Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cranberry Orange Spice Bundt Cake

 I'm not sure why I don't make bundt cakes more often because they're delicious, easy to put together and serve a lot of people. With the holidays approaching, and my Italian chit-chat group meeting at my house yesterday, I was inspired to dig out this Christmas tree bundt pan from my basement, given to me by a friend a few years ago. 

I scoured the internet to find a festive recipe for it and landed on this one from Williams Sonoma's website.

 It's studded with a streusel interior made from dried cranberries simmered in orange juice, pecans and brown sugar. As if that weren't enticement enough, the moist cake is perfumed with spices and orange peel and brushed with a drizzle of sweetened orange juice. 

Ready to try it?

 You don't have to use a pan with a Christmas tree design - any Bundt pan will do. Or even a loaf pan. But if you've got one of these, finish it off with a dusting of powdered sugar and decorative candies, like these m&m's.

You'll be wishing for snow covered trees the whole year through.

Cranberry Orange Spice Cake


For the cranberry streusel: 

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice 

  • 2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar 

  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans 

For the cake: 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

  • 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon 

  • 2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 

  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves 

  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 

  • 1/2 tsp. salt 

  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter 

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 

  • 2 Tbs. grated orange zest 

  • 4 eggs 

  • 3/4 cup milk 

For the glaze (optional): 

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice 

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour a holiday tree Bundt® pan; tap out excess flour.

To make the streusel, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries and orange juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop the cranberries. Transfer to a small bowl, add the brown sugar and pecans and stir to combine. Set aside.

To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and orange zest and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Spoon one-third of the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with half of the streusel. Repeat the layering, then spoon the remaining batter on top. Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the orange juice and granulated sugar. Heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.

Tap the Bundt® pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.

Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving. Serves 16.

From Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

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