Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cranberry Orange Tea Cake

When cranberries popped up at the market last week Cranberry Orange Tea Cake was inevitable. Plus, I wanted something lighter after the butter cake from last week. It's the oil-based (rather than butter based) cakes that we like so much in the Pinch kitchen.

I love this tea cake at the start of fall, with eggnog lattes on the horizon and brilliant oranges and reds coloring the arboreal landscape. It looks like autumn, doesn't it?

There's a short list of truly excellent tea breads and cakes that are just perfect this time of year. What else is on that list? Gingerbread. Rosemary Raisin Bread. Spice cake. Pumpkin cake.

I'll enjoy this last piece with some Irish Breakfast tea at teatime, as long as no one else beats me to it.

Cranberry Orange Tea Cake
Print recipe only here


2 cups flour
1 ½ t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
¾ cup sugar
3 T canola oil
1 egg
¾ cup orange juice
Zest of one orange
1 cup cranberries, rinsed
½ cup toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Spray a 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ loaf pan with canola spray.

If using nuts, toast them on a baking sheet in the oven for 5-10 minutes until fragrant. Allow to cool.

Sift or whisk together dry ingredients.

Add to the bowl of a food processor the sugar, egg, oil, orange juice and zest and process to combine. If you don’t have a food processor, just whisk everything together in a mixing bowl.

Add cranberries and pulse a few times to roughly chop them up. If you’re not using the food processor, just roughly chop the cranberries by hand and add them to the liquid ingredients.

Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, add nuts if you’re using them, and combine gently with a few swift strokes.

Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until it pulls away from the sides of the pan and passes the toothpick test.

Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.

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