Happy Nov. 1st! Can you believe it’s November already? How did we get here so fast?
Is November 1 too soon for eggnog stuff? What about gingerbread? I’m nearly ready to get out my Christmas decor, so in my mind, anything’s game! How do we feel about cranberries? In this case, cranberries are paired with pumpkin so it really bridges the gap between fall baking and true holiday baking anyway! Right? That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
I am SO excited for the holidays. This is my favorite time of the year. I really get ahead of myself though. Halloween was just yesterday, yet I will probably start listening to Christmas music, like, tomorrow. I am part of the reason you see Christmas decorations in stores in September.
Getting a head start on holiday baking is also how I roll. I really like to extend and elongate all the festive activities as long as I can. The decorations, the movies and music, the food, all of it. Did I mention the decorations? I have A LOT of those. I’m an over-zealous holiday celebrator… well, minus Halloween and Valentine’s Day. They’re alright.
What’s funny about being such an over-the-top holiday person is that S.O. is very, very much NOT. He’s a scrooge in every sense of the word! His disdain isn’t for one particular holiday either. It’s basically all of them! He’s just not a holiday person. I think it’s the pressure? If you like the guy, you learn to find this behavior endearing and almost hysterical. But if it were up to him, holidays would pass by unnoticed and be just like every other day. If you’re like me, you have 3 different Christmas trees, each with a different theme.
At least he can get on board with the food aspect of holidays. It’s a big help having him around to taste-test (and then some). This cake, for example. We found it to be a perfect cake for fall, Thanksgiving dinner, or even brunch. It could totally pass as a coffee cake. It’s moist and rich, and the cranberries are so pretty and festive, like red jewels. They’re also coated in brown sugar and butter, so they taste like a dream. A slightly tart and tangy dream. Oh, and there’s also cinnamon. Everything needs cinnamon this time of year.
Plus, it’s easy. Super easy. As in, you don’t need a mixer and prep time is minimal. So you get an amazingly delicious, seasonal, festive, and pretty cake with little effort. That’s a baker’s dream, friends!
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ c. packed brown sugar
- 2 c. fresh cranberries
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1½ c. flour
- 1 c. sugar
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- dash of salt
- Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan.
- Pour melted butter into pan, covering the entire bottom.
- Evenly sprinkle brown sugar over butter.
- Evenly sprinkle the cranberries over the brown sugar.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin puree, and oil. Whisk until well-blended.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour and remaining ingredients. Mix until well-blended.
- Add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, and stir until just combined.
- Carefully spread the batter over the cranberries in the pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, and edges are golden brown.
- Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Place a large platter on top of the cake, and invert.
- Cool for an additional 15 minutes. Best served warm. Enjoy!
Next up: gingerbread stuff!