This could easily be called the Incredible Disappearing Cranberry Cake. I blame the cake, which is just solid enough to not need an actual plate and fork to eat. It’s way too easy to cut a little chunk off each and every time you pass it in the kitchen. Which I have been doing for the past 24 hours. Luckily I sent half home with my mom, otherwise I think an intervention would need to be staged.
Last year I picked these muffins as the perfect Christmas morning treat. I think this cake qualifies as my pick for 2013. There’s something very coffee cake-esque about it, which would make it perfect to munch on while opening presents. The pecan topping is kind of crunchy and sweet and lends a lovely contrast to the tartness of the cranberries. It’s also better the second day. I love when that happens.
Cranberry Cake with Crunchy Pecan Topping
adapted from the Kitchn
2 c sugar
¾ c butter, cubed and softened
1 t vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour
1 t salt
2 ½ c (12 oz) cranberries
¼ c butter
¼ c brown sugar
1 c raw pecans
Heat oven to 350 and grease and line a 10-inch cake or springform pan.
Using the whisk attachment on either you hand or stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together for what feels like forever. You want the volume to double and the color to get very pale yellow. In reality, it probably took about 5-7 minutes.
Add the butter and vanilla and beat until smooth. (I switched to the standard beaters to start this process and then back to the whisk to get everything nice and smooth.)
Gently whisk in the flour and salt.
Fold in the cranberries. Batter will be super thick. Dump it into the pan, wet your hands and smoosh it out to fill the pan somewhat evenly.
Make the topping. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine, then stir in the pecans. Cook for just a couple of minutes until the mixture turns shiny. Pour over the dough and spread evenly.
Bake for about an hour. I totally forgot to check this early, and it was done perfectly when the timer went off at 60 minutes. It was still the slightest bit gooey in the middle, but that ended up being just right as it cooled.