It’s morning. The sun starts to poke it’s welcoming rays over the horizon, the birds are singing their songs in anticipation of spring’s promise of warmth and I am inspired to bake a cake. One that sings the song that resides in my own heart.
What a wonderful world we live in.
Bundt cakes are born beautiful. They don’t need fancy frosting or intricate fondant. All they require is a well greased and floured pan.
Fresh whole-berry cranberry sauce is the secret ingredient here. Half a bag of frozen cranberries, some brown and granulated sugar, a touch of salt and a bit of water is brought to a simmer on the stove top.
Butter is creamed in your brand new stand mixer. Or with your totally capable hand mixer.
There’s that well buttered and floured pan.
An ice bath is the answer when you have to be to work and get your boy out the door to school, when there’s no time to let your homemade whole-berry cranberry sauce cool on it’s own.
Toast those slivered almonds, toast them real good.
The layers of this cake go like this: one layer of buttermilk laden batter is spread in the pan, one layer of cranberry sauce, a second layer of batter, a second layer of cranberries and then those slivered almonds.
Whip up the icing.
A bit of juice from the cranberry sauce is reserved for the icing, along with a smidge of almond extract and of course, confectioners sugar.
This cake will put a smile on your face.
Cranberry Almond Bundt Cake
Recipe adapted from Cake Simple by Christie Matheson
For the whole berry cranberry sauce:
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for 15 minutes, reserving a few tablespoons of juice for icing. Let sauce cool completely before using in the cake. If you use frozen cranberries, decrease the water by 1/4-1/2 cup.
For the cake:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a bundt pan extremely well. Whisk flour, powder, soda and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
Place half the batter into the bundt pan, cover with half the cranberry sauce. Place the remaining batter over top of cranberry sauce, and then swirl with remaining cranberry sauce. Sprinkle almonds over top. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with icing.
For the icing:
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1-3 tablespoons reserved cranberry juice