Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Ricotta Cake for Christmas

Here's your Christmas Cake.

It has everything you need to celebrate the season.

Fresh cranberries, ricotta cheese, cornmeal and maple syrup with a load of butter, makes for a luxurious and beautiful cake w/ a nice crumb texture (from the cornmeal).

It's an interesting mix of ingredients, and my kind of cake. Not too sweet, and a bit tart, the perfect breakfast cake, and it's a big one too. Feeds a crowd.

Lisa and Wednesday Chef have made this cake, so I was next in line (4 years later!).

I usually shy away from heavy butter cakes, but it's the holidays, celebrate and enjoy.

Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Cake with Ricotta

Adapted from pastry chef Zoe Nathan of Rustic Canyon via LA Times

2 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1 3/4 sticks butter (I only used 1 1/2 sticks because I was afraid!)
1 1/2 cups sugar (plus more for the top)
1 tsp salt
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups ricotta cheese (I used a 15 oz. container)
2 cups fresh cranberries, divided


Heat the oven to 375F degrees. Grease a 9-inch round by 3-inch tall cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. I used my 9" springform pan. This is a big cake and puffs up high, so make sure you have 3" on the sides of the pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and zest. Add the ricotta mixture, and mix just until thoroughly combined; do not overmix.

With the mixer running, slowly incorporate the egg mixture into the butter until just combined.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top. Scatter the remaining cranberries over the top of the cake, and sprinkle with some sugar on top. (I mixed all the cranberries into the batter, because I didn't want to have puckered lips when I bit into the cake!).

Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

I needed to place a loose piece of foil over the top of the cake after 1 hour, because it was getting too dark.

Cool the cake on a wire rack before removing it from the pan.

Best served the day after you bake it.

You can leave this plain if you are a purist, or dust it with confectioner's sugar, however, I opted for icing and maple whipped cream on the side!


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Unknown said…
Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Dish Satellite Internet
Elizabeth said…
Yummm-mmmy! My 9" springform is only 2-1/2". Do you think there'd be a problem doing this in my 10-cup tube pan?

Thanks for great recipes. I can always count on you!
Stacey Snacks said…
It's a very big cake, however, I think the size pan you have will be fine, it will be a little flatter than mine, that's all.
Your size is fine!

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Oui Chef said… the sound of this one...Breakfast Cake!
Ciao Chow Linda said…
What a festive looking cake -- and with all those wonderful ingredients, it's got to taste great. I'm not worried about the butter - I'm going for it!
Unknown said…
You just answered my Christmas baking dilemma - wanting to make something new and festive without it being teeth numbingly sweet. And we went house hunting in Summit this past weekend - the town is too cute!
Claudia said…
If it has ricotta in it I will make it. I'm not afraid of butter. Now margarine - that's scary!
Foodiewife said…
Best served the next day? Um, yeah. Like I could wait that long? Ricotta is one of my favorite ingredients to add in baked goods. I would imagine this is really moist. Love the idea of the cornmeal. Pinning!
Ricotta, I'm in, butter? well I took 2 yoga classes so far! So I'm ok, right?
Joanne said…
I love the texture that comes from adding cornmeal to cakes! So good!
I'm going to use this one for gifts. Think I can take a slice out of the first one to just taste it....before I pass it along?
sajtosbrokkoli said…
Already baked. The smells great, it tastes perfect. Thanks.
Merry Christmas!
Budapest- Hungary
I made this today and couldn't wait til tomorrow. Ok, next time I'll put the 2 cups of cranberries in the cake and put some more on top. They look so beautiful dancing up there! And next time I won't make my own ricotta. A real mess, considering what else was going on in the kitchen. One orange gave a pitiful amount of rind, so I did two. I'll make again.
Dana said…
I'm catering desserts for a party tomorrow night and even though I don't have time to make this, I totally am.