Monday, December 9, 2013

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Wow! Have you felt as behind and rushed this Christmas season as I have? With a week less between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are moving along quickly! I was so tired after our Thanksgiving marathon that I spent the entire day on Cyber Monday shopping on the iPad. So, this week the mail lady and the UPS guy will make multiple trips up our driveway. Today I greeted the UPS truck with warm Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies. Yesterday afternoon I made 2 batches of cookie dough. I shaped one into logs, wrapped and froze it. Then I dropped the second dough onto baking pans, froze the blobs unbaked, then dropped them into Ziploc bags. Both are ready to bake without thawing. It never hurts to plan ahead when you're facing a race to the finish!

Tomorrow I plan to bring out the fresh cranberries and bake them up into a yummy breakfast cake. I have to admit that this is a new recipe, but it looks really good and is simple but with complex flavors. Fresh cranberries go so well with orange. This recipe uses some of both plus a sour cream cake base. I think it will freeze nicely when cooled. Just remember to use FREEZER bags, NOT storage bags and get out as much air as possible before freezing.

Here's the recipe. Let's give it a try.

Cranberry upside down cake with caramel cranberry topping and orange zest speckled sour cream cake.

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Scant pinch ground cloves
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp (plus more for buttering the pan)
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup sour cream (or greek yogurt)
1/4 cup milk

Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch diameter cake pan with 2-inch sides. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine1/4 cup butter and 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat; melt the butter and stir the sugar. Do not stir after the butter has melted. Pour the brown sugar butter mixture into the prepared cake pan. Spread the cranberries on top of the sugar butter mixture.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Beat butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar and cream well. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the orange zest.
Mix a third of the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Beat in half of the sour cream. Mix in another third of the dry ingredients.  Mix in the remaining sour cream. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients and then the milk.

Pour batter over the cranberries in the cake pan, and smooth the surface. Place in the preheated oven and lower the heat from 350°F to 325°F. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 minutes to an hour. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the inside rim of the cake pan to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Turn the cake out onto a platter or cake plate that will go in the freezer. Cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a large Ziploc freezer bag. Or serve immediately!

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