My cranberry orange cake is a celebration of bright seasonal flavors that’s easy to make, moist, and so festive. It’s great for gifting, snacking, and holiday mornings.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- zest of one orange, peeled in strips with a vegetable peeler (just the orange part, none of the bitter white pith)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups cranberries
- 2 Tbsp sparkling sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly spray a 9×9 inch baking pan. I like to line mine with a 2 sheets of parchment paper with long ends, so I can lift it out later for easy slicing.
- First make the orange sugar. Put the sugar and orange zest in a food processor and process until the zest is completely incorporated. The sugar will be pale orange and moist.
- Cream the orange sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. I use my stand mixer, but you can use electric beaters if you like.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla, followed by the baking powder and salt, and keep scraping that bowl.
- Lower your mixer speed and blend in 1/2 the flour, just until it’s almost all blended, then add the buttermilk, and finally the rest of the flour. Just blend until the flour is incorporated, and then stop.
- Gently fold in the cranberries, making sure to get them evenly distributed.
- Spread the batter (it will be quite thick) evenly into your pan.
- Sprinkle the sparkling sugar over the surface of the cake and then bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until risen, golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter on it. Try not to over bake the cake, and check on the early side, especially if your oven runs hot.