Orange Cranberry Cake, Slow Cooker Style!

Orange Cranberry Cake, Slow Cooker Style!

Yes, I admit it - I love my slow cooker!

There's just nothing like spending a few minutes prep time in the morning, then coming home to a nice tasty meal after a long day's work.  It feels like a small miracle to turn the front door key, only to be greeted with tantalizing, comforting aromas of a delicious dinner waiting there patiently for just for you.  A waft of hope at the end of a long day.

Soups, stews, roasts, perfectly cooked, nutritious and satisfying have been a mainstay in American households for years now.  The slow cooker, however, is so much more than that if you just give it a chance!

Baking in the crock is easier, and more delicious than many can imagine.  Creating cakes, breads & loafs, tortes, and sweet little cake bites takes just a bit of imagination, and only a few minutes prep time.  With a little planning in the morning, you can even have freshly baked quick breads ready for you when you arrive home at night, a happy addition to any meal. 

Let's get started with my favorite Orange Cranberry Cake!

Orange Cranberry Cake
Serves 3 - 4
2  Cups flour
1/2 Teaspoon salt
2   Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Cup sugar
2  Eggs
1/4 Cup butter
1  Teaspoon vanilla extract
2  Teaspoons orange extract
1/2 Cup orange juice
1  Teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup sour cream
1/2 Cup dried sweetened cranberries
Glaze:  Mix 1/4 Cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons water.

1.  Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.  
2.  In a separate bowl beat the eggs & butter until fluffy.  Add the vanilla & orange extracts and beat for 30 seconds.  Pour in the orange juice, milk, sour cream & orange zest, beat for an additional 30 seconds, then  gently fold the cranberries into the batter.
3.  Prepare the crock pot with non-stick spray, then fold three long strips of foil over several times to create long strips.  Place them crosswise in the pot, extending over the top sides.  These will be used to remove the cake when it's done.  
4.  Carefully pour the batter into the slow cooker pot.  Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours, then on low for 40 minutes, or simply unplug the crock and leave for work at this point!  Serve either warm or at room temperature.  If desired, serve with glaze.

Jennifer Ranger

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