What’s the ONE thing you simply have to bake for Thanksgiving every year?

When we asked that question last year, we got an avalanche of comments. It was great fun, everyone sharing plans for their favorite Thanksgiving treats.

Year in and year out, my absolute must-make at Thanksgiving is Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns.

Then there's Apple Pie - of course.

But this year, requests are pouring in for “that cranberry cake you made last year.”

Snuggled amid the pumpkin and apple and pecan pies, the cherry cheesecake, and the gingerbread cookies on last year's Thanksgiving groaning board, this humble, simple cake disappeared before any of its richer, fancier cohorts.

Problem is, I have two favorite cranberry cake recipes, and can't remember which I brought to the feast last year.

Was it Cranberry Cake #1, with its cranberries on top?

Or Cranberry Cake #2, with a thin layer of cake atop cranberries and walnuts (pictured at the top of this post)?

Maybe I'll do both and stage a taste-off!

And, since the recipe for cake #2 isn't posted on our site, here it is, courtesy of the late Laurie Colwin via Gourmet magazine. Though I've tweaked Laurie's recipe a bit, it's still hers. Thanks, Laurie... all these years later, you're still making your fans happy.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 9” square pan.

Pour 2 cups fresh or frozen/thawed cranberries into the pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped walnuts on top.

Mix the following:

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

*Use 1/4 teaspoon salt if you're using salted butter.

Pour the batter over the cranberries/nuts. Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is starting to brown. And yes, the recipe is correct as written; there's NO baking powder or baking soda.

But back to my original question: What are YOU baking for Thanksgiving? Tell us about your Thanksgiving specialties, your personal favorite dish, memories, anything and everything having to do with Thanksgiving baking.

Thanksgiving is all about sharing. Please share you story: with us here at KA, and with your thousands of fellow blog readers. Personally, I’m looking forward to finding another MUST BRING to add to my dinner rolls and cranberry cake – how about you?

Filed Under: Recipes
PJ Hamel
The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!