Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Christmas begs for a SPECIAL cake... one that is big, beautiful, elegant, something worthy of a special celebration! This cake is IT for 2011! I have to confess that I actually love fruitcake, and this is close but without the sugary glazed fruit. The frosting makes more than you'll probably need. However, I was happy to have "leftovers" to frost a few cupcakes.  (This is not the acutal photo - I've not cut the cake yet! But I wanted to share the idea with you today!) Of course, you know I lightly toasted my pecans. You could use walnuts, if you prefer. ENJOY!

Cranberry Christmas Cake
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
2 ½ tablespoons grated orange zest
2 large eggs, beaten
¾ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 12-cup Bundt pan OR 2 (9-inch) cake pans.  IF using cake pans, grease, flour, and line with wax paper.

 Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in pecans, cranberries, dates and orange rind.

Combine eggs, oil and buttermilk, mixing well; stir egg mixture into flour mixture, mixing until well blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a wire rack over a large shallow pan.

Combine ½ cup sugar, ½ cup orange juice and 2 tablespoons brandy. Stir until sugar dissolves. Spoon over warm cake. Allow cake to cool completely on wire rack.

Wrap cake tightly in plastic wrap then in heavy-duty foil. Refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours or up to 8 weeks.

If making layers, frost with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
3 ¾ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt white chocolate over warm water. Set aside to cool slightly.

Cream butter and cream cheese in large bowl of electric mixer. Add powdered sugar gradually and cream until light and fluffy. Add cream and mix again until fluffy. Stir in cooled  white chocolate. Mix until well combined.

Spread between layers and over sides and top of cake. Garnish with chopped pecans or chopped dried cranberries.


1 comment :

  1. Helen this sounds wonderful - and so pretty. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!