This is a lovely cake for anytime, but especially Thanksgiving or Christmas. It has a soft, yet sturdy crumb that tastes like sweet cream dotted with tart bits of dried cranberries, yet it is not cloyingly sweet. The cake gets balanced with decadent buttercream that has been scented with the seeds of two split vanilla beans and piled on top like a cloud. Such a good cake!
"If you aren't a huge fan of cranberries, use dried cherries! It will still be delicious."
Notes: Butter is unsalted.
CRANBERRY YOGURT CAKE + DOUBLE VANILLA BEAN BUTTERCREAM
Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt at room temperature, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs at room temperature, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 cup neutral oil, 1/2 cup dried cranberries-chopped, 1 tbsp. rum. For the frosting: 3 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup soft butter, 1-2 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, seeds of 2 split vanilla beans, 1 Tbsp. dried, chopped cranberries.
1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease and line a 9-inch round cake pan.
2. Put 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries into a small bowl, stir in 1 tbsp. rum. Set aside.
3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil together.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until smooth. Fold in the cranberries. Pour into the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely.
5. Make frosting: Beat the butter until smooth, add the powdered sugar a little at a time along with the milk and vanilla extract. Combine until frosting is well whipped. Split the vanilla beans and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Add all the seeds you can to the frosting, mix to distribute well.
6. Frost the cooled cake by piling all of the frosting on top. Decorate the top with a few chopped cranberries.
Tip: If you don't have rum for the cranberries, use whiskey, vodka, or brandy.