Tuesday, June 10, 2014

mama's cranberry pound cake

I admit that when I started researching Paula Deen's recipes for this month's Cook Like a Star linky party, I was a tad worried. It was largely due to the fact that Paula had gained quite the reputation for adding huge quantities of butter/cream cheese/sugar to everything she cooks.

I have nothing against fat, but I do believe that we should do (and eat) everything in moderation!

To my total surprise (and delight), I discovered that Paula's cooking is really not that unhealthy. I mean, sure, one can add loads of butter, etc to any dish if one chooses to do so, but having flipped through many of the recipes in Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible, I have found that her recipes do not contain any more "unhealthy" components than recipes by any other mainstream food writers'.

Thus far, I have tried quite a few of her recipes and have yet to experience any "failures" (touch wood!) so it was with quite a bit of anticipation that I baked this cake.
I love a good pound cake - I mean, who doesn't?

And this cake did not disappoint. Okay, I did cut the quantity of sugar by half, but then again, with most recipes, I do that anyway.

I used my heritage bundt pan to make this cake. What I love about the cakes baked with this pan are the crispy edges. I do love crispy edges and tender cake. YUM!
It was quite funny because I had baked the cake and was cooling it and in the process of taking photographs of the cake when one of my oldest friend, Delia, dropped by with her husband and kids. I gave her a piece of the cake to try. She liked it so much, she took the rest of the cake (sans one piece which I kept to share with my helper) home for her mom. :)

Anyway, enough rambling. Here's how to make this cake!

Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, I mixed the butter and vegetable shortening.
To this, I added the sugar, a little at a time, and continued to mix.
I added the eggs, one at a time, and beat.
The flour was added, alternating with the milk in the sequence flour-milk-flour-milk-flour. 
Yep, my little helper wanted to help!

Finally, Aden added a cup of cranberries.
The batter was transferred into a greased and floured bundt pan.
And baked.

Naturally, the little helper got to lick the batter.
The little Mei Mei woke up and decided she also wanted a piece of the action.
It looks like I shall need to buy another stool for her use in the kitchen soon.

I need a larger kitchen. :)

Anyway, once baked, the cake was allowed to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before it was (carefully) turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
This is a picture of the slice of cake I managed to "save" for Marites and myself.
I am very pleased with how the cake turned out. The cranberries gave it a very slight sourness.

Just perfect!

Mama's Cranberry Pound Cake (Serves 12-16)
Adapted from Paula Deen

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
5 large eggs
3 cups (375g) all-purpose (or plain) flour, plus more for pan
3 cups (675g) caster sugar - I halved this
1/2 cup (113.4g) vegetable shortening
1/2 lb (2 sticks/226.8g) butter, plus more for pan
1 cup (240ml) milk - I used low-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (120g) dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176.6°C).
2. With a mixer, cream butter and shortening together.
3. Add sugar, a little at a time.
4. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
5. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to mixer alternately with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour.
6. Mix in vanilla and cranberries.
7. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (my cake was done in 50 minutes), until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
8. Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.
NOTE: Cake can be kept frozen in an air-tight container for up to 2 months.

This post is linked to Cook like a Star, Paula Deen and the Deen Brothers organised by me the Domestic Goddess Wannabe, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Want to cook or bake like Paula Deen or the Deen Brothers? To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from their websites or cookbooks and link with us at this (Joyce's), this (Zoe's) or this (Diana's), post for the whole of June 2014.

To use this linky tool, please make sure that:
(1) Your post is posted in June 2014.
(2) Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to us at Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe, Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.

For more details, please see this.

I am also linking this post to Little Thumbs Up, hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY, and Jozelyn of Spice Up My Kitchen.


  1. Hi Diana,

    Like you, I thought the same too that PD's recipes are not exactly "unhealthy"... This cranberry pound cake looks wonderful. No wonder both your little helpers were gathering around you when you were baking this cake :D


  2. I love your pan and the cake as well, so perfectly bake.
    How I wish I am Delia and I could grab a piece to taste ity!

    Thanks for your link up with LTU!

  3. Hi Diana,
    Yup, I do agree with you. Paula Deen's recipes are not all unhealthy, as she was criticized rather badly, poor Paula! Your pound cake looks really moist and yummy!
    Cute little helpers! And yes, I need a bigger kitchen too! Haha!

  4. Sugar for the original recipe is quite scary.... :)
    Btw, nice cake. U pursue me to buy one of bundt cake mould. Haha

    1. Hi Thea, Thank you! I am so glad you bought the pan. It is a gorgeous pan - I hope you love it as much as I do. Yeah the sugar in the original recipe nearly made me faint. Haha :)

  5. Any replacement for vegetable shortening?

    1. Hello, there isn't a direct replacement but I guess you can try butter?

  6. Any replacement for vegetable reduction.