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Cranberry-Apple Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Pecans

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Disclosure: Nordic Ware sent me the free product (Nordic Ware Non-Stick Cast Aluminum Fleur De Lis Bundt Pan) to try out – I love my new bundt pan and will be describing my experience with this pan in this post. I was not compensated for this post other than receiving the bundt pan for free! All opinions are my own.

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Delicious Holiday Vanilla Buttermilk cake with Cranberries, Apples, and Pecans! Buttermilk gives this cake softer texture and keeps the cake light and moist, while adding a nice, subtle tang.  The cake will melt in your mouth! Vanilla, cranberries, apples, and pecans give the cake lots of the Holiday flavor and the crunch!

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This cake is a perfect coffee cake for the Fall, Winter, and the Holiday season!  So good with coffee or a cup of tea! It’s very easy to make and looks pretty and sophisticated with a minimal effort.  That’s the beauty of using a beautiful bundt pan – it makes all cakes pretty!  I’ve used the bundt pan that measures 9 inches in diameter and holds 10 to 12 cups – use any bundt pan of this size and volume!

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The particular pan I used was Nordic Ware Non-Stick Cast Aluminum Fleur De Lis Bundt Pan (which was sent to me for free by Nordic Ware – see the disclosure above). I was very pleased with this pan and will describe my experience with it and the tips on how to successfully release the bundt cake from the pan later in this post. Take a look how pretty this bundt pan is:

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Here is how easy this cake is! Make the cake batter, and add the dried cranberries (previously soaked in hot water and drained), chopped apple, and chopped pecans to the cake batter:

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Fold all the fruit and pecans into the cake batter using the spatula.  Your cake batter is ready to be poured into the bundt pan!

Mixing apples, pecans, cranberries into the cake batter

And, here are my tips on how to best use this (or any) bundt pan to ensure the successful release of the cake. It starts before you even bake the cake. Even though this bundt pan says it’s non-stick, ALWAYS USE THE BAKING SPRAY WITH FLOUR (it’s a special baking spray that already has flour in the spray itself). The proper way to do it is to hold the spray vertically, and spray your clean and dried bundt pan along the top edges of the pan, going all the way to the bottom. Keep in mind that a bundt pan with such fine detail as this Nordic Ware Fleur De Lis Bundt Pan, does have a lot of detail, so make sure to spray all of the pan insides, not missing anything! Then, pour the cake batter gently into the prepared bundt pan:

Pouring cake better with fruit into bundt pan

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven, and put the bundt pan on top of the baking sheet. This ensures that if you have a bundt pan with edges like mine, the pan doesn’t slant. Bake at 350 F for about 1 hour, until toothpick comes out clear. Remove the pan from oven, let it cool for 40 minutes on wire rack in the pan:

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Here is how to make sure the cake releases from the bundt pan without any cake disaster:
First of all, let me repeat, you should always use the Baking Spray with Flour and generously spray it all over inside your bundt pan before pouring the cake batter.
After your bundt cake is done baking, and the bundt pan cooled off for 40 minutes on the counter, place the bundt pan in the freezer for 20 minutes – it will still be quite hot to the touch (even after 40 minutes of cooling), so use kitchen gloves to handle the pan.
Remove the pan from the freezer after 20 minutes, invert the bundt pan onto a serving plate, and let it sit inverted for a bit to let the gravity do the work (it could take as little as half a minute or as long as 20 or even 30 minutes, depending on your bundt pan). Here is my bundt pan sitting inverted with the cake inside:

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With this pan, it took at least 20 minutes for the bundt pan to sit inverted like that and then release the cake (also, remember that before even inverting the pan, I cooled off the pan with the cake in it for 40 minutes on the rack, and then put the pan with the cake for 15 minutes in the freezer).  I actually heard a sound of the cake being released. Be patient – gently lift the bundt pan to check and if your cake is not released, let it sit longer, until it releases. My cake released from this bundt pan beautifully, there was only one small piece of cake that got stuck in the bundt pan – I gently removed it and stuck it back on the cake where it belongs! 🙂 You can’t even see this minor imperfection on the photos:

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I love-love this bundt pan, the cake looks like it came for a high-end bakery, with minimal effort on my side. With proper handling and patience, the cake will release beautifully! If you ever had trouble with releasing your bundt cake from the pan, read and re-read this post – it has all the tips you need to make sure you have a success with your bundt pan this holiday season!

Cranberry-Apple Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Pecans

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 1 cake

Cranberry-Apple Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Pecans

Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature softened
  • 1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar or cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Fuji apple, cored, peeled, and cubed
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • powdered sugar (for decorating)

Instructions

  1. Special equipment: Use the bundt pan that measures 9 inches in diameter and holds 10 to 12 cups.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Soak 1 cup of dried cranberries in 1 cup of boiling-hot water, covered.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine 2 and 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a separate large bowl, add together the softened butter and sugar and mix, using mixer, on high setting for about 3 minutes until even consistency is reached.
  6. Add 3 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture and continue beating until well-incorporated and light in color.
  7. Now we’ll be adding flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture in 3 gradual steps, instead of dumping all of flour at one time. If you dump all of flour mixture into your butter mixture at one time, it will be more difficult to stir and you won’t get a smooth texture. So, we’ll be adding flour and buttermilk in 3 additions:
  8. With your mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture, beating just a little until all is well combined. Then follow by 1/3 cup of buttermilk. Add the second 1/3 of flour mixture, beating with mixer just to combine. Follow by the second 1/3 cup of buttermilk, beating just to combine. Finally, add the third 1/3 of flour mixture, followed by the final 1/3 cup of buttermilk. Again, beat just enough to combine.
  9. Make sure to have your mixer on low speed while adding flour, otherwise flour might fly around your kitchen. Make sure to not overmix or overbeat, use mixer just to combine the ingredients.
  10. Drain the dried cranberries that you soaked in hot water and wring the water out of them. Dried cranberries now should be plump and juicy - it's OK if they retain some water.
  11. Using spatula, fold in these dried cranberries (after you soaked them and drained them), chopped apple, and chopped pecans into the cake batter.
  12. Spray your cake pan with a Baking Spray with Flour (it's a special spray that already has flour in it). The proper way to do it is to hold the spray vertically, and spray your clean and dried bundt pan along the top edges of the pan, going all the way to the bottom. Spray every single little detail, especially if your bundt pan has lots of fine detail.
  13. Pour batter gently into prepared bundt pan. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven, and put the bundt pan on top. This ensures that if you have a bundt pan with edges like mine, the pan doesn't slant.
  14. Bake at 350 F for about 1 hour, until toothpick comes out clear. Remove the pan from the oven, let it cool for 40 minutes on wire rack.
  15. And here are the tips on releasing the cake from the bundt pan:
  16. First of all, you should always use the Baking Spray with Flour and generously spray it all over inside your bundt pan before pouring the batter.
  17. After your bundt cake is done baking, and the bundt pan cooled off for 40 minutes on the counter, place the bundt pan in the freezer for 20 minutes - it will still be quite hot to the touch (even after 40 minutes of cooling), so use kitchen gloves to handle the pan.
  18. Remove the pan from the freezer after 20 minutes, invert the bundt pan onto a serving plate, and let it sit inverted for a bit to let the gravity do the work (it could take as little as half a minute or as long as 20 or even 30 minutes, depending on your bundt pan). Then, gently lift bundt pan and your cake should be released. Sometimes, you will actually hear your cake release. Be patient.
  19. Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar before serving.
http://juliasalbum.com/2015/12/cranberry-apple-vanilla-buttermilk-cake-with-pecans-recipe/

Disclosure: Nordic Ware sent me the free product (Nordic Ware Non-Stick Cast Aluminum Fleur De Lis Bundt Pan) to try out – I love my new bundt pan and will be describing my experience with this pan in this post. I was not compensated for this post other than receiving the bundt pan for free! All opinions are my own.

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Kevin | Keviniscooking December 8, 2015, 5:09 pm

    This is a beauty Julia. The photo of it just out of the pan is so stunning. Perfect. I’d eat it just like that! The batter looks so rich and the cake moist with all the goodies in it. Pinned!

  • Jackie January 8, 2016, 10:43 am

    Hi Julia

    Can ‘t have nuts, can it be omitted without messing up recipe.

  • Kathleen January 9, 2016, 8:29 pm

    Don’t like to use buttermilk, could yogurt or milk be substituted and still get the same consistency?

  • Lyn April 3, 2016, 3:59 pm

    I never post comments – just lazy about doing it …
    But I had to comment on this recipe. It was delicious!! Sooooo moist. My kids don’t like cranberries (so I substituted raisins) or nuts so I left them out. Thank you! This will certainly be a recipe I will use again and again.

  • muggle October 17, 2016, 12:24 am

    I’m confused… you used a non-stick pan but still had to oil/flour it, and it STILL stuck, and you love love the pan? I’m sorry but that sounds like a lot of extra work for something that still doesn’t come out clean. I will pass on this pan and use my normal bundt. Having said that, the recipe is solid, thank y0u for sharing it.

  • Holly November 23, 2016, 2:52 pm

    Have you tried making this with fresh cranberries? Did you have to make any changes?

    • Julia December 17, 2016, 8:30 pm

      Have not made it with fresh cranberries – could be tricky since fresh cranberries are not very sweet.

  • Teresa November 24, 2016, 12:56 pm

    This cake turned out perfect! I followed the recipe exactly. I’ll be making this again!

    • Julia December 17, 2016, 8:28 pm

      Thank you, I am so glad you liked the recipe and that the cake turned out well.

  • Rebecca December 18, 2016, 1:48 pm

    For most of my cakes baked in a Bundt pan I spray the pan with an oil spray then coat with white sugar. It releases easily and gives the cake a wonderful slightly crunchy crust. Plus you don’t see the sugar like flour or cocoa.

    • Julia December 20, 2016, 4:33 pm

      Thank you for the tip – I’ll have to try it next time. I wonder if it works for the bundt pans with a lot of pattern like the one I used in this recipe.

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