Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

I'm not sure that I can technically call whatever that was going on outside my window yesterday "a blizzard," but let's just go with it. (It was definitely some kind of crazy.)

The polar vortex has struck again, and I'm on a self-imposed lock down. I had an event to attend last night, and was actually super excited about it (it was 60s ski party themed!!), but...I could barely get around the block, let alone 100+ blocks.

So instead of parties and cocktails, it was braised lamb shanks and The Mindy Project (so good!) and working on the couch in my fleece-lined leggings (admittedly, not a bad compromise).

Oh...and there was cake.

(Because there should always be cake.)

We're lucky to still have a few slices of my Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake leftover from last weekend's brunch. I love this cake. It's moist and tender with the perfect amount of tart fresh cranberries and dark chocolate chips studded throughout.

The recipe is adapted from a beautiful coffee cake I found on Joy the Baker's site. Her's is a majorly gorgeous cake with pecans and streusel and icing. It was what I originally planned to make for my brunch, but I got lazy and skipped the struesel and icing and nuts. (And added chocolate. And extracts.)

I did keep one very awesome thing about the original recipe, which is that the main liquid in it is orange juice. Just pure juice--no buttermilk or anything else! It adds this lovely flavor to the whole thing and is (to me) the perfect winter cake.

Great in the late morning with a mug of coffee. Lovely as a light dessert after lunch. And simply fantastic in the evening when snuggled up on the couch watching television.

Even better? This recipe makes 2 loaves with no extra work. One to keep and one to share. Or one to eat and one to freeze (for later).

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Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Makes 2 9x5-inch loaves. Adapted from Joy the Baker.
 
Ingredients
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups orange juice (use something fresh and pulpy--or squeeze your own!)
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups whole fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line two 9x5" loaf pans with parchment paper so that it overhangs on the sides.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, orange juice, zest, and extracts.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined with no dry spots left. Gently fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly between loaf pans, and bake about 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from loaf pans and let cool completely on a rack. 


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