Maple’s Cranberry Cake

I would like to welcome one of our newest members to our Opatik-Murray family – Maple!!! She is half Australian shepherd and half rough collie. We couldn’t be more excited and happy to grow up with her!

In other news… exciting news! I literally am falling in love with my job! The people there are so caring and nice, and the mission of the organization is also super awesome. I work at American Farmland Trust where we help preserve, protect, and connect farms. One of the main goals is showing our appreciation to those who support us, and what better way than to get a little basket of a farm good to send out to those. Amazingly, our Vice President also thought it necessary to thank everyone in the office with a little gift – Wisconsin cranberries! What are the odds of that?!?! I move from there and I get a little slice of home right in my mouth. Here I am connecting my love for my work with my passion for cooking – and loving life!

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An old friend that I really no longer see or talk to had a mother who knew how to bake! This recipe was passed down in her family and since I’ve gained the recipe I’ve tweaked a few things to make sure it was perfect for the hungry holiday mouths. Around the holidays is a great time to make this recipe because it’s harvest time for cranberries! If you can’t source some locally, your chain grocery store might carry some for sure.

The Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole, fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, walnuts, or almonds

Some Tips-and-What Not

What the heck can you use almond extract for? A lot of things actually, but the best thing to use it for is complimenting really sweet treats and very sugary items. This cake has some serious sugar over-load, but because of the almond extract and the cranberries it is actually quite tart. Since this is basically similar to a pound cake and most brownies, this is not going to rise.

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Ever wonder how cranberries grow? They’re called cranberry bogs! Fall is one of the best times to harvest these little red balls of joy, and the fields are flooded with over 18-inches of water. Did you also know that Wisconsin is the number one exporter of cranberries!?!? It produces over 60% of the country’s crop? That’s a big deal for our Wisconsin farmer’s and the state of dairyland!

The Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 12-cup muffin pan ready to go.

Melt the butter in the microwave until it is almost completely melted. Mix in vegetable oil, sugar, almond extract, vanilla extract, and then the eggs. Make sure the mixture of butter is cooled enough so the eggs don’t cook when you mix them in!

Slowly mix in the flour with a half of a cup at a time.

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When mixed together well, finally add the cranberries and whatever cupped nut of your choice to the mixture.

Dollop the mixture in each cup of the muffin pan until it is level (since it is not going to rise).

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Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until the top of the mini cakes are a nice golden brown. Serve and let cool for others to enjoy and devour for this holiday season!

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Live long, cook well, be happy!

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