Orange Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

Orange Cranberry 1 blog

This cake makes me think of Christmas.  The colors & the flavors all seem to make me want to listen to Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong CD and sit by the fire while alternately taking lovely bites of orange cranberry goodness and sipping on Chai tea.  If I’m honest, this cake does seem to take a little more time than most because it has more steps.  In the end though, it’s worth it because it’s so different from most desserts.  This can be eaten after dinner or with coffee in the morning for a sweet breakfast.  Without the orange glaze it’s even solid enough to cut a slice, put it in a napkin and eat as you’re running out the door (which Mike and I have both done.)

This is another Giada recipe, and let’s face it, she’s awesome.  We have tried very few things of hers that we haven’t liked.  This particular recipe really caught my eye because it’s so different.  The only thing I changed was to put an orange glaze over the top whereas she used a carmel walnut sauce.  I couldn’t imagine ruining the orange cranberry cake with carmel rather than more orange flavor, so I changed it and this is the version we stick to.  The cornmeal in the cake definitely comes out in the texture which I love; it makes this cake kind of rustic and country, while the cranberries and orange glaze make perfectly sweet.  Since cornmeal is healthy I feel a whole lot less guilty eating a slice for breakfast.  Besides, there’s orange juice in the glaze. 🙂  Good morning, sunshine.

Orange Cranberry 2 blog

Orange Cranberry Cake Title Ingredients

Orange Cranberry Whole Cake blog

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
  • 1/2 cup yellow fine cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup orange zest (from 2 large oranges)-save any extra for glaze
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar
  • Orange Glaze (recipe follows)


  1. Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Measure 3 tablespoons of the flour mixture into a small bowl. Add the chopped cranberries and toss until coated.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks and whole eggs, 1 at a time. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Using a spatula, gently fold in the cranberries.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake until the cake is golden brown, and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar.  Cut the cake into wedges, arrange on a serving platter and top with the Orange Glaze (recipe follows).

Notes – The cake can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight in a plastic container.

Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis

Orange Glaze TitleIngredientsOrange Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (from orange above)
  • 1/2 stick salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • some orange zest


  1. Combine all above ingredients and whisk until smooth

4 responses to “Orange Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

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