Recipes // Desserts // Cranberry Pecan Cake

Cranberry Pecan Cake


Makes one 10-inch tube or Bundt cake

Sponge Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons/200 grams whole milk,
  • scalded and cooled to 100˚F
  • 4 teaspoons/12 grams fine granulated active dry
  • or instant yeast
  • 11/2 cups/200 grams unbleached bread flour
  • (spoon into a dry-measure cup and level)

Dough Ingredients:

  • 11/2 cups/150 grams dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons/45 grams orange juice
  • 13 tablespoons/180 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup/100 grams light brown sugar, firmly packed,
  • or turbinado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 21/4 cups/300 grams unbleached bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon/6 grams fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup/100 grams turbinado sugar or granulated
  • light brown sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 11/4 cups/5 ounces/150 grams pecan pieces,
  • lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Icing Ingredients:

  • 2 cups/215 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice, strained before measuring
  • One 16-cup tube or Bundt pan, thickly buttered


  1. For the sponge, whisk the milk and yeast together in a small bowl and stir in the flour. Cover with oiled or sprayed plastic wrap and let the sponge ferment until it is doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  2. Immediately after preparing the sponge combine the dried cranberries and orange juice in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Once the sponge is risen, beat the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until well mixed, about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat until smooth, then beat in the orange zest and vanilla.
  4. Decrease the mixer speed to lowest and beat in the sponge, then the flour a little at a time. Once all the flour has been added, let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle in the salt and beat on low/ medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes longer. Halfway through, beat in the dried cranberries and orange juice.
  6. For the filling, stir the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans together.
  7. To assemble, spoon a little less than a third of the dough into the bot tom of the mold and spread it evenly. Sprinkle with half the sugar and pecan mixture. Spoon in half the remaining dough and level; top with all the remaining sugar and pecan mixture. Spoon in the last of the dough and level the top. Cover with oiled or sprayed plastic wrap and let the dough ferment until it fills the mold, about 1 hour.
  8. Once the dough has started puffing, set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375˚F.
  9. Once the cake is fully proofed, bake until well risen and deep golden, with an internal temperature of about 200˚F, about 1 hour.
  10. Invert a rack on the top of the pan and, using oven mitts, invert them together. Lift off the pan and let the cake cool completely. Once cooled, invert the cake to a rack over a piece of paper or a pan.
  11. To make the icing, stir the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice together in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Cook the icing, stirring constantly, until it is just warm, about 110˚F. Use a spoon to drizzle the icing onto the cooled cake. Let the icing dry, then slide the cake to a platter. Serve it on the day you baked it for brunch or tea.
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