This is a delicious citrus cake that is divinely moist, and bursting with tangy cranberries throughout! The recipe is so simple, anybody can whip it up in no time. Orange cake is one of those nostalgic recipes that takes me back to my childhood visits to Egypt. My grandmother and my Tunte Zaineb often made this delicious citrus cake, and we would often eat it on our long drives to Alexandria from Cairo, or in the morning for breakfast with tea or milk. They would cut it into simple little squares and store it in a plastic container that I can still visualize. Spotting that storage container on the kitchen counter was always a welcomed experience. For this recipe, I combined my grandmother’s and aunt’s recipes and some extra pizzaz of juicy cranberries to recreate an orange cranberry muffin, which continues to be a favorite treat of mine at local cafes and bakeries.
The recipe uses fresh orange zest, which is essential for that pure and refreshing orange flavor and scent. Along with some fresh squeezed orange juice, milk, and olive oil, this cake gets very citrusy and moist! Olive oil is one of my preferred modifications in my baking. In many of my cakes I use olive oil, and you would not notice it if you tasted it and your heart will be all the healthier for this simple swap. The cake is still moist and fluffy, and a favorable fresh flavor that pairs well with citrus. You could certainly use butter instead, if you must. Butter always lends a nice buttery taste, but for health reasons and because the cake comes out just as moist, I prefer to bake this with olive oil.
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I also use fresh whole cranberries which are perfect because they are in season in the fall and winter, along with the deliciously juicy oranges. The festive pop of color, along with their tart and juicy flavor, goes so perfectly with this sweet orange cake! I try to buy the cranberries and keep them for a few days to make sure that they ripen and are not so tart in the cake. I found that if I use cranberries right away after I purchase them, they tend to be less sweet, which could definitely make this recipe go sour!
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 c olive oil or butter
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 1 3/4 c sugar
- 1 c fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp of milk
- 2.5 c flour
- 1.5 Tbsp of baking powder
- 3/4 c fresh cranberries, washed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degree fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the orange zest.
- Stir in the sugar, oil, and orange juice with the eggs.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder.
- Slowly stir in the flour mixture with the wet mixture. Add the milk. Do not over mix!
- Stir in the cranberries.
- Grease 2 muffin pans or place a liner in each cup, or grease a bundt pan. Fill the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.
- If baking a cake, bake on the top rack so that the bottom does not get too browned, as you will need to flip it. Shake some powdered sugar on top of the cake with a sifter.