We love to add dried cranberries to our oatmeal, granola, and even our salads anytime of the year. The sharp, sweet tang of these little berries brightens up our everyday foods with a burst of flavor. During the winter holidays, they really add a festive spirit to our traditional breads and desserts.
Here is an unusual recipe that we found in our search for new holiday treats. This “pudding” is more like a cake than a creamy, milk dessert. Perhaps it takes its name from the English tradition of calling the dessert course a pudding. Regardless of what you decide to call it, we call it good.
Give it a try. Perhaps it will become a new cranberry tradition at your house!
We love when friends come to visit. We look forward to catching up and enjoying each other’s company and conversation. And in the days prior to the visit, we daydream about what to serve for dinner. Would our guests prefer Zesty Italian Chicken or Lasagna Soup?
But sometimes, our friends call in the afternoon with last minute plans to stop in that evening. Or we get a text that a whole herd of kids are unexpectedly coming over after school.
Instead of switching into panic mode, we head to the kitchen to whip up Gingerbread Pudding Cake.
With spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, we think this cake is just perfect to serve unexpected guests at this time of year. And those spices create a sweet scent that filters through the house, adding a welcoming touch when friends walk through the door.
But the reason we turn to this recipe when company is on the way is because it’s quick and easy to make. We just mix up the batter, turn on the slow cooker, and soon the smell of baking cake fills the house. And while the slow cooker is doing all the work, we have time to scurry around the house picking up shoes, putting away the laundry, loading the dishwasher, and hiding the general clutter that tends to overwhelm the living room.
We serve this moist cake with a light nutty flavor warm with Vanilla Steamers or a scoop of ice cream. Be careful though, your unexpected guests may just turn into regular visitors after tasting this cake!
Have you ever started into a recipe—or wanted to—and then discovered it called for buttermilk? Said recipe requires a cup, at most. If you decide to make a run to the store for the buttermilk, you take out what little bit you need, and then the far greater amount that’s left in the carton spends the rest of its life drifting to the back of the fridge and eventually you send it down the drain.
I found this amazing buttermilk powder. And it gives fantastic texture and flavor to the cakes I’ve used it in.
This miracle ingredient is “Cultured Buttermilk Blend—for cooking and baking.” The stuff works.
Here’s how. You stir the buttermilk powder in with the recipe’s dry ingredients. (A formula stated on the Buttermilk Blend canister tells you how much powder to use.) Then you mix water equivalent to the amount of buttermilk called for in with the wet ingredients.
My first time out with the Blend I gingerly (sorry) tried it in my favorite gingerbread recipe. I made it for some friends, who I’m sure I served it to before, and they couldn’t stop fussing about how much they loved it. And they’re not big fussers.
Here’s the website if you want to learn more about this amazing stuff:
And here’s my favorite ginger-y, molasses-y, not-for-sissies gingerbread recipe with a wonderful surprise ingredient that’s first into the baking pan. Warning: you’ll need Buttermilk Blend—or buttermilk—for this!
Makes 9-12 servings
1/3 cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses (as strong or as sweet as you like)
1¾ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ cup buttermilk*
2 cups sliced apples, unpeeled
whipped cream, optional
1. Using a mixer and a large mixing bowl, blend butter.
2. Blend in sugar, beating until well mixed.
3. Add egg and molasses, beating until well blended.
4. Place flour into a separate bowl.
5. Stir salt, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon into the flour, blending well.
6. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well.
7. Add 1/3 of the buttermilk to the mixture and blend well.
8. Continue by adding half the remaining dry ingredients and blending them in well, followed by half the remaining buttermilk.
9. Repeat Step 8, using the rest of the dry ingredients and buttermilk.
10. Grease the bottom of a 9” square baking pan.
11. Slice the apples over the bottom of the pan, arranging them evenly.
12. Pour the batter over the apples.
13. Bake at 350◦ for 45-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
14. Allow to reach room temperature—or nearly so—before serving.
15. Top with dollops of whipped cream if you wish.
*If you’re using Buttermilk Blend instead, check the canister for the amount of dry powder to add to the dry ingredients in Step 5. Add a total of ¾ cup water during Steps 7, 8, and 9.