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Brandied Cranberry Cake & Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries

Chef Linda Weiss, author of
Memories From Home: Cooking with Family & Friends
Photo by Robert Shober

If you like cake and cranberries (oh-and a little toddy now and then), you'll like the cake recipe that we are sharing with you this week. This recipe is perfect for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's also a great recipe to split into two small Bundt pans or two small angel food pans and make two, then cool, wrap in cellophane with a pretty ribbon and give as gifts to family and friends.

I created this recipe when I had leftover cranberries with brandy in them. Hmmm, what could I do with them? Since cake is always on my mind, this was the perfect solution. I had to work at it a little but the recipe came out just fine. I hope you like it. Let me know.

Then for a side dish, I can't think of a more delicious way to use sweet potatoes than to pair them with cranberries and maple syrup. This recipe is great with chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin and a great big ham.


To start the cake you will need to make the cranberries first.

Brandied Cranberries

3 (12- ounce) bags fresh or frozen cranberries
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup brandy*

Place cranberries in a single layer on a two foil lined 15 x 10 x 1-inch jelly roll pan. Pour sugar over the cranberries. Cover tightly with foil.* Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven and spoon the cranberries into a large bowl. Gently stir in brandy.  Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 6 cups. Save the rest for dinner because the berries will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge, or just cut the recipe in half if it makes too much for you.

*Start checking the cranberries after 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes after that. If they look caramelized, then remove them from the oven.

*If you don't want to use brandy, just use about 3 teaspoons of brandy extract, available in the grocery store.


This Cake is delicious! I promise. It is also a great holiday gift cake. Wrap it in cellophane, tie a red ribbon around it, and deliver it to the luckiest recipient ever. Happy Holidays!

3 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick soft butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups brandied cranberries

All ingredients need to be at room temperature before starting this cake. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 12 cup tube or Bundt pan with a floured baking spray. Mix flour, sugar, soda, baking powder, salt, eggs, cream cheese, butter, buttermilk, and extracts in a mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Remove from the mixer and fold in the brandied cranberries. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Cranberries

4 pounds sweet potatoes
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup pure maple syrup

Peel sweet potatoes. Cut into quarters lengthwise; cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces. Combine sweet potatoes and cranberries in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine butter and maple syrup. Pour over the cranberry mixture, and mix well. Pour into a greased 3-quart baking dish. Cover tightly, and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are very soft.

Visit Linda at her website:
and her blog:

---Posted November 6, 2009---


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