Inside my head there’s a tornado of Holiday TO-DO lists whacking into the side of my skull. Christmas cards, Christmas gifts, Christmas candy, CHRISTMAS ANYTHING. AHH!! MAKE IT STOP. The only thing that calms the storm is the sound of Scoop. Measure. Stir. My measuring spoons hit the bowl, my sink is littered with batter smeared bowls and the cake goes off into the oven. I’m standing in the kitchen licking the remains of batter off my wooden spoon and suddenly I smell the heavy scent of cranberries, apples & cinnamon waft in the air. The tornado disappears and I’m temporarily focused on things that don’t stress me out. CAKE! Ahhhhhhh.
I’m in love with this cake! The recipe comes from Ina Garten’s new book, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?— a new addition to my cookbook library, thanks to my INA OBSESSED mom. She knows I love a good/easy recipe and thank goodness for that because this book is chalk full of them! The top of this cake is a splendid union of tangy cranberries & juicy apples rocking a cinnamon sugar citrus vibe. Think pineapple upside down cake meets Christmas. A very light spongy cake (that has no baking powder or soda!) is what it sits upon…and at the very bottom of that is a crispy cinnamon sugar crust. Three layers of deliciousness are all waiting for you to meet them. Go ahead, introduce yourself! I suggest you top off a slice with a scoop of vanilla bean gelato. I’m sure it will silence your holiday tornadoes. I can vouch that temporarily silenced mine!
And we’re off!
Here’s all the fruit that’s involved! Such pretty colors.
Once you’ve chopped up the apple, toss it all in a bowl with brown sugar & orange zest.
Don’t forget the cinnamon (like I almost did!) Now stir!
Beat the eggs in a bowl. No beater necessary. Just a little elbow grease. How easy is that?
Add in your sugar, melted butter, vanilla and sour cream. Add in your flour and salt. Batter=done!
Line the bottom of your pan with your fruit mixture.
Spoon over the batter. Spread it evenly.
Top with sugar & cinnamon mixture. Make sure you wear red socks. They are festive!
Bake in the oven and SURPRISE! Look at the cranberries that came to the surface!
Cut out a piece! Flip it over and put it on a plate.
Top with some vanilla ice cream while it’s still warm. Watch it melt.
Do you realize you are in heaven now? Angels are singing! Look at that little cherub in the clouds!
Cranberry Apple Cake
(recipe slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? Cookbook)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray your pan with cooking spray, set aside.
Combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until light & frothy, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup granulated sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and sour cream and stir thoroughly until combined. Slowly add the flour and salt. Batter is done.
Line the bottom of your prepared pan with the fruit mixture. Pour the batter over the fruit and spread until completely covered.
Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle it over the batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a tooth-pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature. It’s best with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato!