It seems like every season, there’s some dessert recipe that is my go-to recipe. In the fall, it was pumpkin muffins. I can’t remember how many times I made them, but the fact that I lost count means that it was quite a few.
This winter my favorite recipe is Cranberry Eggnog Cake. I’ve made it twice so far, and I’ll be scheming to find reasons to make it again. The first time I made it was for a dinner party. This tasty cake was the perfect ending to a great meal. It’s flavorful, but not too sweet, and it has a nice crust on top. And to steal a phrase from Husband: “It takes like Christmas.”
And just yesterday I made this cake for a friend who loves cranberries. (I guess it goes without saying that it was a good friend because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to exercise such restraint in not devouring the whole thing.)
By the way, I feel like I have to say something in defense of eggnog. I’ve avoided it most of my life for reasons unknown to me, but it is really delicious in this cake. It also freezes well. I bought a ½ gallon of it, and I just take it out of the freezer when I need it.
The recipe is from the Baker by Nature website.
Cranberry Eggnog Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 large egg
1/2 cup eggnog
1 cup fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with eggnog, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter cranberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.
If you make this, I hope you enjoy it! Just consider it an early Christmas gift to yourself.