Years ago, in the 90’s, my friend Carolee gave me this recipe for Cranberry Cake with Caramel Sauce. It’s perfect for giving to friends and neighbors, or for having on hand for when unexpected holiday guests stop by!
Cranberry Cake with Caramel Sauce is a versatile one bowl, mix and bake recipe. It can be baked in loaf pans, two 9×9 pans, or a bundt pan. This recipe is a blend of sweet and tart cake and a sweet buttery glaze which can be left off … but I highly recommend making the sauce!
I love the festive look of this cake. This tender, yellow loaf with splashes of bright red cranberries are perfect for the holidays. This recipe freezes well and can be made ahead and then thawed and topped with the sauce after thawing. I recommend heating up the sauce and serving it warm alongside the cake if you’re serving this as dessert. If you are leaning in the direction of cutting and leaving out on a buffet table for brunch, top the cake with sauce and let it set up for a few minutes before slicing for best results!
This cake is made of butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and evaporated milk. The first time I looked at this recipe, I wondered if Carolee had left out the eggs. I think I may have called her to double check… There are no eggs in Cranberry Cake with Caramel Sauce. So if you’re allergic to eggs, this is your dessert!
I know you’re going to love this super simple and delicious treat. Happy holidays!
Cranberry Cakes with Caramel Sauce
- 6 tablespoons butter room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups evaporated milk NOT Sweetened Condensed
- 4 cups fresh cranberries or about 1-12 oz package, rinsed and drained thoroughly
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
Turn oven to 350 degrees and set rack in center of oven.
Prepare pans by lining bottom with parchment paper* and generously spraying sides and bottom with cooking spray.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add flour, baking powder, salt and Evaporated milk to bowl. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
Fold in fresh cranberries by hand. Do not use mixer or cranberries will bleed into batter, making the batter pink. The batter will be very thick.
Divide batter into three 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch loaf pans (standard 1 lb loaf pan).
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until cake springs back lightly when touched or toothpick inserted in middle of loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Remove from oven when done. After 5 minutes, loosen cake from pan by running a knife around edges of pan. Let cool on cooling rack for 30 minutes.
Prepare sauce by whisking butter, cream, sugar together in a pan until butter melts and sauce begins to thicken. The sauce usually takes about 5 minutes over medium heat to cook completely. Add salt and vanilla and remove from heat.
Pour sauce over loaves of bread and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
-This may be made in 2 9×9, three 1 lb loaf pans or a bundt pan.
-The recipe is easily halved, and can be baked in a 9×9 pan.
-I use parchment to line the bottom of the loaf pan, place the pan over a sheet of parchment and trace the bottom of the pan, then cut out to fit pan.