Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cranberry Orange Cake

Last week I had the honor of being invited to help cook (and bake ;) for a group of women who were on a Holistic Health Solitude Retreat. The heart behind the retreat was of women to find the space to heal, rest, grow and breathe. See at the end of the post for more info. It was set at a gorgeous location in northern Michigan looking over one of the most loved bays of Lake Michigan. It was just rejuvenating sitting at the shores of such beauty. Watching the sun rise and set  over the waters was one of my favorite parts. And more so, it was so amazing to watch women give themselves permission and grace to rest, to be nourished, all in efforts to be their most truest and best selves that God created them to be. Women are truly the force of beauty and change in the world. Such amazing respect for these strong and courageous women. And loved, LOVED, baking them yummy treats and bread to add to the amazing local and nourishing menu. On Saturday morning, the plans for a menu item was changed, and so I tried to whip up some extra autumn sweet goodness in a cranberry orange cake. That is how this recipe was born and now it is being documented for all of those that asked for such details to try and re-create.
I based most of this recipe off of one of my tried and trues, the Blueberry Lemon Cake from last summer, and then I made it a second time and added a few more additions to try and make it a little less crumbly and a little more moist. So I rested upon this final recipe as being the best to follow and give a whirl.
I'm glad to offer this recipe just in time for a little Thanksgiving treat. It would be a great addition to the spread or even for the holiday's morning as a coffee cake or maybe even the morning after for a little Christmas-shopping fuel. You know me, after Thanksgiving breakfast most definitely involves leftover pie or cake :) But cranberries and oranges with a little spice is great for any holiday gathering this time of year... The scents of the cake alone bless you with holiday cheer :)
Cranberry Orange Cake Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, nut, seed, refined-sugar, and eggs  free}

*can be easily made vegan* just don't add frosting or switch out honey with maple syrup

1 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour (I grind my own from GF rolled oats)
1/2 cup of certified gluten-free rolled oats
3/4 cup of white rice flour or sweet sorghum flour works as sub
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1 cup of coconut palm sugar
2 ts. of baking powder (I use Hain for corn-free)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1/2 cup of applesauce
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
1/3 cup of pumpkin puree
2/3 cup of melted coconut oil
1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage with 2 TB of apple cider vinegar
1 organic orange to get...1-3 TB of fresh orange zest and....
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
optional additional orangey-ness: 4-6 drops of food-grade sweet orange essential oil,
or 1/2 ts. of orange flavoring

2 cups (1 pint) of fresh cranberries cooked down to 1 1/2 cups. Put 2 cups of fresh cranberries in a saucepan with 1/4 or so of water. Let the cranberries start to heat and pop open, do not let them get too hot or turn into sauce, just heat them long enough to get soft and reduce to 1 1/2 cups worth.

First grind your GF flours and mix well with all the other dry ingredients. Then mix in the wet ingredients, and lastly the warmed oil. Mix well and you will start to see the orange juice and baking powder do it's work and make the batter poof up a bit. Fold down and then mix in the fresh cranberries, but making sure to not over mix and break open the berries.

Pour in a coconut-oil-lined baking pan. I baked mine in a bundt or angel food cake pan. But you could also make this in a 9x9 circle or square pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until it is no longer wet and giggling. The cake should show a clean toothpick from the middle of the cake and firm, but soft. no wetness. Pull from the oven and let it cool completely.

You can top the cake with this optional topping:

Honey Cream Frosting Recipe
1/2 cup of room temperature soft but NOT liquid coconut oil
1/3 cup of pure local honey ( or sub in maple syrup to make VEGAN)
2-3 TB of fresh orange juice plus 4-6 drops of food grade essential orange oil 
or 1/4 ts. orange flavoring
pinch of good sea salt

Whip up the ingredients with a fork in a bowl, DO NOT over mix because it will soften too much

Then you can spread/pour over a slightly warm cake and it will melt into the crust of the cake, or if it is cooled will be a frosting like topping and you can dress it up with fresh or dried cranberries on top and even some additional orange zest to add some color too. 

Serve warm with tea or coffee :) or as cooled-down or leftovers. Good both ways :)

Retreat INFO:
There will be more info coming soon- but I am working with a group of four wonderful women to start offering Michigan (local readers) one-day and three-day retreats. So much more info coming soon- just wanted to put a little bug in your ear if you are a local friend and this might be something you are looking for or interested in :)

Much love xoxo


  1. Does this cake have the 1/2C melted coconut oil like the lemon cake recipe? I don't see it in the ingredients list, but as part of the directions it refers to adding melted oil.

    1. YES- I forgot to add the coconut oil, thanks for commenting and catching that :) I actually looked at my recipe and I added 2/3 cup of oil, so that is what I put in the recipe instead- but I know 1/2 cup would work too, it really is only 1-2 TB more... it adds moisture with the coconut flour.

  2. Hey there again bread lady ;) :)!

    I'm thinking of making this lovely for Xmas eve as a layer cake with coconut icing, but can't seem to get ahold of any pumpkins ~ do you think any substitute would work? I was thinking applesauce or sweet p. puree might be the closest thing - but really don't want a flop on a special occasion so will wait to hear from you before playing with it (backup is apple pie, as I imagine the holidays will have you occupied!) !!!

    Wishing you & yours exquisite holidays & a wonderful start to the new year!!

    1. Yes Ww- you can sub sweet potato or applesauce and it will be great!!! Sounds like a fabulous experiment. Hope you have a merry Christmas!!!Much love xoxo

  3. Hi Stephanie!
    Forgot to say thanks for taking time to answer this during the busy holiday season - thanks to your reply I did end up making it as a cake with apple butter in place of the pumpkin. I baked it in two different cake pans to see what would work best and though it still might take a little playing to get the texture as moist and your bundt cake was (it ended up a really really yummy coffee cake like texture with soft crumb) - it turned out pretty darn well all in all and was super special to enjoy with icing! :)

    Thanks so much!