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RECIPES: Cranberry Calico Cake and Frosting

November 6, 2013


RECIPES:  Cranberry Calico Cake and Frosting


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



            To kick off the holiday season, I am sharing with you two of my favorite holiday recipes.  In this duet of recipes, the cranberry is the highlighted ingredient.  As a big fan of all things cranberry, I landed in the right state:  Wisconsin is the largest producer of cranberries in the nation. 


            Back in the early 1970s, one of Terre Haute, Indiana’s major radio stations had a weekday program entitled “The Tip Show”—a recipe-exchange program which was aptly hosted by Mrs. Jean Shutt.  From this enjoyable radio program on WBOW-AM (Banks of the Wabash), I acquired a number of unique recipes, including the two which follow.  Although today many cooking shows are broadcast on public and cable television stations, I am not aware of any radio station that airs a regular recipe-exchange program:  in this computer age, recipes are exchanged via the internet.


            If you are not a fan of the holiday fruitcake, Cranberry Calico Cake is a superb alternative.  In my baking days, I made this recipe many times.  Cranberry Calico Cake, with its Cranberry Calico Frosting, became one of our traditional family recipes for the holiday season.  I hope that you enjoy these tasty recipes as much as my family and I.



Cranberry Calico Cake:  A Great Alternative to Fruitcake


1.  Chop one-half cup nuts (walnuts).


2.  Chop one-half cup dates.


3.  Chop one cup fresh cranberries.


4.  Grease and flour an 8”-by-8” glass baking dish.


5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


6.  Sift together 1-1/2 cups flour, one teaspoon baking soda, and one-fourth teaspoon salt.


7. Cream one-half cup butter with three-fourths cup sugar; add two eggs (one at a time) and then beat well.


8.  Alternately add flour mixture, one-fourth cup milk, and one-fourth cup orange juice to the creamed mixture; then, beat well. 


9.  Fold in nuts, dates, and cranberries.


10. After leveling out the mixture in the baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for forty minutes.


11. After the cake (sweet bread) has cooled, top with Cranberry Calico Frosting (printed below).


ALTERNATIVES:  I have also made this recipe in one standard-sized bread pan or two small loaf pans.  If you double the recipe, you can use either a 13”-by-9” pan, a tube pan, or a Bundt pan.


Cranberry Calico Frosting


1.  Soften three-ounce package of cream cheese to room temperature.


2.  Stir in two to four tablespoons jellied (canned) cranberry sauce.


3.  Gradually add one-pound box of powdered sugar; mix well.


4.  After you frost the cake, refrigerate your “great alternative to fruitcake.”  Cranberry Calico Cake stores well in an airtight, plastic container (with or without the frosting).  Before serving, allow cake to come to room temperature.  If you anticipate serving all the cake more quickly, the cake need not be refrigerated.


Happy Baking!

Happy November!



November 6, 2013, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. I really enjoyed our stop in Toma, Wisconsin, last summer to shop for genuine Wisconsin cranberry items. Of course, my favorite was the dark chocolate-covered cranberries! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe, Alice!
    Love, Mary

  2. I don’t remember having this, but I look forward to trying it very soon. Thanks, Alice; it sounds scrumptious!

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