Friday Coffee Cake: Cranberry Cake, Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on December 4, 2009

As I was contemplating all of the cranberries I bought for my cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving, I thought how nice it would be to have a cranberry cake for our 1st post-Thanksgiving Coffee Hour. Cranberries are such lovely berries and their red color adds a festive air to anything they adorn. I don’t think I use them fresh nearly enough in my baking as I should. And they are perfect for the entire winter season because of their rich red color. I will admit to using them a great deal in their dried state–and Girlfriend loves dried cranberries with orange as a school snack and I make nice muffins with them–but until now I haven’t really thought to use them fresh unless I’m making sauce or jam.

I intend to rectify this immediately. In my travels around the web, I came across a delicious-looking cranberry cake recipe from Garrett over at his blog, Vanilla Garlic. He also has another recipe that uses fresh cranberries, ginger cranberry bars, that looks yummy, too.

This cake has a light crumb enclosed in a crunchy exterior. This is because there is a lot of sugar compared to the other ingredients, which makes the sugar combine with the other ingredients to form a kind of a shell on the outside of the cake. It is delicious–I have a few other coffee cakes that do this and the people who attend coffee hour love it! This recipe makes a big cake–so it’s perfect for a crowd or a party!

Cranberry Cake, Gluten-Free (edited 12/6/09 to add sugar amount)
-adapted from Vanilla Garlic

Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4-1/2 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cake)

Special Equipment Needed
-stand mixer is quite helpful, but you can use a hand mixer
-9.5 or 10 inch springform pan or 9×13 baking dish

1 lb (2 C) fresh cranberries, washed, picked over, and dried
2 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 C granulated sugar (you may reduce this to as low as 1 1/4 C)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large or extra large eggs
2 TBL milk
Optional: 1 TBL kirsch
extra butter and tapioca flour for pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-butter and flour a 9.5-10 inch springform pan (or a 9″x13″ baking dish); set aside
-in the bowl of the mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy–a few minutes
-add the sugar, continue to beat until fluffy
-add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition
-continue to beat, until fluffy
-add the vanilla (and the kirsch if using)
-add the milk
-add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined
-fold fresh cranberries into batter
-scoop into prepared pan, smoothing top
-thump pan on counter top to release any trapped air bubbles
-bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours or more if using the 9.5″ springform pan or 1 hr 20 mins for the 10″ springform pan or 9×13 pan (basically, bake until tester comes out clean).
-if using the springform pan, cool in pan for 5 minutes, and then carefully remove to cooling rack to cool completely
-if using the 9×13 pan, cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to cooling rack–or you can just leave it in the pan and serve from there



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