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This moist, golden cake hides a double layer of cranberry sauce and a sprinkling of almonds. It’s a lovely cake for Thanksgiving breakfast; and makes a satisfying autumn dessert, as well. This recipe comes from our James Beard award-winning best-seller, "The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion."
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt (low-fat is fine)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (10 3/4 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup blanched slivered or sliced almonds, toasted*
3/4 cup (3 ounces) confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
*Spread almonds in an ungreased 9" round cake pan, and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup (9" to 9 ½") tube pan or bundt-style pan.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar till smooth. Beat in the eggs, then the buttermilk or yogurt and almond extract. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and beat briefly again, to make sure everything is well combined. Add the baking powder, baking soda, flour, and salt, stirring just to blend. Grease and flour a tube pan. Spoon half of batter into pan. Spread half of cranberry sauce evenly atop batter, then spread remaining batter over that. Top with remaining cranberry sauce, and sprinkle toasted almonds evenly over sauce.
Bake the cake for 55 minutes, tenting it with foil for the final 15 minutes. When it’s done, a cake tester inserted into the thickest part will come out clean, and the top will spring back when you press it gently. Remove the cake from the oven, and cool it in pan for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn it out of the pan onto a rack set over a piece of parchment, and stir together the glaze ingredients.
Drizzle the thin glaze over the warm cake. Let the cake cool completely before serving (or serve it warm, if you don't mind it crumbling a bit!)
Yield: 1 cake, 14 to 16 servings.