Holiday Cranberry Cake

Hello friends.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I apologize for being MIA, November was one busy month for us.  We had family visiting from out-of-state, my husband's 60th birthday, our 35th wedding anniversary and a trip to New Orleans to celebrate both milestone events.  To say that November flew by it's an understatement.  

Before leaving to New Orleans, we also surprised hubby with a small birthday party at my sister-in-law's home at the Jersey Shore.  It turned out beautiful and most importantly, he was truly touched by it all.  I will share a few photos of that event this weekend.

But today, I am thrilled to be sharing my go to cake recipe for the holidays.  It never fails to impress and it's always a hit with family and friends.

And who isn't short on time during the holiday season?  I am one that loves to bake from scratch, but we all know that baking during the holiday season can get a little stressful.  Why not take a slight shortcut if you can!  Here is a little trick for impressing your guests this Christmas season with a show-stopping cake from a box mix.  And it will be our secret!!!  No one needs to know that this gorgeous cranberry cake started with a box of super moist yellow cake mix. 

I use this recipe whenever I am pressed for time and I need to whip up a quick cake for decorating.  I like the Betty Crocker Super Moist box mix because it's a little more dense, has good flavor and is very moist.  And with a few fresh ingredients, it will taste almost home made.


·         1 box yellow/white cake mix*
·         1 cup all-purpose flour
·         1/2 tsp salt
·         3 large eggs
·         1 1/3 cup water
·         2 tbsp vegetable oil
·         1 cup sour cream
·         2 tsp vanilla extract
·         1 Tbsp orange zest
·         1 1/2 ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries (plus 1 Tbsp flour)


1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Butter and flour two 8" bundt pan.
3. Combine all dry ingredients and whisk together.
4. Add wet ingredients and mix until combined.
5. Toss cranberries with flour (this helps keep the cranberries from sinking to
    the bottom of the pan) and gently fold them into the batter. 
6. Bake per instruction on the box for bundt pan.
7. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn cake out onto wire rack to
    cool completely.

Notes:  I use my KitchenAid on low for 2 minutes but you can also do this by hand.



1.   2 cups sugar, divided
2.   1 (12 ounce bag fresh cranberries)


1.  Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes,  Stir in until well coated and remove from heat quickly.  We only want them coated with the sugar.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes

2.  Working in batches, roll cranberries in remaining sugar until well coated; let dry.


1.   1 cup confectioners' sugar (sifted to remove any lumps)
2.   3 to 4 tablespoons milk
3.   1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.   In a bowl mix confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth
2.   With a spoon, spread all over top of the cake.  Letting it fall on the sides.
3.   Top cake with sugared cranberries
4.   Add a few fresh greens to add a holiday feel

Here's another version of the same cake using a different cake mold.

I hope you are feeling inspired my friends.

Happy baking.



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