The timing of this month’s #CranberryLove hop was perfect. I just received a big bag of these gorgeous, ruby red fresh cranberries in my weekly CSA share. My 5 year old couldn’t resist their shine and bit into one. And promptly spit it out when that super duper tartness hit her tongue!
A little background on the humble cranberry:
- A good source of Vitamin C, fiber, manganese and antioxidants (a lot of goodness packed into such a tiny berry.)
- Primarily cultivated in America and Canada
- 95% of cranberries are processed into juice, sauce or dried cranberries – this fact blew my mind! It’s kind of a shame that more of us don’t cook with fresh – there’s NOTHING like homemade cranberry sauce – and it’s pretty simple to make (here’s a variety of basic cranberry sauce & relish recipes compiled by Cooking Light Magazine.)
I really wanted to go beyond the sauce – I tried to figure out another savory dish but in the end, baking a cranberry cake won out.
This recipe is a simple tube pan cake – it was inspired by a labor of love cookbook called Cooking Healthy Across America, which was produced by the Food & Culinary Professionals – a 2,000+ group of food loving dietitians. I tweaked a recipe for Orange-Glazed Cranberry Cake developed by my colleague and dear friend, Barb Pyper. You could jazz it up by adding other dried fruits like cherries or raisins. For topping, I simply used powdered sugar but it would also be divine the way Barb made it – with a citrus glaze.
And by the way, you really don’t have to wait until the holidays to have an excuse to make this.
From some more Cranberry 101, here’s great clip from CookingLight.com that gives cranberry buying, storing and cooking tips.