in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cranberry Carrot Cake

Nice, fresh cranberries are in season right now. This rich, moist cake is so flavorful, so delectable, so colorful, you'll want to make it again and again. Great to take to a pot luck Holiday Party. Or make mini cakes and take to friends and neighbors as a gift. And the buttercream... ahh! blissful!
Cranberry Carrot Cake
4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup canola oil
1 cup wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
2/3 to 1 cup walnut pieces or pine nuts
Gingered Clementine Buttercream (see recipe below)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan, a large bunt pan or two 9 inch layer cake pans. (For the photo above, I used a star shaped bread baking tube). Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, honey and oil. Mix well. Add flours, baking powder, salt and spices. Beat until smooth. Place cranberries in a food processor and pulse 10 to 12 times, scraping sides of bowl half way through. Mix cranberries, carrot and walnuts into batter. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 45 to 50 minutes for a 9x13 pan--a bit longer for a bunt pan and a bit less for layer pans (the star tube took 40 minutes). Allow to cool and frost with buttercream before serving.

The cranberries should be chopped finely but not liquified.

Gingered Clementine Buttercream
3/4 cups butter, room temperature (typo alert: used to read 1 1/2 cups not cubes)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
1 clementine, zest and juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar
Beat butter until fluffy with a electric mixer. Beat in ginger and zest. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and mix well. Add juice and salt and beat again. Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.

Hints: I served the frosting on the side of cake slices in the top photo to allow people to use as much or as little frosting as they wanted. You could garnish the cake with some clementine sections or whole cranberries. I didn't bother to peel the carrots for this recipe. You could certainly chop the cranberries without a food processor. Be sure and pick over the cranberries, discarding any that are soft or brown. This buttercream would be super on any type of spice cake or citrus flavored cake, great on sugar cookies, too. You will need to adjust the amount of powdered sugar to get just the spreading consistency you want for the buttercream.

It is so interesting to listen to what folks say about a table full of cake slices. Some of us get excited about chocolate. Others love a white cake. Red velvet rings the bell for a few and carrot cake does it for others. "OOhh that looks like maple icing!" or "Eeww that looks like maple icing!" We all have our favorites and those we won't willingly choose. What makes the difference? I think it may have something to do with taste buds or textural cues but I think it may have a lot to do with prior life experiences. I remember my Mom telling me that Lemon Meringue pie was awful. Then one day I tasted it. Hello Lemon!!! One of my children laments the years she spent avoiding coconut--all those wasted Trick or Treat times she could have chosen an Almond Joy! My husband tells of his childhood distrust of sour cream. Who would want to eat sour cream? I feel lucky to be fond of trying new things and luckier still that I nearly always enjoy what I get.   

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! I will have to try this!