It’s snowing outside… so let’s make cake! by Nikki

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It’s finally snowing in Praha

By snowing, I mean the frequency in which the snowflakes are falling from the sky is beginning to cover the sidewalks and slowly the patio, the outdoor chair, and the skylight windows are beginning to disappear under a blanket of snow. If you currently live in Prague, you might remember the first snow actually happened at the end of October this year. I had a friend visiting from the US and the weather suddenly turned winterish and made sight seeing more difficult! But over the past few weeks, the air has begun to chill more and more and today- it is snowing a beautiful winter white snow.

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chopped, fresh cranberries and pecans… so festive

It is the beginning of the December holiday season and with this time of year come the multitude of parties and festivities. As I hear of my friends beginning to decorate the Christmas tree or celebrate Hannukah or Ramadan and participate in other various December traditions, I am, as usual, baking my way into the new season. While November was a month of gratefulness and many pumpkin based recipes, I find myself ready for December and using fresh cranberries. This week, I am using fresh, whole cranberries and pecan halves in my favorite summer cake recipe.

roughly chopped pecans and cranberries replace the usual berries in this cake

roughly chopped pecans and cranberries replace the usual berries in this cake

Yes, this triple berry summer cake recipe is delicious- everyone LOVES it. But since winter is upon us, we will now use cranberries and pecans to change this cake into a festive December treat! Joy the baker’s recent post about Cranberry Orange and Pecan Coffee Cake made my mouth water and my brain (and stomach!) began to think I needed to eat this very cake with my coffee soon… inspired by her festive December recipe, I replaced the zest of lemon in the original triple berry cake recipe with orange zest.

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my coveted cathedral bundt in silicone

Instead of using my traditional bundt pan, I used my cathedral shaped bundt pan. Thanks to my dear friend A for this amazing birthday gift…

mmm

mmm

My REALLY hot oven, blasted the heat and caused the edges of my cake to become a bit darker than I prefer… but the smell of this citrusy cake is gorgeous! And from the bird’s eye view, you can see the result of the cranberries bursting during baking… all red and festive! Enjoy!

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a heavenly scent

Cranberry-Orange Pecan Buttermilk Bundt
Adapted from Joy the Baker and Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

Cake
2 1/2 cups (355 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (340 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 1 medium orange
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (175 ml) buttermilk

1-2 cups(100-200 grams) roughly chopped pecan halves
2 cups (350 grams) roughly chopped fresh cranberries (You can add more to change the tartness of your cake!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F or 170 degrees C

Grease a 10-cup Bundt pan, either with butter or a nonstick spray, lightly flour and place in the fridge while making the cake batter.

In a medium bowl, whisk or sift 2 1/2 cups flour (leaving 2 tablespoons back), baking powder and salt together and set aside. In another bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until light and impossibly fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. (I use a regular mixing bowl and a hand mixer but you can also use a stand mixer!) With the mixer on a low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to batter, beating until just combined, followed by half the buttermilk, another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remaining buttermilk and remaining flour mixture. Scrape down from time to time and don’t mix any more than you need to.  With a silicon spatula, gently fold the cranberries and pecans into the cake batter.

Spoon the batter into your greased cake pan then spread the top smooth. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, rotating the cake 180 degrees after 30 (to make sure it browns evenly). The cake is done as soon as a tester comes out clean of batter. Enjoy!

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