I'm Seeing Red!

For those of you braving arctic temperatures, come right in and sit by the fire. How about a slice of cake, still warm from the oven—it is to live for!
Tea, perhaps?

For those of you living in a warm climate, get your dirty paws off the cake and get the hell out! And take your dark tan and flip flops with you too!

...well, if it looks like somebody woke up on the wrong side of the broom, it is because somebody did. It's that Old Man Winter again, having a negative effect on my alter ego. I think I she, should have some cake too.

And look, not even our normally placid Puddin' has been able to contain her displeasure. Smacking poor Louie, then drifting back to sleep, with the clear conscience of a cat.

So, it is with a bit of urgency that I contribute this wonderful little cake, notorious for putting a smile on all who try it.
The recipe evinces simple ingredients, harmoniously mingled together, to create a veritable masterpiece of flavors and textures. You'll be making this cake more than once. Yes, you will.

I know this, because it was voted Best in the Hemisphere by Thumper. And you all know how finicky he is. Never mind he has no idea what "hemisphere" means.

And so it is, with the approval of my adorable, little tax deduction, that I share this recipe with you.

Wintertime Cranberry and Orange Cake

Cranberry Filling:

12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries, picked over and rinsed
½ cup granulated sugar

Sponge Cake:

1¼ cups AP flour
1¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup heavy cream
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/3 cup sliced almonds
¼ cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8” Springform pan, dust the sides with granulated sugar, and line the bottom with parchment.

In a medium saucepan, heat the cranberries and sugar over medium heat. Stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and cranberries pop, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, 1¼ cups sugar, and baking powder.
Whisk in the melted butter, eggs, heavy cream, orange zest and vanilla in the same saucepan you melted the butter in. Stir into the dry ingredients until well combined.

Spread half the cake batter into the prepared pan. Spread the cranberry filling over the batter (don't let the cranberry filling touch the edge of the pan, or it will stick). Spread the remaining batter over the cranberries, and sprinkle evenly with the sliced almonds and remaining ¼ sugar.

Bake the cake until golden on top, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan, about 10 minutes. Run a knife around the cake and release the sides of the Springform pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Adapted from All American Desserts, by Judith M. Fertig.

Note: Did you know you can crystallize more than just fruits? Herbs, like rosemary, mint, and even bay leaves lend themselves to this simple technique. It's what I used on the frosty trim on the cake above, and the glass cloche below.
Start by whisking 1 tablespoon powdered egg whites with 2 tablespoons warm water. Brush egg white mixture to clean and dried herbs. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and set the herbs on parchment to dry. You could also add edible glitter to the sugar for a little extra sparkle.

And since we're crusading for World Peace, we might as well use up the rest of the cranberries, by making my favorite scones.

Excellent made with cranberries, red currants, and, of course, chocolate!

The ingredients are typical for scones. What is atypical is the technique, which consists of beating the heavy cream into soft peaks, making these scones featherlight, buttery, outstanding...and good too!

Cranberry Cream Scones

2 cups AP flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup fresh cranberries
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar*

Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 375°F.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix the cranberries into the flour mixture.

Whip the heavy cream in a bowl until soft peaks form.

Fold the whipped cream into the dry ingredients, just until it forms a semi-cohesive mass.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently, a few times, until the dough holds together. With your hands, pat the dough into an 8-inch circle on a lined baking sheet. Brush scones with the butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar*

Cut circle into 10 wedges, without detaching them. And bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden. Cut into the pre-marked wedges after they're baked.

*This time I topped the scones with turbinado sugar.

By the way, if you'd rather make smaller scones, divide the doughy massacre in half, and pat each half into a circle. Proceed as above.

If this last photo of cranberry scones raised an eyebrow of suspicion, you've been paying attention. They're not cranberries, but red currants in them scones.

Warm wishes to my blogging brigade!



  1. Pretty in Jadite Green..Oh how I love your colors today~ And well..if it's the best in the Hemisphere..I guess I am just going to have to try it~

    We'll get over winter..one more time:) You'll see...

    Keep smiling..:)

  2. I'm smiling, Sol, I can just taste it, looks so good, while I eat my crummy healthy oatmeal right now! I'd rather have cake!

    Fantastic, just fantastic!

  3. As always, everything looks beautiful!! Loving the cake, the scones, the cloche, the jadite, your photography, your humor, and your furbabies.

    Beautiful, BH!! ;D

  4. Oh Marysol..can I have the cake, scones and everything else in the pictures? Theyre all so beautiful...the green is beautiful....everything is beautiful....I cant think of anything else to say except that everything is beautiful!!!....lucky Puddin and Louie....Oh and thank you for the tip about crystallizing the herbs! i'll do that for my next cake for sure! Btw.... fantastic photos too.

  5. Well Broom-Hilda, you've chosen two of my favorite reds to tempt me - cranberries and currants! I used to go currant-picking with my mother when I was little. I hated them then but love them now. You could tempt the frost off Jack with those glorious photos!

    Thanks for the mouth-watering recipes and inspiration. They do look like the best in the hemisphere or wherever!

  6. Oh, I just love orange and cranberries together - that is one good-looking cake, Marysol!

  7. Aww Sol...can I come join the party even if I promise to get a pedicure?!

    That cake looks delish! I'll take a piece with my Cranberry-tini on the patio.


  8. I'd like some of both please. Sol it is such a joy to visit your blog.

  9. Merci mon ami Monique, je sais que Old Man Winter est faché. But I am trying to be patient.
    And wishful thinking would explain the light Spring colors chosen for this entry, in the middle of January :-)

    Dear Carol, don't feel bad. The scones were gone last night; I'm back to my normal breakfast of oatmeal this morning too.

    Lori, the fur babies and I thank you!
    You probably already know I'm not a big collector (of dust, maybe), but Jadeite is one of the few items that make my heart skip a beat, whenever I spot a new piece.

    Zurin, I'm so sorry the scones are gone, but you can take whatever else you want, including the jadeite. I know they would all have a good home!

    Susan, I've only gone raspberry and blackberry picking, and they were both a painful experience. But, as you well know, the rewards are plenty and worth the battle scars. Broom-hilda hugs.

    Dear Patricia, I agree the two are an unbeatable combination. Well, only second to chocolate, in my opinion.

    Kathy, of course you are always welcome to join in. But please, don't forget to bring the cranberry-tiny!

    Thank you for the warmth your comments radiate through my monitor. I needed that today. TGIF.
    Have a wonderful weekend pals!

  10. Ann, I almost missed your wonderful comment. Thank you dear heart! I've reserved a cozy place for you too!

  11. Oy! Which should I try first???..It all looks so delicious, and your cloche..sweet!
    Where do I find red currants...I don't believe I have ever seen them..but I do know about the hemisphere, and the continents...
    And this will help Thumper remember the planets in order..My very excellent mother just sliced us nine pies..but I think they kicked Pluto out of the Planet Club...:(
    Thanks for the very excellent recipes, and your presentation is to LIVE for..
    Happy weekend...

  12. I'm a big cranberry and orange fan! That cake and those scones are so tempting! Just what i love!



  13. Beautiful post, Sol, but its the little furry ones that have won me over.

  14. Marysol, this is such a beautful, beautiful post! You must hear this constantly, but I can't help repeating that your photographs are just such an inspiration. I LOVE them. And this looks like a sensational cake. I must bookmark it for future use! You're one heck of a talented gal, Marysol.


  15. Both look delicious! Do you use frozen currants?

    Stay warm!

  16. Kathleen and Maggie, I found fresh red currants at my local market. Nope, not last summer, but in December. Btw, I also saw them at Whole Foods, around Christmas. But you could certainly use frozen.

    Rosa, you and I would get along splendidly!

    Annie, I knew those furry critters would grab your attention.

    Jane, if you like the tartness of cranberries, you'll like this little cake.

    Thank you all for the love!

  17. The weather in Singapore is so hot right now, that I wish for some cold hehe ... the pet photo looks really sweet! I love your elegant looking cake, it does convey a sense of 'winter' to me ;)

  18. Ohh, it's raining like hell in Long Beach today. Your cake would make a nice mood-lifter in this kind of weather (I am an anti-rain person:). Looks so delicious! I trust your little tax deduction on this:) Saving the recipe. By the way, take a look at my blog. Do you recognize what I've posted?:))

  19. NC, while I'm still freezing my as-tonishment, I'll confess, I'd rather be stuck in an igloo than melt in the sweltering heat. Hang in there friend; I'll think cool thoughts for you.

    Fari, "it never rains in California..."
    I guess Mother Nature never got the memo.

    And querida amiga, thank you for the surprise post—it put a huge grin on my face!

  20. How wonderful photographs! So dreamy. I am sure the cake and the scones both are amazing!

  21. Well, that's just plain rude, Marisol. Flaunting that beauty, and then saying I can't have any. If it's any consolation, it's raining today. Again. The humidity and my hair are making little children cry.

    Love the photos... now, can I have a scone? With chocolate, if it's not too much trouble ;)

    Love the Thumper tale! Last night at bedtime, I told Eli the story of how he thought his name was PeePoo when he was three. We had a good cackle that led to some serious wheezing, and the Ventilator, and...

  22. Thank you kindly Chriesi!

    Dee, forgive me! I retract from my original statement!
    It's just that these ongoing 20 degree temperatures finally froze the last of my functioning brain cells.
    Bring on "Global Warming!"

    Look, I'd happily deliver the goods to you myself, along with my loyal, reception committee, in exchange for just a one-day stay in your beautiful corner of the world, rain or shine.
    I'd love to meet you and "Peepoo."

  23. Beautiful cake and beautiful scones. They will definitely cheer me up in this cold freezing weather.

  24. Marysol
    Reading you is so pleasant to the eyes and spirit; you make me chuckle! I love the photos! They are so beautiful and dreamy and take you far way to a place of perfection.. I have not made cranberry cake this year, I make it every year; the scones sound sinfully good!

  25. Delicious cake and scones and beautiful romantic photos Sol! I'm one of those wearing flip flops in the sun but still need to work on the dark tan. But rather than leave as ordered to do, I'm saving those recipes for a day when I too can indulge. I'd love that cup of tea though. Gracias por tus bonitos fotos y recetas. Un abrazo, Sharon.

  26. Wow, dear Marysol ~ 2 of my favorites! Count me in for enjoying these tasty treats and beautiful photos. Lonesome for you! *hugs*

  27. So many beautiful photos... the colors are gorgeous!! Lovely recipes too!

  28. Anonymous25/1/10

    Love, love love this! All of it! Images, colors, deliciousness!!

    Would also LOVE your support on the ELLE DECOR window I did for the Big Window Challenge this year with Apartment Therapy. Check it out at http://www.bigwindowchallenge com. As we all know, AT doesn’t make it easy, but you can vote TWICE a day, once online and the other by texting “1” to 89800.

    Your support means the world to me!!


  29. Mary, I hope you'll give one of these recipes a try!

    J, I'm interested in your cranberry cake recipe; hope you'll make it soon.

    Sharon, ni siquiera pensé en tu gran paraíso. Por favor, ni te atrevas irte. Si te quedas, te prepararé un buen té. Abrazos.

    Joey, isn't funny, how the weather cleared up in our corner, amid this entry? I better hurry up and frolic (you didn't think I could frolic, did you?) outside, before it all changes back to gray.
    I've missed you! Hugs.

    Thank you LPR!

    Eddie! Thank you for stopping by! I'll check out the link. Best of luck to you!

    And thank you ALL very kindly!

  30. Back again to say I sent an e-mail asking to let me know if you received it but now wonder if you did :( ... lost many transferring to my new computer (still recovering data and goofy)! *more hugs*

  31. Both of these tasty treats would put a smile on my face on a cold day... and cold it is. Thankfully we've had a bit of a break with rain instead of snow... but, sheesh, I am so ready for spring! :)

    I can't decide between the cake and scones, how about both? :)

    Thank you for stopping by my blog earlier on! I've been a bit slow with posting (and blog reading) these days, I'll blame it on my growin' belly... I'm about 6 months along and getting lazier with every minute :D!

  32. My dear friend Joey, I'll take your hug and raise you a warm and sunny weekend!

    Oh Sophie, you certainly know how to get our attention. I had no clue you were pregnant. I'm crazy for babies, and wished I could've had at least 2 more. So I'm absolutely thrilled for you! Big Congratulatory Hugs!

    歡樂 ... easy for you to say.

  33. I hope you are doing well! Thanks for passing by!


    Rosa xoxo

  34. No tan or flip-flops here, so do I get a piece of cake? Please? And a scone, too, please, if that's not too greedy.

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, as always. Sigh. Can you come over and make my food look that pretty?

  35. My gosh. I mean, really. MY GOSH. Your cake, your scones, your photos ... they are STELLAR! And you're such a witty writer. :) Now, I have to get the hell out since I'm from the tropics, complete with flipflops (but no tan). :)

  36. Winter and I don't get along either so thank you for brightening (or sugaring) it up for me. I needed that. Perhaps we could get shirts together - "Stay back unless you have sweets!"

  37. Haha, we're experiencing Summer here, but there's no keeping me out of my kitchen (or yours!) - that cake looks lovely - I thought it was maybe raspberry for a second there, so it seemed very seasonally appropriate to us too.

  38. You guys are too much!

    I appreciate your sense of humor over my theatrical little "outburst."
    Thank you my pretties!

  39. Oh my, how come I hadn't discovered your site yet? Gorgeous photos! I'll be visiting often, cheers.

  40. Hi sweetie, you doing okay?
    I miss you; come and play.

  41. Hi Miriam, and welcome! Come, sit with us.

    Dear Dee, I'm good, and I've missed you.
    But neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow could ever keep me from playing with Ms. Chievous.

  42. Anonymous11/2/10

    I love your exceptional food photography and styling. Your pictures surpass most of the cookbooks and magazines I've seen, so I hope you're doing it professionally. Jadite never looked so good.

    I'd say your baking looks too good to eat, but can that ever be true?!?

    Thanks for the visual stimulation....

  43. Marysol, I just discovered your site today, and I love your photography and food styling - exceptional, surpassing most of my cookbooks and other "gastroporn". Jadite never looked so good.

    I'd say too good to eat, but can that ever be true?


  44. Thank you Island and Daniel, very kindly!

    Happy Valentine's Day to all!

  45. So many beautiful photos!!