Spread the thick batter over the cranberries and nuts in the pan. It’s sticky. Try using wet fingers to smooth it out; it works.

I used a short spreading knife this time.

You can add a secret message: 

Sprinkle 1/3 cup coarse sugar over the batter.

Place the cake in the center of the pre-heated oven:

Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean of batter or crumbs. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a rack.
While the cake is still very warm, run a table knife carefully around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan.

Beautiful color...

... and texture.

Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.

How did it come out? Wonderful.

Even when it was still warm (not hot), it cut neatly and was easy to serve.

The edge broke a little because the it was stuck to the edge of the pan. I added an instruction in the recipe to loosen the crust while the cake and its juicy fruit layer are still warm.

The fruit layer is moist but not runny. It's nicely chewy around the edges. The chopped nuts add a bit of texture. It's just right.

The 9x9 pan yields a nice proportion of fruit to cake: 

Notes and Tips

I use King Arthur brand flours exclusively for all my baking and cooking.

The original recipe says to grease the pan, then melt butter [in a separate pan or something] and drizzle it into the baking pan. Save yourself a step and some dishwashing by melting the butter directly in the baking pan. Just keep an eye on it. There’s no shame in setting a timer even for one minute.

If you like a chewy, slightly caramelized edge, use a dark pan. Highly recommended.

This would probably be good with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, but we never got that far. It is wonderful unadorned.

This cake keeps well, although it will probably disappear in a few hours.

The original recipe calls for walnuts, but I prefer pecans. I also add slightly more vanilla, almond, and salt.


1.5 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) butter, very soft
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping (about 1/3 cup)

All my recipes may be viewed here:

They are further organized as follows, with some overlap:

Main Dishes
Soups and Stews

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.