Courtney's Cranberry And Cherry Bundt Cake Recipe

By Marisa Dabney | Dec 2nd, 2016

Courtney Carey demonstrates his flavor pairing skills as he uses cranberries in his cake, and pairs it with candied pecans.  The classically trained opera singer hopes the judges will like his Cranberry and Cherry Bundt Cake recipe. In the first signature bake challenge of season two episode 1 of The Great American Baking Show, He makes his bundt cake's presentation pop with a tip from his grandmother, a cream cheese glaze with candied pecans. Watch the full episode of "Cake Week" to see if the judges were impressed with his first bake. 

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake: 

Vegetable shortening 

3 ¼ cups high quality all- purpose flour (406.3g)

2 ¼ cups granulated sugar (450g)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 pound softened butter (4 sticks) (453.6g)

9 whole large eggs (at room temperature)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¾ cup sour cream (170g)

For the filling/swirl:

2 cups dried cranberries (sweetened) (320g)

1 cup dried dark cherries (sweetened) (160g) 

1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 tablespoons cherry liqueur (2 fl oz) 

2 ½ cups water (20 oz)

For the icing:

8 oz. cream cheese (softened) - full fat 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (softened)

1 cup confectioners sugar (icing sugar) (120g)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear)

For the topping:

3 cups pecans (375g)

½ cup dark brown sugar (100g)

½ cup granulated sugar (100g)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter (melted) (8 oz) 2 sticks

METHOD:

For the cake:

Preheat oven 350⁰ F - 176 ⁰C.

1. Grease (with vegetable shortening) and flour a 10 cup Kugelphopf Bundt pan and set aside. 

2. Place a sifter over a large mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder, and kosher salt to the sifter. Sift those ingredients over the bowl and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream softened butter and sugar for 8 minutes on medium-low speed. The mixture should turn pale yellow, and increase in volume.

4. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture (add eggs 1 at a time).

5. Add vanilla extract to the batter after all of the eggs have been incorporated.

6. With the mixer still on low speed add ¼ of the flour mixture to the batter inside >the stand mixture.

7. Add ¼ cup of sour cream- alternate this process - flour/sour cream until it has all been incorporated. Start and end with flour.

8. Turn off mixer and stir the batter with a wooden spoon, scraping the sides and bottom of bowl.

9. Pour batter into Kugelhopf pan alternating between batter and cranberry filling (ending with batter) making sure to swirl with a knife or toothpick after adding the cranberries to each layer. Cook on the center rack of preheated oven for 75 minutes

For the filling:

1. Before mixing the cake batter, add cranberries and cherries to a medium mixing bowl. Bring two cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepot. 

2. Cover the berries, sugar, cinnamon with 2 cups boiling hot water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the water for later.

3. After 5 minutes add cherry liqueur.

4. Transfer mixture to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Puree mixture until no large chunks or pieces are visible. If needed add reserved water to loosen the mixture slightly.

5. Set aside until cake batter has been prepared.

6. Layer filling into cake batter, alternating between batter and filling. Be sure to swirl the cranberries at each layer. DO NOT allow the filling to touch the sides of the pan!

NOTE: The filling will be thick. Do not worry, this is fine.

For the icing:

1. Add the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment. Mix until incorporated and smooth.

2. Add confectioners sugar slowly.

3. Set aside until cake has come out of the oven and cooled

NOTE: To avoid lumps in the frosting, sift the sugar before adding to the mixer.

For the topping:

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan

2. In a separate pan toast pecans over medium heat for 5-10 minutes (until slightly warm)

3. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat

4. Toss pecans in melted butter

5. Mix buttered pecans and sugar in a large bowl

6. Place pecans on sheet tray lined with baking mat in a flat layer. Allow to cool.

Assembly:

1. Remove cake from pan- allow to cool on a wire baking rack (after cooled place cake onto a decorative cake plate)

2. Line cake plate with four strips of parchment paper to collect any icing spillage

3. Place icing into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.

4. Pipe icing into the grooves of the Kugelhopf leaving the large portions of cake exposed. Smooth icing with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

5. Fill center of Kugelhopf with sugar coated pecans White cake stand – from the tent. 

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