There is a store here that use to sell a holiday cake with chopped dried cranberries and a hint of orange. But they only sold it between Thanksgiving and Christmas and then I had to wait until next year to get it again. Last year they didn’t even sell them! I was so disappointed and went on a mission to come up with my own version so I could have it anytime I wanted. Theirs was a light airy moist type cake and delicious. At the time I decided I wanted to make something, I was in the mood for a heavier pound cake texture with a crusty outside for a white chocolate ganache. Oh my goodness, what a combination. I even went as far as to add some finely diced dried cranberries and orange zest to the white chocolate ganache to cut into that sweetness. I have to admit, plain white chocolate is not my fav, but add a little citrusy flavor and it tones down that sweetness a bit and takes it to a whole new level. Love it!
There is more to this story. With it just being the two of us at home now, we can’t go through a whole cake before it goes bad. What I’ve done in the past is cut it in half, wrap it in plastic wrap, seal a piece of aluminum foil around that and put it in the freezer. Works well, but I found a better way. I bought two of those cute 6 cup Bundt pans and made two smaller cakes out of the same amount of batter. Works perfectly! I’ll still freeze one or give it to someone for a little surprise. Just makes a nicer presentation over one that has been cut in half.
Here’s how I made it.
Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. We also need to prepare our Bundt pan(s). Even though I have the pans that are non-stick, I still tend to prep mine with vegetable shortening and flour. I find it easier and cleaner to use a folded paper towel to spread on the shortening. Be sure to get into all of those crevices!
Then I throw in some all purpose flour and shake it all around the pan until all of the shortening is covered. I do this over the sink or trash can cause I just know as I’m shaking it around, some flour will spill out. Then, over the trash can, turn the pan upside down and shake out any excess flour.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle, cream butter and cream cheese.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. I break all of my eggs into a bowl to make sure that there’s not a bad egg and it makes it easier to just drop them into the mixing bowl one at a time while it’s mixing.
Add the sugar, mix well.
With a wire whisk, combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium size bowl.
Add about 1/3 of the flour to the wet batter, turn on the mixer to a LOW speed to mix it in.
Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, mix, then the rest of the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the sides to get it all good and incorporated.
Mix in the orange extract and orange zest. If all possible, get some good quality orange extract. It will have a stronger and more true flavor. If you can’t find a good quality extract, taste the batter to see if you need to add a little more.
A tip about orange zest. I don’t always have oranges in my fruit bowl. I have several recipes that call for lemon, lime or orange zest. So, what do you do if you don’t have any? Check out this blog and I’ll share with you how I zest them and then freeze it! So simple and a great way to keep zests on hand! Freezing Lemon, Lime and Orange Zest.
On low speed, stir in dried cranberries until well combined.
Divide the batter into two – 6 cup Bundt pans or one standard 10-12 cup Bundt pan.
Bake the two – 6 cup size in a preheated 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes or the one standard size for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Aren’t they just beautiful? Cool 2 minutes.
I wish you could just smell them, divine! And you can see it has a nice crusty outside. That’s what I wanted in this recipe.
Turn onto cake plate(s) and let cool.
Now we’re ready to make a white confectioners ganache with cranberries and orange. This is what is pictured above. To get that recipe, click Cranberry Orange Ganache. Another great option is my Citrus Icing. It’s super simple with only four ingredients!
I think of this cake when I think of the holidays. I guess it’s because of the local store only carrying it during the Christmas season. It is one of my favorites.
What is your favorite holiday cake?
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.