This Cranberry Cake is one of my best-loved recipes! I haven’t had anyone try it and not like it. Even my husband, who usually won’t touch anything cranberry loves this cake and requests it. I even won a bake-off at the kid’s elementary school with this delicious cake! Yes, I’m a little proud of that. 🙂 (It’s the little things, right!?) Besides the great taste, the other nice thing about this cake is that it is really easy to make.
Start by putting the flour, sugar, cranberries, and walnuts in a large bowl. The cranberries can be fresh or frozen (buy fresh and toss in the freezer). I almost always use frozen; in fact I can’t ever remember making this with fresh. I’m thinking if you decide to use fresh ones, watch the cooking time, because this may make a difference and the cake might cook a little faster. I hadn’t actually thought about this until just now as I write this….
Toss the flour, sugar, cranberries, and walnuts, just to mix a bit.
Add the melted butter, eggs, and almond extract. Mix this well. It will be a bit difficult to mix because of the frozen cranberries but just keep at it with a wooden spoon or something else just as sturdy.
Spread into a greased 9×13 cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 70-75 minutes. If you use fresh cranberries, check the cake at 60 minutes to see if it is done. It should get golden brown on top and if you stick a toothpick in the middle, it should come out clean (aside from the cranberry juice – just no dough on it).
If you want to fancy it up a bit, you can make a glaze by mixing 2 cups of confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon of almond extract, and a little milk (1 teaspoon at a time until the right consistency). Mix until a consistency that can be drizzled – a little bit thicker than heavy cream – and drizzle the glaze on top. Another alternative is to sprinkle confectioners sugar on top. Just put a little confectioners sugar (10-x) in a fine mesh strainer and shake it over the top of the cake. A little goes a long way, so start with maybe 1/4 cup at most. You can always add more. I think the cake tastes great as is so rarely add anything to it, but it is a nice option if you want the cake to look a little fancier.
There is one downside to this cake (aside from eating too much of it) – it’s not a cake that you can flip out of a pan. I’ve tried all sorts of ways (pam spray, butter, with flour, without flour), and it will just STICK if you try to get it out in one piece. If you want to make it in smaller cake pans or muffin tins, use some sort of liner for best results.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 12 oz. bag of cranberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- Mix flour, sugar, cranberries, and walnuts.
- Add the melted butter, eggs, and almond extract.
- Stir until combined. It will be difficult to mix with the frozen berries, but just keep at it.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 70-75 minutes.
- Cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I’ve also tried this recipe with different nuts or without the almond extract and it just doesn’t have the same “wow” to it. It seemed logical that this would be good with almonds instead of walnuts, but I have to say the walnuts are better. There is just something about the original combination that makes this cake special. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 🙂