Topping off a special holiday meal doesn’t have to mean pulling out a big fancy dessert. Sometimes a very simple, but no less decadent, dessert will do. Introducing the cranberry pudding cake. Or maybe I should say re-introducing. After all cranberry pudding cake isn’t a new idea. It’s been around for ages and most people’s grandmothers probably had a version of the recipe (that’s where my husband got his copy). However, it does seem to be a recipe that got lost to the mists of time. Few people have heard of it these days yet I think it’s a good one to have in your back pocket. It is simple to make and is perfect for the holidays with its bright pops of cranberries. Keep a bag of cranberries in your fridge and you’ll be prepared to whip up this homey dessert at any time.
What makes this dessert really good though is the warm butter sauce. The cake, eaten on its own, would seem underwhelming and the tart/sour cranberries can be overpowering. However, it’s when the cake meets the warm butter sauce that magic happens. The sweetness of the sauce blends with the tartness of the cranberries to strike a perfect balance and the sauce gives the cake a luscious texture. My oldest daughter likes to mash her cake up with the sauce in order to get a perfect distribution of cake and sauce. I prefer to pour a generous amount of the silky sauce onto a still warm slice of cake and let it soak in.
Holidays are great a time to start new traditions. Maybe it’s time to give cranberry pudding cake its place at the table.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until well blended and creamy, about 4 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. On low speed, mix in the flour and baking powder. Add milk and cranberries and mix until well blended and batter looks smooth. Pour batter into a 11x7-inch buttered baking pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20-30 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack while making the butter sauce.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in cream and sugar and cook over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved and sauce is hot throughout. To serve, cut the cake and place slices on serving plates. Pour warm sauce over each slice and serve.
Looking for other cranberry recipes? Check these out –
This cranberry bread is a family favorite that we like to serve on Christmas morning.
These cranberry orange crumb bars are great for the dessert table.