This Holiday Season, Bake and Support Local Farmers with this Delicious Recipe

April Ann Opatik

From Nov. 1 to Jan. 15 there are approximately 29 holidays observed by seven of the world’s major religions. Many of these holidays are centered around traditions, rituals, family, memories—and for my holiday, delicious baked goods.

This holiday season, I will be baking Maple’s Cranberry Cake—my traditional Wisconsin baked good using cranberries from my own state. Did you know Wisconsin is the number one state exporter of cranberries? It produces over 60 percent of the country’s crop!  I have been making this sweet-treat for my family for years, but this year I have gotten a lot of requests from my spouse's family, that I have been blessed to officially join this year. This seasonal treat will be a favorite for both our families each holiday season.

This cranberry cake not only tastes delicious—but it is easy to make too! It’s dense, buttery, and ends on a sweet almond note. The minute you bite into it a burst of fresh cranberries fills your mouth, followed by a subtle crunch from a bitter walnut. It’s a perfect combination of sweet, tarte, and bitter.

This holiday season, myself and American Farmland Trust want to extend our warm wishes to all of our supporters, donors, and family members for every holiday observed. I hope this recipe fills your home with delicious eating and your hearts are full of love.

Happy Holiday Season!

Maple's Cranberry Cake

The Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole, fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

The Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 12-cup muffin pan
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave or stovetop until it is almost completely melted. Make sure the mixture of butter is cooled enough so the eggs don’t cook when you mix them in
  3. Mix in the vegetable oil, sugar, almond extract, vanilla extract, and the eggs
  4. Slowly mix in the flour, a half of a cup at a time
  5. When mixed together well, finally mix-in the cranberries and walnuts
  6. Dollop the batter in each cup of the muffin pan until it is level (it is not going to rise)
  7. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until the top of the mini cakes are a nice golden brown
  8. Serve and let cool for others to enjoy and devour for this holiday season!