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Vanilla Cake With Cranberry Ginger Apple Compote
We are almost to that wonderful time of the year - Christmas! I truly love the season, and get excited for it every year. There is something about decorating a tree, wrapping gifts, and baking goodies that just warms my heart. The season seems to have lots of decadent treats, so some days I enjoy this simple and rustic dessert. The vanilla cake is dense (you have to have some sturdiness to hold up that compote!). It has such a nice vanilla flavor that reminds you that sometimes simple desserts are the best. The Cranberry Ginger Apple Compote is thick and tart. If you are not a fan of tart—increase the sugar. Fresh cranberries are heated on the stove with a mixture of apple juice, ginger, and brown sugar. It’s a recipe that could stand on it’s own— as a side dish on Thanksgiving, or as a topping to your favorite sandwich.
Such a simple, festive dessert is a perfect compliment to your tree decorating. Now that we live in Texas, we no longer go out and cut our own Christmas trees.
When my older boys were little and we lived in Oregon, it made sense to go to a “you cut it” Tree farm. Talk about a great family memory, huh? I’d love to tell you that I miss this tradition, and in some ways I do. But not completely. What is so misleading about this photo is that it is usually very muddy. Not long after this shot, my kids shoes were COVERED in mud. Suddenly our fun family moment was taken over by, “don’t get mud in the car” and over an hour of trying to get it off of everyones shoes. We were grouchy and hungry. And not at all festive anymore.
So then we discovered the beauty of an artificial tree. Especially in Texas, fresh trees can be hard to find. They sell out fast. Now I don’t have to hurry about getting one in time, or worry about it drying out and looking sickly.
The part I miss the most? The Christmas tree smell! I grew up with live trees, and it instantly takes me back to those joyous days before Christmas where as a kid you just can’t contain your excitement.
I want my children to have those memories too, so I found a creative solution!
I also always keep extra
So now that you know my trick for making my home smell merry & bright, let me share the recipe you’ve been waiting for!
Vanilla Cake with Cranberry Ginger Apple Compote
Vanilla Cake Ingredients:
- 1 and ¾ sticks butter (use 2 sticks, and save ¼ for the pan), softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Using the ¼ stick of butter left over, grease the bottom and sides of a 10 inch springform pan. Make sure you don’t miss any spots.
- In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar with the whisk attachment. Once it is creamy and light in color, add one egg in at a time.
- Next, add in the lemon juice and vanilla.
- On a slow speed, mix in the flour about ½ cup at a time until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add mixture into the springform pan, and smooth the top evenly.
- Bake for 40 minutes. The edges will become crisp, and a toothpick poked in the middle should come out cleanly when it is evenly cooked.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack. After 10 mins, run a knife around the edge to ensure the cake is not sticking and then pop the springform pan open.
- Continue cooling the cake on the wire rack while you make the cranberry compote.
- 1 (12oz) bag of Fresh premium cranberries, rinsed and dried.
- 1 cup Apple & ginger juice. I buy Cawston Press (in a bind you could add fresh or dried ginger to apple juice)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar for super tart compote, 1 ½ cup packed light brown sugar for less tart compote.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the apple juice and sugar mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, carefully add cranberries and continue to boil.
- Reduce your heat a bit, and slowly stir the mixture. The cranberries will swell and pop.
- Stir occasionally, keeping mixture on a low boil for about 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken up and become more jelly like.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, spread mixture on top of Vanilla Cake.
What about you? What’s your favorite scent of the season? What smell brings memories rushing back to you?