When turned right-side up onto a serving dish and brushed with melted jelly, we enjoyed beautiful, ruby-red cranberries with a sprinkling of nuts on this lightly spiced cake. Its 8-inch size is just right when serving a small group.
This cake is good served with a scoop of ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. I chose, instead, a drizzle of confectioners glaze.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup minus 2 TBSP sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans…I used walnuts
2 cups cranberries-fresh or frozen(if frozen, do not thaw)I used fresh
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 whole milk
1/3 cup red currant jelly, for glazing the cake
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Put a 8X2 inch round cake pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Melt 6 TBSP of the butter in a small saucepan. Sprinkle in 6 TBSP of the sugar and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Pour this evenly over the bottom of the cake pan, then scatter over the nuts and top with the cranberries, smoothing the layer and pressing it down gently with your fingertips. Set aside.
Working with a stand mixer, preferabley fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the remaining stick of butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to beat until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Pour in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter over the cranberries and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove it from the oven and run a blunt knife between the sides of the pan and the cake. Carefully turn the cake out onto a serving platter. If any of the berries stick to the pan-as they might-just scrape them off with a table knife and return them to the cake.
Warm the jelly in a small saucepan over low heat, or do this in a microwave oven. Gently brush the glaze over the hot cake.
From the Book Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.