Cranberry Currant Cake

So. My girlfriend and I both have a copy of the Company’s Coming “Muffins & More” book. We kind of chuckled when we found that one out.
I’m a particular fan of their cornmeal muffins recipe BUT today I decided to branch out a little bit.

There’s a recipe in there for a lemon-raisin loaf that I adapted a little bit.

I used milk instead of water
I used dried cranberries instead of raisins (and just through them in the batter rather than soaking them)
I used pumpkin seeds instead of pecan crumbles
I also added a teaspoon of orange extract and about a tablespoon of (artificial) vanilla

It’s in the oven now (and will be for the next hour+) but I thought I’d ramble just a little bit about how to shift this recipe that much more towards “local”.

The obvious out-of-place bits here are the brown sugar and the lemon juice. Ways to change up the recipe to accomodate that stuff might include:

Using maple sugar, beet sugar[1], maple syrup (and cutting back some of the other liquid), or honey (Same deal) instead of cane sugar.

Using raspberry juice, cranberry juice, or sumac tea[1] in lieu of the lemon juice.

I don’t have a clue what to do about the vanilla, other than just using the fake stuff (though I don’t know where that’s produced) – alternatively, you could use a sweet liqueur – like sortilege or casis – instead of the vanilla extract.

The raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit still works (I think dried red currants or fresh rhubarb would be glorious in this, as might fresh raspberries – although, again, with having to cut out some of the other liquid to keep things from getting soupy).

Anyway. So those are my thoughts on how to switch up that recipe a little more. The end result might go something like this:

Cranberry Currant Cake

½ C butter or margarine
1 C creamed honey or maple syrup
2 eggs
1 tbsp crème de casis (or other berry liqueur)
½ C milk soured with ¼ C cranberry juice OR raspberry vinegar

2½ C whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

¼ C dried red currants/cranberries OR fresh, diced rhubarb
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds OR ¼ C crumbled/chopped nuts[2]


1) Preheat the oven to 350F
2) Cream together the butter, eggs, casis, and honey
3) Add the cranberry-soured milk and blend until smooth
4) Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda[3] and mix until smooth
5) Add the dried fruit and pumpkin seeds and stir until well-distributed
6) Grease a 9″x9″ square baking pan
7) Pour the batter into the cake pan
8) Bake until dark-golden brown (about 1 hour)
9) Allow to cool
10) Serve – possibly frosted with a casis frosting, possibly with fresh/sauced fruit and whipped cream – and enjoy.

Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] Taber’s beet sugar refinery – Lantic/Rogers – does a mix of beet and cane sugar. The sugar beets grown in Ontario are grown on contract for a beet-sugar refinery in Michigan. The Michigan refinery is much closer to me, and the sugar source is Canadian. Unfortunately, it’s also a monsanto crop. Boo! 😛 At least when I’m buying imported cocoa camino, I’m buying organic and fair trade. O.O

[2] There’s a grower in Niagara who does filberts, heart nuts, and chestnuts, and there are black walnuts available in Ottawa (if you can beat the squirrels to them). I believe there are a couple of shagbark hickory orchards around Ottawa as well. Hidden Harvest Ottawa may know more…

[3] Alternatively, you could use four eggs, separated, and just beat the ever-loving hell out of the egg-whites. You could also make this a yeast-raised cake, but I’m not 100% sure how that would work out.

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