Pudding cakeÂ will always be one of my favorite cool-weather desserts. As good as it is all year round, you can’t beatÂ the warmth of aÂ sticky, gooey pudding cake fresh from the oven onÂ a winterÂ evening. Chocolate pudding cakes are tough to beat, but I’m a big fan of citrus pudding cakes as well. Lemon, lime and orange all get top marks from me when citrus is in season. It can be a bit boring to make the same dessert over and over again (no matter how good it is), so I’ve been experimenting with making a few additions to my pudding cakes.
I decided to try a Cranberry Orange Pudding Cake because I like my Cranberry Orange Breadso much. I made my usual pudding cake recipe and added dried cranberries to it. The cranberries sank to the bottom, soaked up some of the sauce from the pudding cake and became plump and flavorful during baking. If you have orange-flavored cranberries, you’ll get an even more orangy result. Whole cranberries, if you’re curious, will work out ok in this recipe, but were a bit too tart with this homey, sweet dish. A blend of whole and dried may be the ticket if you want to up the tartness in the dessert.
The cake bakes into a light sponge layer and a thick pudding layer in the oven. You do need to put it into a shallow water bath to help the sauce portion of the cake form. Make very sure that the water in your water bath doesn’t come more than 1/2-inch up the sides of the dish with the cake in it. If you have too much water, the pudding part of the cake will not thicken and your dessert will be very runny. It’s better to have a little bit less of a very good, thick custard than to try to make it overly saucy and end up with pudding cake soup.
Cranberry Orange Pudding Cake
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup orange juice, preferably fresh
1 tbsp orange zest
2/3 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place a 9-inch cake pan, filled with about 1/2 inch of water, into the oven. Grease a 1 quart (4 cup) souffle dish and set aside. Water should come no more than 1/2-inch up the side of the souffle dish when it is placed in the bath.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour and salt. Add in egg yolks, orange juice, orange zest and milk, and whisk thoroughly.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Stir or fold egg whites gently into orange mixture, until everything is well combined. Fold in dried cranberries. Pour mixture into prepared souffle dish and gently place in water bath.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the cake has risen and begun to pull away from the sides of the dish. Serve warm.