In addition to this delicious recipe, this post contains a compensated review by BlogHer and Intel, as well as a $250 Best Buy Gift Card giveaway!
I hope that you’ve all gone and checked out the BlogHer Review Round-Up and Give-Away Page! You can go on there, read and post about your hectic schedule, and possibly win a laptop like the one I have received with the Intel® Core™ i5 processor! It is so fast that I honestly don’t know what to do with myself. My previous laptop was truly on its last legs. it struggled loading some of the more intensive websites I frequent, and sometimes stuttered when I streamed something like a flash video. Fortunately, my Intel® Core™ i5 processor allows me to do all of that with ease, and so much more. I no longer have to worry about choosing which programs I leave open simultaneously. I can even run Photoshop and browse the Internet at the same time – something that would be a complete impossibility with my previous computer. On top of all of that, with my new WiDi connector I am no longer limited to my tiny 13″ screen. I am able to set up a wireless connection to my TV within minutes and without Kramer’s help (which he is quite happy about)! Now I can stream videos and music directly to my High Definition TV and edit my photos on a much larger scale. Everything that I can do on my laptop is wirelessly displayed on my 42″ TV; it really is incredible.
Now, it’s your turn to win something fun for the holidays! As I announced last week, BlogHer has given me a $250 Best Buy gift card to give away to one lucky reader from The Crepes of Wrath! I am so excited to be able to give someone this right before the busy winter season – I know one of you will be able to put it to good use! It’s really easy to enter and even easier to win! Last week, I asked you what you would buy with the $250 gift card. This week, I want to know about your holiday plans! What is stressful about them and how do you stay sane through it all? I will announce the winner from my random drawing in December, so I will be sure to keep you up to date on that. I wish you all the best of luck! Don’t worry about writing a huge essay about your story – the drawing is random, but I still want to hear about your holiday schedule and hopefully I will be able to pick up some helpful tips on how to keep it together during this hectic season! You can also discuss how to manage this crazy season on my Facebook Page.
Note: This give away is now closed. The recipe, however, is delicious as ever!
I know that almost everyone has been making a Cranberry Upside Down Cake lately, but I had to do it as well, because I love cranberries and it is such a beautifully festive cake. The glistening cranberries, coated in cinnamon-sugar, almost look like jewels, don’t they? I love the overall brightness of the cake. It has a little lemon extract and the zest of an entire orange, making the cake absolutely delicious on its own. I couldn’t help but pick off a corner or two to sample as I cut this cake into bars. Can you blame me? The juicy cranberries pop in your mouth while the velvety cake keeps it all together. I loved the cinnamon-sugar aspect of this, too. It’s not often that you find cranberries and cinnamon together, but it truly works (and the butter that is used to grease the pan doesn’t hurt, either). This is the perfect thing to make in a hurry before a family gathering or to bring into your office to get everyone excited for the holiday season. It only takes a few minutes to put together, and the result is both tasty and impressive. The sticky, gooey cranberries on top of the citrus cake really can’t be beat!
Combine your flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
Combine your 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Butter your pan with no less than 3 tablespoons of butter (believe me – do this or your cake will not come out of the pan) and then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the butter.
Gently shake the pan so that the cinnamon-sugar coats the entire bottom of the pan.
Spread the fresh cranberries out over the sugar mixture.
Beat the remaining 1 cup of sugar with the remaining 1/2 cup + 6 tablespoons butter until light and fluffy.
Beat in the orange zest.
Beat in the eggs and extracts.
Gently add in 1/3 of the flour, then 1/2 of the milk, 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 the milk, and finish with 1/3 of the flour. You always want to start and end with the dry ingredients when slowly incorporating them into a batter.
Gently spread your batter over the cranberries (I made another extra cake to bring into the office). Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes, until lightly golden.
Allow to cool for 30-40 minutes before sliding a butter knife around the edges of the cake, flipping over, and tapping until the cake slides out.
Feel free to sample the remaining cranberry and cake bits left in the pan after you’ve removed the cake. It is just too good.
Allow to finish cooling before slicing into bars.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (plus an additional 3 tablespoons, for greasing the pan)
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1½ bags fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan with 3 tablespoons of butter and set aside. I know this seems like an insane amount of butter to grease a pan with, but you want to be sure that the cake comes out of the pan in one piece, and believe me, it takes no less than 3 tablespoons of butter to do this. Feel free to use 4, if you're daring! Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
- Combine 1 cup of the sugar with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour the mixture into the buttered pan and gently move it around so that it coat the bottom (but not the sides) well. Lay the cranberries on top of the sugar as evenly as you can.
- Beat together the remaining ½ cup + 6 tablespoons tablespoons of butter with the remaining 1 cup of sugar until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the egg and beat until combined, then add in the zest, then add in the vanilla and lemon extract.
- Add ⅓ of the flour to the cake batter, then add ½ of the milk. Add in another ⅓ of the flour, mix to combine, then add in the remaining ½ of the milk. Add in the final ⅓ of the flour and mix until just moistened.
- Gently spoon the batter over the cranberries and spread it out as evenly as possible (this is a bit difficult, as the batter is sticky, but it's easier as you keep going and it certainly doesn't need to be perfect - mine wasn't, as evidenced by the photos above). Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is lightly golden. Allow to cool for 30-40 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges of the cake, place a plate or baking sheet on top of the cake pan, then flip it over and carefully tap the pan until the cake falls out, cranberry side up. Makes 32-36 bars. I served my bars in plain white muffin cups, for easy handling.
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