Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sweetness of Maple

This cookie was developed several years ago when I needed something maple for a catering job. Unhappy with the usual recipes, it was time to be creative—this cookie was the end result. Although it falls into my "fussy cookie" category, it is well worth the effort. The cookie is a contrast in textures and flavors that insist on being savored. The sweetness of the maple, the richness of the butter, and the toasted goodness of the walnuts all combine to create a taste and texture sensation—a crunchy cookie with a filling that melts on the tongue.

For the best maple flavor always use Grade B syrup. Do not substitute maple-flavored syrup. This product is corn syrup with maple flavoring, and suitable only for the garbage. Maple sugar can be difficult to find, but not impossible. I purchase mine at The Morse Farm and so can you!

Maple Walnut Buttons


1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 c. maple sugar

1/4. c. sugar

1/2 c. dark maple syrup (grade B)

2 egg yolks

2-1/2 c. flour


1/2 c. Confectioner's Sugar

1/4 c. unsalted butter

3 TBSP. maple syrup (grade B)

1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

1 egg white, slightly beaten

For cookie dough:

Beat 1 butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add maple syrup and egg yolks, blend well. Mix in flour, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling.

For filling:

In small saucepan, combine confectioner's sugar, butter, maple syrup and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in toasted walnuts. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 375. Lightly grease cookie sheets.

Using a small scoop, shape dough into 1 balls. Place 2" apart on greased cookie sheets. Use the end of the handle of a wooden spoon, and carefully make a deep indentation in the center of each cookie.

Bake at 375 for 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

Brush lightly with egg white. Use the end of the handle of a wooden spoon and re-imprint the indentation.

Fill with 1/2 tsp of filling.

Return to oven and bake an additional 6-9 minutes rotating racks at 3 minutes or until light golden brown. If you must go to 9 minutes reduce oven temp to 350 for last 3 minutes. Remove to wire racks, and cool completely.

Makes 4 to 4-1/2 doz. cookies

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Flavors and Textures

This cake is all about contrasting and complimentary flavors and textures. When I was baking professionally, I was always looking for recipes that would allow me to provide low-cost, high quality cakes to my commercial customers. Most of the recipes that came my way required reworking, and this recipe was no exception. The goal was to enhance the flavor and texture and bring the cake from okay to exceptional. This cake was a prime seller, so I think it is safe to say the goal was achieved.

The lemon flavor, moist dense texture, the delightful crunch and musky flavor of the toasted poppy seeds all help to put this cake above most other lemon poppy seed cake recipes. The glaze intensifies the lemon flavor and enhances and then seals in moisture. This cake holds well and is a good traveler. It is well suited for an elegant dinner party or a backyard barbecue. Make it a day or two ahead of time to allow the flavors to develop. Store in an air tight cake keeper.
Deluxe Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
¼ c. poppy seeds
Zest of 1 lemon
3 c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. milk
½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
¼ c. lemon juice
½ c. sugar
Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 12 inch Bundt pan or a tube pan.
Place the poppy seeds into a small sheet pan with sides. Place in the preheated oven and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Zest the lemon and set aside.
Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside. In a 2 cup measure combine the milk and vanilla and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the poppy seeds and lemon zest and combine well. Scrape batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until pick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Make the glaze during the 10 minute cooling time. Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a non-reactive pan. Set on burner and turn heat to medium-low. Gently heat glaze stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. This will take approximately 10 minutes.
Turn cake onto the wire rack. Brush immediately with the lemon glaze. Use all the glaze. Cool cake completely.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Simple, but Satisfying

Cider is very close to being the Vermont state beverage. In the fall nothing tastes better than a cold glass of cider. But, in the winter when the chill is hard upon us, mulled cider warms deep. The word mull has many meanings, but in cooking it means to combine with sugar and spices to make a hot drink. This is a simple, but satisfying recipe for mulling cider.

Mulled Cider

1 gallon apple cider

1 tsp. whole allspice

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp. whole cloves

1 orange

Pour the cider into a non-reactive pot. Put the allspice and cinnamon sticks into an infuser, cheesecloth can also be used, and set aside. Cut two thick slices off the orange. Stud the peel of each with 6 whole cloves, and drop into the cider. Put any remaining cloves into the infuser or cheesecloth with the other spices. If using cheesecloth, tie it up with a piece of string. Drop the spices into the cider. Heat slowly and simmer gently for about an hour. When heated through and nicely fragrant, remove the spices and serve the cider in mugs

Mull It!

Mulled beverages help to take the chill off, which is why they are my beverage of choice during the colder winter months. This is a simple and uncomplicated recipe developed several years ago when I couldn’t find one I liked. Every recipe was over spiced, required too much additional sugar and/or brandy or some other alcoholic beverage. They did not appeal!

Notes: Expensive wine is not required here, jug wine does the job quite nicely. If you prefer a sweeter mulled wine, add a tablespoon or two of sugar. A jigger or two of Napoleon brandy adds a nice kick, if that appeals. We entertain in numbers, fewer than twelve is uncommon, so this recipe is formulated for a gallon, but the quantity can be adjusted to suit your needs. Any unconsumed wine can be poured back into the bottle and consumed later or used in cooking.

Mulled Wine

1 gallon Burgundy

1/4 whole almonds

½ c. raisins

2 cinnamon sticks

1 orange

Whole cloves

2 dried figs

1 c orange juice

About one hour before serving, pour the Burgundy into a non-reactive pot. Place the almonds and raisins in an infuser or tie in a piece of cheesecloth and drop into the wine. Add the cinnamon sticks, figs and orange juice. Cut four thick slices off the orange, and stud the rind of each with 5 cloves. Add them to the pot. Turn the burner to low and gently heat the wine. Do not allow to boil. When heated through, remove the spices, ladle into mugs or heat-proof glasses and serve.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Slice and Bake

If you have not yet developed a relationship with refrigerator cookies, I suggest you start here and now. Refrigerator cookies are a baker’s dream. The dough can be prepped a day or two in advance and then sliced and baked just in time to serve your guests cookies fresh from the oven. Slice and bake them all or only as many as you need.

My relationship with refrigerator cookies began about the time I discovered this recipe, and it has remained strong these many years. This recipe was copied into the back of my high school history notebook from some woman’s magazine, unlike many of its neighbors, it has survived the test of time. This is a straightforward, uncomplicated refrigerator cookies. It requires a little care in its preparation and baking, for which you are rewarded with a deliciously beautiful cookie.

Notes for this cookie: Use unsalted butter only, no substitutes. Pure vanilla extract only, please! Finely chopping glaceed cherries is a nuisance but it must be done. Use a sharp knife and take care with your fingers! Do not be tempted to over-bake these cookies, as they become very hard. Bake just until the edges are set and lightly golden.

Santa’s Whiskers

1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1 c. sugar

2 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

2-1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. finely chopped red glaceed cherries

1/4 c. finely chopped green glaceed cherries

¾ c. sweetened flaked coconut

In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the milk and vanilla. Blend in the flour. Add the glaceed cherries and mix just until blended in. Divide dough into two equal portions. For into two rolls 8 inches long and approximately 2 inches in diameter. Place the coconut on a sheet of wax paper. Roll each log in the coconut. Wrap and waxed paper and chill several hours or over night.

Preheat oven to 375. Have ungreased cookie sheets handy.

Remove logs from refrigerator one at a time. Remove wax paper and place the log on a cutting board. Cut ¼ inch thick slices, rotating log as necessary during cutting to keep slices round, and place on cookie sheets. Repeat with the remaining log. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until the edges are golden. Middle will still be soft, but sets during cooling. Rotate sheets halfway through baking time.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Spectacular Cookie

This spectacular cookie has been part of my holiday baking repertoire since my high school days. Regrettably, I don’t remember how the recipe came to me. But, more important—it did! This is what I call a “fussy” cookie, which means it has lots of steps and takes time. But, it is worth the effort. The cookie is a good keeper, looks fantastic on a cookie platter, and tastes fabulous.

Notes for this cookie: Use unsalted butter only, no substitutes. Use pure vanilla extract. Due to the number of steps required to assemble this cookie, do each stage completely before moving onto the next. For example, measure out all the balls, then roll and shape the wreaths, then brush all the wreaths with egg white, etc. To insure that cookies do not stick to the sheets, remove them immediately to wire racks to cool.

Norwegian Wreaths

1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1-1/2 c.confectioner’s sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. finely grated orange peel

2-1/2 c. flour

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Additional granulated sugar

Red and green glaceed cherries for garnish

Preheat oven to 375. Have handy 4 ungreased cookie sheets. Cut 8 red glaceed cherries in half and cut each have into quarters—one piece for each cookie. Cut green glaceed cherries in half and cut each half into 6 or eight pieces—2 for each cookie.

Cream together the butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, and orange peel and mix to combine. On low blend in the flour.

Using a 1 Tbsp. scoop measure out all the dough. Roll each portion into a pencil thin strip 5 inches long. Form the “wreaths” by shaping each strip into a circle with overlapping ends and place on cookie sheets. Brush each “wreath” with lightly beaten egg white, sprinkle with sugar. Place a piece of red glaceed cherry where the ends of the “wreath” overlaps, and a piece of green glaceed cherry on each side.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until the cookie is set, but not browned. Rotate sheets half-way through baking time.

Remove cookies from sheets to wire racks immediately. Cool completely. Store in air tight container separated by was paper.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Buttery Deliciousness

My mother made Spritz every year for her Christmas cookie platter. The memories of watching my mother extrude the dough onto the sheets from her press still live in my mind’s eye. I can taste their buttery richness and savor that taste memory. Crisp, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness!

Spritz make a wonderful addition to any cookie platter. The combination of quick and easy to make combined with great taste make this cookie a baker’s delight. That Spritz also look fantastic is a bonus. Butter must be used in this recipe, and preferably unsalted. It is important not to substitute. Butter is important for flavor, but also the proper texture for extruding and baking. Use pure vanilla extract. Vanilla flavored extract just doesn’t have the same flavor. To make your own colored sugar how-to--click here.

A word about cookie presses. Simple is the by-word here. There are many different types, and I’ve used a number of them. Don’t bother with fancy presses as they just don’t work all that well. Get yourself an old aluminum Mirro model, in my humble opinion, these are the absolute best cookie presses. They aren’t difficult to find. Check yard sales, second hand stores, and antique shops, and they are also plentiful on E-Bay.

There are a number of Spritz recipes in my cookie recipe box, and someday they may be posted here. But, it is the basic simply delicious Scandinavian vanilla Spritz that has the honor of being posted first.

Christmas Tree Spritz

1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 c. sugar

3 egg yolks

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2-1/2 c. flour

Preheat oven to 400. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and flavoring and mix thoroughly. Add the flour and mix to combine. Do not over beat. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Fit the cookie press with the Christmas Tree plate. Place one of the portions of dough into the press.

Extrude onto ungreased cookie sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough. Decorate cookies using green tinted sugar, colored nonpareils, and a silver or gold dragee or yellow “deco” star as the “tree topper.” Bake 4 to 6 minutes or until cookie is set. Rotate sheets halfway during baking time. Remove immediately to racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container separated by wax paper. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day or Christmas, That Is The Question

At holiday time we traveled south to visit Bella and spend some time in one of our favorite cities--Boston. The evening found us serving dinner in our hotel room. We served a giant platter of holiday cookies and confections for dessert.

It was extraordinarily gratifying to watch the cookies disappear. Our young guests were very civilized about sharing them—there weren't enough for everyone to have one of each kind. Someone commented on the small round cookie with the red center, and what was it called? Well, it isn’t called anything—it’s new and needs a name. Some time went by and names were tossed around and the platter continued to empty. Then Steb, Bella’s beau, said, “Cranberry Love Buttons.” What? “I think you should call them Cranberry Love Buttons!” And, so the cookie was named.

It was decided that this cookies would also make a lovely Valentine's Day treat.

Cranberry Love Buttons

Cranberry Filling:

See my earlier post “I’ll Take Mine Whole Please”.


1-3/4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. allspice

½ c. unsalted butter, at room temp.

¾ c. brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. grated orange peel

Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. In another bowl cream together the butter, the brown sugar and the orange peel until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients and beat to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease cookies sheets and set aside.

Measure dough into 1 inch balls using a 1 Tbsp. scoop. Roll between your hands to round and smooth. Place shaped balled onto the prepared cookie sheets two inches apart. Make a small indentation about halfway through the thickness of the cookie. (The rounded end of the handle of a wooden spoon works quite well.) Using a teaspoon, fill the indentation with cranberry sauce, mounding it slightly.

Bake the cookies for 8 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and firm. Rotate halfway through baking time. Remove cookies from baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container separated by wax paper.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

To Soak or Not To Soak

Terminology can be so confusing! Legumes and beans are often used interchangeably when talking about this food group. I generally refer to legumes as beans, but here for the sake of clarity I will use only legumes.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with opening a can of legumes and adding them to a soup, salad or other dish. The variety of legumes available in cans is somewhat limited, but they do the job! But, if you have the time and the inclination, preparing and cooking your own legumes is worth the effort. Prepared fresh they taste better and have a higher nutritional value due to less processing. DH likes legumes in his soup, so we tend to eat more of this food group in the winter months. Two big jars containing different combinations of legumes sit on the shelf in the kitchen.

There is disagreement among chefs about soaking legumes. Some chefs believe that soaking for any length of time causes legumes to ferment, negatively affecting their flavor. What follows is how I prepare and cook legumes.

Preparing Legumes

3 c. legumes


1 Tbsp. kosher salt

Wash the legumes, pick them over and place in a large stainless steel pot. Cover with water and add the salt. Bring the legumes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes. Place a large colander in the sink. Remove the legumes from the stove and carefully pour them into the colander to drain. Rinse the legumes. Rinse the pot. Put the legumes back into the pot and cover them with fresh water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes. Once again, strain the legumes, and rinse. Wash the pot and place the legumes into it one more time.

Cover generously with fresh water and again bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the beans for several hours or until they are tender. Make sure the legumes stay covered with water during cooking.

When the legumes are cooked, drain away the liquid and thoroughly rinse.

The legumes can be used immediately, refrigerated for a day or two or frozen for future use.

Makes approximately 8 cups

A Lasting Impression

My first experience with this cake was a revelation. Or so it seemed at the time—I was probably eight or nine years old and this cake seemed so very exotic. I was visiting a neighbor, someone from a place called Vermont, and she was making upside down gingerbread using peaches. Hmmmm……

Unusual though it seemed the combination made a lasting impression, and soon I was experimenting trying to duplicate that deliciousness. (I began cooking very early and have been doing it ever since!) Over the years this recipe changed considerably, but stabilized to its present form about twelve years ago. It is my extreme pleasure to post my recipe for Peachy Upside Down Gingerbread.

Peachy Upside Down Gingerbread


2 15 oz. cans peaches in heavy syrup, drained, syrup reserved

2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. cinnamon


1 c. molasses

¼ c. reserved peach syrup

¾ c. boiling water

2-1/4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. cloves

¼ tsp. nutmeg

½ c. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 egg

Select a 9 inch round or square pan. Grease, line with parchment paper, and grease and flour. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350.

Drain the peaches, reserving ¼ c. of the syrup. In a small bowl combine the 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Combine with fingers. Sprinkle evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. If using a square pan, arrange peaches evenly in rows. If using a round pan, arrange peaches in concentric circles. Set aside.

To prepare the batter combine the molasses, ¼ c. of the reserved syrup (discard any remaining syrup), and the boiling water. Stir to combine. Set aside. Measure the flour, baking soda, salt and spices into a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the molasses mixture and beat on low until well combined. Scrape the bowl. Add the flour mixture and beat on low just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan being careful not to disturb the arranged peaches. Spread the batter evenly and smooth the surface. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. After the 10 minute resting time, invert the cake immediately onto a wire rack. Reset peach slices as necessary.

If serving warm, carefully slide the cake onto a serving plate. If serving cold, cool completely on the wire rack and transfer to a serving plate or platter. Serve with whipped cream.


This spectacular cheesecake became part of my standard repertoire many years ago. It was often requested by customers and is still requested by family and friends. Once my father tasted this cheesecake, it was his birthday cake of choice! Bella asks for either this cheesecake or Upside Down Gingerbread for her birthday cake.

This is not a difficult cheesecake, but it does require planning and a little care. Here are some notes to insure success. Do not use low-fat cream cheese or sour cream, as it will result in an inferior cheesecake. The fat is essential to creating the proper texture. The gingersnaps are an essential component to the success of this cheesecake and must be a hard variety or the crust will be soggy. Do not substitute graham crackers. Although used often for cheesecake crust, graham crackers are an inferior choice as they tend to become mushy or soggy. Bosc pears are my pear of choice for this recipe due to their flavor and texture. Do not use overly ripe pears as they will not hold their shape during poaching. The texture of the pears is essential, so it is important not to overcook them. Watch the pears closely during poaching and cook until just tender. When preparing the filling, do not over beat as this will incorporate too much air and affect the texture of the cheesecake. Following these notes and the recipe below will assist you in successfully making Ginger Pear Cheesecake. Yum!

Ginger Pear Cheesecake


10 oz. ginger snaps

6 oz. unsalted butter, melted


3 Bosc pears

½ c. granulated sugar

2 c. cold water

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature

2 eggs, room temperature

2 tsp. ground ginger

10 oz. sour cream, room temperature


½ c. heavy cream

1 tsp. ground ginger

¼ c. crystallized ginger, diced

Select a deep 9” spring form pan. Butter and set aside. Preheat oven to 300.

In a 1-quart stainless steel pan, measure the sugar and the cold water. Place the pan on the stove and turn burner to medium. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Peel, core and thinly slice the pears. When the sugar is dissolved, add the prepared pears to the sugar water. If the sugar water does not cover the pears, add more water. Gently simmer the pears just until tender. When the pears are cooked remove them from the stove, carefully strain discarding the liquid.

While the pears are poaching prepare the crust. Place the gingersnaps in the work bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Pour the melted butter through the feed tube and pulse until mixed well. Remove the lid and finish mixing by hand if necessary. Scrape into the prepared pan and press evenly and firmly up the sides and over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Place the sugar and cream cheese in a bowl and beat with a mixer until light and smooth. Beat in the eggs until combined. Add the ginger and the sour cream. Beat just until combined. Do not over beat.

Arrange the poached pears in the bottom of the prepared crust. Scrape the filling on top, spread evenly and smooth.

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 1 hour or until the filling is set. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely. When cooled, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, and preferably overnight.

Several hours before serving, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and place on the counter. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Carefully run a thin sharp knife between the crust and the pan. If this does not happen easily, allow to sit a little while longer and try again. When this has been accomplished, remove the rim and prepare the whipped cream. Place the heavy cream in a bowl and whip to stiff peaks.

Using two teaspoons or a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, make dollops or rosettes around the inside edge of the crust and one in the middle. Place the ginger in a fine sieve and dust over the rosettes. Sprinkle the rosettes with the diced ginger. Return to the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Melt-in-Your-Mouth Experience

When looking over this blog, it occurred to me that, well, for a specialty baker, there sure wasn’t much by way of baking posted! That prompted some thought on my part about why. What I realized is that I’m just not baking that much anymore. I used to spend at least 8 hours every day baking, now I probably don’t spend that much time baking in a month! Who would I bake for? With Bella off on her own, there are no hungry hoards coming and going, or customers placing orders. DH loves to eat whatever I bake, but he just packs on those pounds making for a continuous battle of the bulge.

Baking is still a pleasure, but what I enjoy most is research and development. It has always my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. To come up with an idea and make it over and over until the finished product is as I envisioned it. When my business was in full swing, I had tasters who would critique a product. Now, I just have DH and anyone who happens to be here when something new is being served. This past weekend it was The Spatherdabs, my book club, who did product testing. They declared this cake to be a delicious melt-in-your-mouth experience.

This is a recipe began several years ago, but I never got it quite right. This last time did the trick. Here are some notes for this recipe. Use a heavy weight Bundt pan or a stoneware Bundt pan. Even if you are using a non-stick pan, always grease and flour your baking pan, as this creates the desired texture on the outside of the cake. Make sure the butter is at room temperature for proper creaming. When alternately adding the flour and buttermilk—always begin and end with the flour. This has to do with creating the proper texture and gluten activation. Use the freshest and highest quality spices possible. I purchase most of my spices from Penzey's. The pumpkin puree used in this recipe is some I put by in the autumn (see my earlier post “First You Select A Pumpkin” for puree how to) and has an exceptional flavor, but commercial will do just fine. This recipe is designed for dried cranberries, but dark or golden raisins can be substituted. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bundt Cake
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp. ginger
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
2 c. pumpkin puree
2/3 c. buttermilk
1-1/2 c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 12 cup Bundt pan.

Measure dry ingredients into a bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Place sugars and butter in a bowl and cream using a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat at medium speed to combine. Add pumpkin puree, and beat at medium speed until combined. Still on medium speed, add flour and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. On low speed, add the cranberries and mix just until combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan.
Smooth surface.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until pick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan onto a wire rack and cool completely.