OMG you guys. This Cranberry Christmas Snacking Cake is the easiest, tastiest cake I've made since the Peach Cake I make every summer.
And it's exactly the kind of cake I love most to make (and eat). A simple cake loaded with seasonal fruit.
Just to be clear, it's not that I don't love frosting – it's just that I see it as a whole separate food group. And I love frosting so much, it can overshadow the cake.
This cranberry Christmas cake (because this is a perfect treat at Christmas!) can be used as a breakfast treat (think coffee cake), an afternoon snacking cake, or a simple dessert with ice cream and a drizzle of caramel.
There's no milk or cream in this cake, so the texture bakes a little denser. But it's plenty moist from the butter and an apple.
I just whip up the batter, spread the cranberries across a pie plate, and pour the batter over them. The batter nestles around the fruit, thanks to a copious amount of butter, and cooks up like a cake. But you make it in a tart/pie pan.
To. Die. For. And it will be part of my regular rotation now, just like that peach cake. The kids and grandkids would love it when they visit over the Christmas holidays.
Cranberry Christmas Snacking Cake
- 2 cups cranberries rinsed and drained
- 1 apple peeled, cored, and diced
- 1-1/2 cups sugar divided
- 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of one orange
- 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
- confectioners sugar, for final dusting before serving
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and lightly butter a 9-inch pie pan with butter.
- Spread the cranberries and apple chunks in an even layer across the bottom of the pie pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cocoa nibs over them.
- Using a wooden spoon, vigorously beat together the melted butter, flour, eggs, extract, orange zest, and the remaining 1 cup of sugar in a large mixing bowl to form a batter. Scrape the batter over the cranberry mixture. Dust the top with the turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the cake is set. Test by inserting a knife - it should come out clean but moist. This is a moist cake which is probably why it was called a tart.
- Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, ideally drizzled with a little caramel.
- As a final touch, dust the top with a spray of confectioners sugar, if desired.