I happened upon this recipe on Facebook, posted by Mary, author over at Barefeet in The Kitchen. I needed to bake, on Christmas Eve nonetheless.
Since we are going over to my daughter (from another mother) house for Christmas celebrations on Christmas evening for dinner, I clearly didn't want to come empty handed. Also, I needed to find something heavenly to make based on her allergy to tree nuts. Trust me, it takes some thought to make something she is able to enjoy (I don't like leaving people out).
I love, the simpleness of this recipe and how the buttery goodness can be smelled while baking. Oddly enough, I haven't been in the Christmas Spirit this year, but baking and cooking makes things better.
This recipe is perfect. The Cranberry Christmas cake came out moist and delicious! It was a hit with the boys at the house, so much that I left half the batch there. It's perfect with coffee or to snack alone. It's definitely perfect warm or cool to touch. The tartness of the cranberries plays well on your tastebuds with the sweet of the cake and hint of butter. BUTTER! This recipe calls for almost 2 sticks of butter but it is so worth it.
The recipe below is copied from Mary's website. Click here to see the full recipe. I am glad she gives you options for gluten free baking as well!
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour (see note below for gluten-free alternative)
12 oz fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.
Spread in a buttered 9x13 pan. ( This pan is my favorite!) Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. (I baked mine for 43 minutes.) Let cool completely before cutting into small slices. I cut mine into fairly small pieces, about 1"x2", so that they could be easily eaten at a party. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Substitution: 1 1/4 cup brown rice flour + 1/2 cup potato starch + 1/4 cup tapioca starch + 1 teaspoon xanthan gum may be substituted for the amount of all-purpose flour listed in the ingredients above.