Autumn Harvest Cranberry Filled New England Bundt Cake

If you are feeling like you want to stretch your baking muscles this lovely fall day, try this recipe.  In 2008 I competed in NECN new’s TV Diner Bake Off and this was the winning recipe.  Other than the Topsfield Fair, this was my first head to head competition and after I won, I realized I was totally hooked on contesting!

Here’s the link to the judging portion of the show:

This is a filled bundt cake with a glaze.  There is a lot of batter and this recipe requires a large bundt pan (like the Nordic Ware original pan) that can hold 10-15 cups of batter plus the filling.  If you have a basic tube cake pan it will work as well.   Check your pan and often times they are marked with the measurement.  If all else fails, fill a one cup measuring cup with water and see how many cups your pan holds.    Make sure to grease your pan well.  I use a canola oil baking spray and go over it twice.   As always, you can email me with any questions about the cake (or any recipe I have) before you get started.  This one is worth the effort, believe me!

Taste of New England Harvest Bundt Cake

For the Filling

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup Vermont maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons Cape Cod whole berry cranberry sauce
1/3 cup dried Cape Cod cranberries, chopped

For the Cake:

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 cup butternut squash or pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping

1/2 cup Macintosh, Granny Smith or other tart New England apple sauce
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons apple brandy
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup New England hazelnuts, toasted and chopped ( may substitute walnuts)
1/4 cup sweetened dried Cape Cod cranberries chopped

In a medium bowl prepare the filling. Beat together cream cheese, egg, cornstarch and maple syrup.  Add brown sugar, butter, salt and cinnamon, cranberries and cranberry sauce until combined.  Refrigerate until ready to use but for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heavily grease a 12 cup Bundt pan and set aside.

In another bowl sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl beat granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add eggs one at time and mix until blended. Beat in squash, sour cream and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

Spoon one third of the batter into the pan. Spoon filling in a circle on top of batter but do not allow filling to touch the edge of the pan (a tiny ice cream scoop is perfect for this). Top with remaining batter.

Bake for 55-65 minutes until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 15 minutes. Turn out on to serving plate to cool completely.

Before serving, make the glaze.  Whisk together apple sauce, confectioners sugar, cinnamon, brandy, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cake and sprinkle with hazelnuts and cranberries. Enjoy!


  • OMG, Laurie, that looks amazing!


  • Thank you Kathleen! It really is tasty–and not nearly as tricky to make as it might seem! Looks great on a dessert buffet for Thanksgiving.


  • Can not possibly wait til Thanksgiving to make this- we want it now!
    Major yum!


  • Gosh, Laurie, this looks TERRIFIC! I may play with it a little bit; if I do, I’ll let you know how it comes out!

    Your inland fellow cook,


  • Thank you Tinky! Just signed up for your site too!

    The possibilities are endless here–you can change up the filling flavor pretty easily with jam or marmalade etc. and use applesauce (drained) or some other puree for the cake itself. The key is to chill the filling.

    I actually won the King Arthur contest at the Topsfield Fair in “08 with a version of this one.

    Let me know it comes out.


  • Wow, does that look good! Congrats on the contest wins 🙂 I came across your site while searching for cranberry bundts that would fill my 15-cup Bundt pan. I’ll probably be making this soon, and posting it to my blog (with credit and linking back to you, of course!).


    • Thank You Dorothy! I am happy to share. You can change up the nuts, change the pumpkin to squash puree and change the cranberries to currants or another dried fruit and have an entirely different cake if you wanted to. And yes, please let me know how it comes out! The key to the filling is small scoops and a very cold filling.


  • Thank you so much Dorothy! I was thrilled to see my cake on your blog this morning! I am totally flattered!


    • Update: Your cake WON the All Through the Year Cheer: Thanksgiving recipe round-up! Proving once again that your recipe is a real prize winner! Thanks 🙂


      • Unbelievable! I am so excited for you and for me! What did you win? This is terrific! I think this combination can be used with enough variable to make it an entirely new cake too!


Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s