What I’m making Christmas Eve

Christmas is almost upon us, and so while I’m feeling domestic and, I don’t know, “cheery,” I thought I’d pretend like I’m adult and actually contribute to my family’s holiday parties. Usually I’m in the basement with my brothers, playing Wii, but maybe this year I’ll act like a grown-up and spend some time in the kitchen (I hear there’s wine there).

I’ve been watching a lot more Barefoot Contessa and Giada at Home lately, so after watching Giada make this, I’ve decided to make this:

Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
  • 1/2 cup yellow fine cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup orange zest (from 2 large oranges)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs

Directions

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Measure 3 tablespoons of the flour mixture into a small bowl. Add the chopped cranberries and toss until coated. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks and whole eggs, 1 at a time. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Using a spatula, gently fold in the cranberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake until the cake is golden brown, and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut the cake into wedges, arrange on a serving platter and serve with the Caramel Walnut Sauce. (The cake can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight in a plastic container.)

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