Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Cake

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A few weeks ago, I had my husband buy some cornmeal at the store only to find out later that I already had a mason jar full of it. So I’ve been thinking of some ways I can use it up beyond making plain old cornbread. Don’t get me wrong, sweet cornbread is great, but you can only eat so much of it.

I was initially thinking about making cornmeal pancakes. I love the flavor of corn and I haven’t made cornmeal pancakes in awhile. However, I then remembered that I had seen cornmeal cake before – not cornbread, but actual sweet cakes made with cornmeal. I did some Googling and came across one that looked especially good and contained cranberries, which I also have in abundance. I also have some pithy, dry cara cara oranges that are no good for eating, so I could use those without wasting much. I couldn’t wait for the cake to cool, so we dug into the hot cake right after I removed it from the pan. It’s sweet, citrusy, and would be really great for Christmas dinner or breakfast the next day, especially with some coffee.

Perhaps cornmeal pancakes will be next…

Cranberry Cornmeal Cake
From Food Network’s Website
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
1/2 cup yellow fine cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup orange zest (from 2 large oranges)
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
2 large eggs

Directions
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Measure 3 tablespoons of the flour mixture into a small bowl. Add the chopped cranberries and toss until coated. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks and whole eggs, 1 at a time. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Using a spatula, gently fold in the cranberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake until the cake is golden brown, and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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