Monday, March 31, 2014

holiday cranberry-nut bourbon cake

I have joined The Home Bakers for a few months and although I hadn't always had time to bake with this bunch of talented bakers, led by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, I always keep up to date with what they are baking because it is always something amazing!

This is my first time hosting a "bake-off" with this group, and I have chosen to bake a Bundt cake. Not just any old Bundt cake, mind you! This is a bourbon infused cake that is packed with cranberries and pecans and it is to die for!!

To make this cake, I started by toasting some pecans for about 5 to 8 minutes at 180C. Nuts tend to burn quite easily, so do keep an eye on them. Toasting nuts bring out their full flavour and make them oh-so-delish. I gave the (cooled) pecans a rough chop and set them aside.

Into a mixing bowl, I added the egg, orange zest, sugar and oil. I beat this on high for a few minutes.

While that happen, the flour, baking powder and baking soda were sifted. Then they were added to the egg mixture, along with the buttermilk, in the sequence, flour-buttermilk-flour-buttermilk-flour.

Until I got a smooth mixture.

It is important to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl once in a while to ensure that everything had been incorporated.

In went the cranberries and pecans.

I gave everything one final mix.

And the batter was transferred into a Bundt pan, and baked.

During the last 5 minutes of baking, I made the orange-bourbon syrup by combining them in a bowl.

Using a skewer, I poked holes in the cake, and poured the syrup onto the cake.

I left the cake for at least an hour so it could absorb the syrup.

It is a moist and tender cake, and totally great for those who love a fruit + nuts + booze kind of cake!!

In fact, this reminds me so much of Chirstmas, I will definitely make this for friends and family this coming Christmas!

Holiday Cranberry-nut Bourbon Cake (Serves 12-16)
Adapted from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pippas

NOTE: I halved the recipe and baked the cake in a 5 to 6-cup Bundt pan

2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar - I halved this
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
¼ cup canola oil
2-½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking powder
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-cup buttermilk
1-cup fresh or frozen cranberries - I used dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pitted dates or golden raisins - I omitted this
1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped toasted pecans
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup bourbon or Scotch whiskey - I used Gentleman's Jacks
Confectioners sugar for dusting - I omitted this

1. Preheat the oven to 170C (350˚F). Butter and flour a 9-inch Bundt or tube pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, orange zest, and oil with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until blended.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to blend. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk in 2 increments. Mix just until blended. Fold in the cranberries, dates or raisins, and pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top evenly.
4. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with very few crumbs.
5. Place the pan on a wire rack. Combine the orange juice and bourbon or Scotch and pour evenly over the hot cake. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes (I left my cake to absorb the syrup for an hour), then carefully unmold right side up on a wire rack. Let cool completely. Dust with confectioners sugar and cut into slices to serve.

Do check out my fellow bakers' interpretation of this gorgeous cake by clicking on the badge below!


  1. Good morning Diana,
    Lovely cake! The orange juice-bourbon mixture makes the cake really moist with nice fragrant aroma. Thanks for a great selection!

  2. Hi Diana,
    Your cake looks amazing, I can't wait to share mine with you all. Thanks for picking this recipe as it really was a delicious and moist cake full of fruit and nut.

  3. Hi Diana,
    Your cake looks amazing! I can't wait to share mine with you all. Thank you for picking this recipe as it really was a delicious and moist cake full of fruit and nuts.