Before I’d ever really heard of Dorie Greenspan, before I had seen the cookbook Around my French Table, or been introduced to French Fridays with Dorie, there was this cake. This amazing cranberry spice cake that I found in Bon Appetit magazine and it was Dorie’s recipe. Look how gorgeous the official photo looks! Well, I’ve been baking this cake at this time of year since the recipe appeared in 2008. It is the perfect cake for taking to a party, or simply having a slice with a cup of coffee (lately, I know people who have been eating it for breakfast!)
The recipe is fairly simple and straightforward. Butter, sugar, almond meal (I think this might have been my first use of it all those years ago – thanks again Dorie!), flour, etc. and then – Chinese Five Spice! Another revelation – and one of the best uses for that spice blend. Also, the recipe uses yogurt for tangy-ness and both dried and fresh cranberries.
The steps are fairly typical for any cake – creamed butter and sugar, the additions of the other ingredients, and then a stir-in of the cranberries and nuts.
The batter gets spread into a prepared bundt pan. I love using the vintage one that I’ve had for years. It was someone’s grandma’s – maybe my ex’s? But I still love it with its wonderful shape.
Then this gets baked for about 70 minutes in a 350 degree oven, you can test it with a toothpick or needle to see if it comes out clean. The cake turns a lovely golden color, and provides a delightful spicy aroma as it bakes.
To be honest, I never bother with the glaze. I’m sure it would be terrific with its hint of orange, but I think this cake is perfect as it is. Though for dessert, a little ice cream wouldn’t go amiss!
Hopefully you’ll try out this wonderful confection when you’re looking for something simple, yet fancy. So much simpler than cookies or pastries, but a big step up from other bundt-style cakes. And the perfect flavor combinations for this time of year!