Fresh cranberry Christmas cake is a tart, sweet and delicious holiday cake.
Christmas is just around the corner and this is probably the busiest baking season of the year. Christmas means holidays and kids are off from school. One of the best ways to keep up with kids hunger pangs all day long is some delicious bakes. Hence the theme for this week is bake them cakes!! The first bake in this series is fresh cranberries Christmas cake.
Cranberries are small dark red berries and are usually harvested in Fall. The peak cranberry season is from mid September to mid November. Though cranberry season is officially over, it is not that difficult to source fresh cranberries until mid-late December. However, those cranberries are not very firm and are a bit over ripe. As you can see in the photos, some of the cranberries are over ripe and these berries are from last week.
The best way to cherish these tart berries year around is to freeze a few bags during the peak season. I never froze the berries in the past but after reading the source of today’s recipe, I froze a couple of bags this year. When using frozen berries for cranberry Christmas cake, thaw for sometime on countertop.
Fresh Cranberry Christmas Cake
When I stumbled upon fresh cranberry Christmas cake, I was a little skeptical how tart cranberries would taste in a cake. I love using dry cranberries in my bakes, but never used fresh berries. I gave it a try this Thanksgiving and fresh cranberry Christmas cake was our dessert that day. Initially I was unsure if I liked it or not but as the taste sunk in, totally loved this sweet & tart cake. My cousin who was visiting us that holiday weekend loved it as well.
I ended up baking this cake thrice since Thanksgiving, each time with the excuse of taking pictures for the blog! And each time the plan was to freeze the leftover cake but the poor cake never made it to the freezer! Couple of times I baked two thirds of the recipe and the other two times, one third recipe. I will list the full as well as scaled down ingredient list in the recipe.
How to store the cake?
Cake stays good for at least 3 days either uncovered or loosely covered. Since this is a moist cake, crust will soften if stored in an airtight container.
Fresh Cranberry Christmas Cake Recipe
Fresh Cranberry Christmas Cake
- 3 Eggs
- 2 cups Sugar
- ¾ cup softened Butter
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 12 oz Fresh Cranberries
- 9 x13" Pan
Two Third Recipe
- 2 Eggs
- 1 ⅓ cups Sugar
- ½ cup softened Butter
- ⅔ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 ⅓ cups All Purpose Flour
- 8 oz Fresh Cranberries
- 7 x11" Pan
One Third Recipe
- 1 Eggs
- ⅔ cups Sugar
- ¼ cup softened Butter
- ⅓ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ⅔ cups All Purpose Flour
- 4 oz Fresh Cranberries
- 3 cup rectangle Pyrex dish with 5x7"
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Grease the pan with butter.
- With a hand held mixer beat eggs and sugar until mixture doubles in size, about 5-7 minutes. This is the most crucial step of the preparation. Since eggs act as leavening agent, it is important to beat until the mixture forms a ribbon when lifted from the beater.
- Add butter, vanilla extract and beat for another couple of minutes.
- Fold in flour until just combined.
- Stir in cranberries until mixed.
- Transfer batter to baking pan, spread the batter with a spoon or gently with clean hand as the batter is quite thick like cookie dough.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- For two third recipe bake time for my cake was 43 minutes in a nonstick pan and 38-39 minutes for one third recipe in a pyrex dish.
- Let the cake cool completely before cutting into small pieces.
- Serve it as it is for dessert or as a tea time snack. One can also serve it with some ice-cream or whipped cream, though I prefer without it.
- When using frozen cranberries, thaw at room temperature for some time while prepping for the cake.
- Nutritional values are approximate and for a full cake, which is 16 servings.
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cranberry cake really looks awesome and can imagine how divine it must be while tasting. clicks are beautiful.
Sandhya Ramakrishnan says
That's a beautiful cake and after reading your experience with the fresh cranberry I can try it for sure. I have always been unsure about how the fresh cranberries would be and have always used the dried ones.
Such a fantastic recipe Usha, if you have already made it that many times, I can imagine how good it must have been. The pictures as always are so droolworthy!
Beautiful bake loved the color. I can feel the tartness of fresh cranberries in the cake..and it's so nice of you to give the measurement for different cake portions, these will be helpful for many!!
Veena Krishnakumar says
This is such a beautiful bake. Love the colour of the fresh berries
Suma Gandlur says
I loved how you scaled down the recipe in the directions. The cake sounds delicious.
Somehow I am not a fan of that strong tart flavor of fresh cranberries but love the sweetened dried ones. I would give it a try with other berries.
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan says
Such an amazing cake with fresh cranberries. Love it. Always make cranberry cheesecake, but got to try this one too.
The cake looks beautiful Usha. Somehow folks at home have not taken to cranberries. I should try to tempt them with this cake to see if they start liking cranberries.
Gayathri Kumar says
That is such a beautiful cake Usha. We don't get fresh cranberries here. So have to be satisfied with the dried ones. The tartness of the berries will compliment the sweet cake for sure. And the cake is so festive to look.
Priya Suresh says
Thats wonderful to see one third, two third and full recipe of this cake, definitely useful for many. I seriously miss fresh cranberries here, its really hard to find and quite expensive for us. Wish i get a huge slice of this cake. Terrific cake there.
I hear lot people complaining or intimidate to scale down baking recipes. Since I baked both 1/3 and 2/3 of the recipe, thought I might as well list it down. 🙂