For years I’ve coveted a Kitchenaid standmixer with irrational fervor. Thanks to some very generous friends, I’m finally a proud owner of a pistachio-colored mixer! By chance, I stumbled upon this recipe for Cranberry Cake from The Kitchn, which was the perfect inaugural mixer project because this cake gets its volume from vigorously beating the eggs with the sugar, not from traditional leavening agents like baking powder.
Moist, with bright, tangy bursts of fresh cranberry, this cake is incredibly simple and easy to make. The cake can be baked in a variety of different pan sizes. It takes some time in the oven, so bake for at least 30 minutes and check periodically to see if an inserted toothpick comes out clean. With the batter I made, I was able to fill one loaf pan and one 6 inch cake pan, which I baked for 60 to 70 minutes.
To balance the tartness, I added a sugared pecan topping to one of the loaves.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries (one 12oz. bag)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a standmixer (or hand beater) beat the eggs and sugar for about 8 minutes. The mixture should turn pale yellow and double in volume. This is the step that makes the cake fluffy, so take care to make sure it is well-mixed, leaving ribbons on top when you lift the beater.
2. Incorporate the butter and vanilla until combined, mixing for a few minutes.
3. Gently fold in the flour, salt and cranberries. Spread into pans of your choice that are either greased or lined with parchment paper.
4. If you’re using the pecan topping, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, stir in the brown sugar, and mix in the pecans so that they are coated, then spread atop the cake batter.
5. Bake for approximately 60 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, free of any batter. Cool before eating.