Cranberry cake |

If you would look deep into my heart you’d see that I am a little sorry that I will not be home for Christmas this year. Not that I have such warm and fuzzy feelings of Christmas spend with family. Far from it. Family christmas was always a rather unhappy affair. With arguments and tense situations to go along with it. We came for my parents but it was never really fun. Or at least not as far as I can remember. Things have changed a lot since than. My parents are old and in need of constant care, so these days the family gatherings tend to be ‘meetings’ to discuss what to do with what situation.

Cranberry cake |

I’m not a ‘family tiger’ and I would be the first to say that you pick your friends but not your family. Not that I hate them or that we are on non speaking terms, but I don’t think we have a very warm relationship either. It’s just one of those things. I wish it would be different but quite frankly by now it is far too late to change anything.

I see my sisters maybe a few times a year and my brother even less. We talk via Facebook and email, mostly about things that need to be done for my folks. Go with dad to the dentist/hospital/library/whatever… My sisters do most of the work, to be fair. I struggle with finding the time to do anything. It’s particularly busy at the moment and it’s hard to respond to last minute requests to go to the dentist or such. I can’t reschedule a whole book launch just because my dad needs a filling in his tooth. It’s different if you have a ‘normal’ job and colleagues who can take over. It’s just me and yes, life will go on if I don’t show up, but at the end of the day it would also mean no income. So I have to decline 9 out of 10 times. I will go if I can. I just usually cannot.

Cranberry cake |

Not sure my sisters really understand how it is and I’m pretty sure it is really irritating, but it’s what it is. I go when I can and I do stuff when I can.

How on earth did I get to this – rather unpleasant – topic?? Ah yes, Christmas.

So yes, while I have no real good reason to like it so much I do. It’s the thought of romance in the air, of long walks in freshly fallen snow, warming up by the fireplace and drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream… Not that most of that ever happens. I don’t think we’ve seen a white Christmas in a long long time, but still. I love the season. Fun with friends. cooking for friends and more of that.

But not this year. This year we’ll be in Madeira. With Tom’s family this time. His brother, sister and law and father. So the five of us. In an apartment. Not sure how that will be. I have a hard time imagining how I will survive for two weeks but I guess time will tell. Also pretty sure there will be no snow in Madeira (but miracles happen at Christmas right?) and also pretty sure we will not be eating this delicious cake either.

The best part of Christmas is always the test cooking. Endlessly testing out new recipes to eat at Christmas and I’m sadly going to miss that. Of course I will still be pretending I’m gonna be there. I’ll just cook for you guys!

How does that sound? I’ll start of with this fabulous cranberry cake. A bit on the sour side, so if you don’t like that you are wise to add a bit of icing over the top of the cake to make it a bit sweeter. It has my favorite ingredient of the year in there: cranberries.

Cranberry cake |
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Cranberry cake

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins


  • 250 gr eggs at roomtemperature
  • 250 gr sugar
  • 250 gr selfraising flour
  • 250 gr butter melted and cooled down
  • 175 gr cranberries
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • icing sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 175 ˚C.
  • Mix egg, sugar, salt, lemonjuice and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whip on high for a few minutes. It should triple in size.
  • Fold through the flour and once combined fold in the melted butter. Mix until it is a smooth batter.
  • Bake for about 35-40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Author: Simone van den Berg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @simoneskitchen or tag #simoneskitchen!

Cranberry cake |

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