Photos by Alex Harris
While at BlogHer ’12, I was invited to the Reader’s Digest/Taste of Home Suite to interview Karen Berner, Food Editor of Taste of Home about ‘Best Loved Recipes’, a compilation of over 1,400 recipes by and for home cooks. To read more about my interview with Karen, please click here.
When I asked Karen her favourite recipe from ‘Best Loved Recipes’, this is the one she chose. I decided that if this recipe stuck in her mind out of that many others it must be truly scrumptious, so it was the first recipe that I made from the book. It was pretty easy to make on the whole, and so delicious that I really can understand why Karen recommended it. I have played around a little with recipe like I always do, and instead of just dusting the cake with icing sugar as in the recipe, I made an orange glaze just to make it look a bit prettier. I also used double the amount of pecans called for.
This cake serves at least 12 and the flavour improves with age. Everyone I served it to, from kids to grown ups, really loved it. I will be making it again very soon!
Cran-Orange Coconut Cake
Slightly adapted from Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes
½ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped (I used Craisins)
the juice and zest of one large orange
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
¾ cup butter, softened (I used unsalted)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream (I used a 300 ml pot)
1½ cups flaked coconut (I used desiccated as it is all we can get in the UK)
Preheat the oven to 325ºF (about 160ºF). Lightly grease and flour a 10 inch tube or Bundt pan.
In a small saucepan, combine the finely chopped dried cranberries and the orange juice. Stir together thoroughly and heat for 2 to 3 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. The orange juice should be pretty much absorbed at this point. Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest, pecans and brown sugar, mixing everything together thoroughly. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Add to the creamed butter and sugar alternately with the sour cream. Beat well after each addition. Fold the coconut into the batter.
Spoon a third of the mixture into the cake pan. Top with half the cranberry orange mixture. Gently spread another third of the batter over top. (I used a palette knife for this.) Top with the remaining cranberry orange mixture. Spread the final third of the batter on top, spreading it evenly so all the filling layer is covered.
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted near the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before removing from the pan and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Mix 1 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar with enough orange juice (usually about 1 to 2 tablespoons) to make a thick glaze. Spoon over the cooled cake and allow the glaze to drip down the sides.
The 21st Century Housewife has not been compensated for this post. I did receive a free copy of Taste of Home’s ‘Best Loved Recipes’.