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Recipes   /   Torta di Mirtilli Rossi – Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

Torta di Mirtilli Rossi – Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

Nov 23, 2015 by Gabriele Corcos


I did not grew up celebrating Thanksgiving in Tuscany… I vaguely remember a couple of American kids attending my middle school, and how jealous I was when their family made them skip school for a long November weekend. When two decades later I arrived in the US, got married and started producing kids, I finally started celebrating this Holiday with joy! I like being grateful, as I believe I do have a lot to be grateful for! 

However, as I started exploring the menu possibilities for this long weekend affair of family and food, I did realize how unprepared and oblivious to its traditional ingredients I was. Italians do not cook turkey that much (we are not fans of white meat), we really do not bake with pumpkin but rather make risotto with it, and I always got lost in translation with cranberries. So I decided to let go my sense of inadequacy and just rolled with it: what are the traditional ingredients for Thanksgiving? Ok then, let’s see how I can cook them in a Tuscan way.

This dessert is the first item I have ever developed for our Tuscan-American Thanksgiving, and it turned out so good that these days we also bake this batter into mini corn meal muffins that we serve fresh every morning at our shop in Brooklyn.

The cornmeal provides a wonderful and surprisingly homey texture, it is comforting but also has plenty of character because of the “grittiness”, the cranberries pop in your mouth delivering plenty of juice and truly merry well with this simple batter. Needless to say, my kids expect to be served their slice with a dollop of whipped cream… well, to be completely honest, that’s my favorite way to enjoy it as well!

Serves: 8 / Prep Time: 10 mins / Cooking Time: 45 mins


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rub a 10- inch cake pan with olive oil.

2Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and vanilla bean seeds.

3In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the olive oil, granulated sugar, and eggs. Beat until smooth, about 4 minutes.

4Add the milk and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

5Add the dry ingredients 1/4 cup at a time and mix until combined with no lumps, then stir in the cranberries.

6Pour the batter into the prepared pan, place on a sheet tray and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake come out clean, about 40 minutes.

7Let cool for 20 minutes before turning out onto a cake plate to serve.

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