Cranberry Almond Cake is a blank canvas for anything you’d like to add: fresh or dried fruit, nuts, seeds, candy, pretzels, etc… It can be made dairy free, vegan (use vegan butter and flax seeds) and gluten free (sub gluten free flour).
Last weekend we went to Ikea to look at furniture and kitchen supplies. On the way out, the smell of cinnamon rolls hit me like a brick. Even though it’s the middle of July, I couldn’t wait to go home and bake something with cinnamon! It’s one of my favorite spices and adds the perfect warm, slightly sweet flavor to baked goods.
I have a few all-time favorite cakes on the blog. Check out Banana Cake and it’s vegan version, Old Fashioned Peach Cake, Lemon Blueberry Cake, Gluten Free Lemon Cake and Apple Upside Down Cake. Inspired by Ikea’s evil cinnamon rolls, this delicious cinnamon cake is my new favorite.
Cake flour, brown sugar and cinnamon make this a moist, muffin like cake, perfect for breakfast, picnics, parties and last minute thangs.
Of course, you could replace the almonds with another nut or combination of nuts, oats, or even granola. Instead of cranberries, throw in fresh fruit like blueberries in summer and apples or pears in winter. The combinations are endless!
This easy cake is great for beginner or seasoned bakers, feeds a crowd and freezes beautifully.
For a crunchier cake, divide batter between two paper lined loaf pans and reduce baking time by half, checking with a toothpick for doneness.
The secret to perfect cake slices?
Let the cakes cool completely, then wrap well and freeze. Use a long bread or serrated knife to cut cake while frozen. Cut in half, then half again and again until you have 16 large squares or 32 small rectangles or triangles.
Dress up this snack cake with anything from trail mix to fresh fruit in season, crushed pretzels and /or chocolate chips. Can be dairy free, vegan or gluten free. Easy, no mixer required baking in about one hour.
- ¾ cup raw almonds or other nuts (100 gm.)
- ¾ cup dried cranberries or mix-in of choice (75 gm.)
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cool (or vegan butter) (170 gm.)
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature OR
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed mixed with 3 oz. (90 gm.) water
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla (10 gm.)
- 1½ cups cake flour (180 gm.) (or gluten free baking mix)
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder (10 gm.)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon (5 gm.)
- Adjust oven rack to bottom third and preheat to 325 F.
- Spray an 8 inch square glass or metal pan with cooking spray.
- For easy lifting: Tear off 2 sheets of heavy duty foil or parchment paper measuring 16 inches long and fold them 7 ½ inches wide. Place sheets across bottom and up both sides of the pan.
- Spray inside of foil with cooking spray
- Measure out all ingredients.
- Place almonds on a foil lined baking sheet and toast 10-15 minutes until browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
- Combine nuts with cranberries and set aside.
- Combine melted, slightly cooled butter with sugar and whisk to combine.
- Add in eggs or flax eggs and vanilla and whisk again.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon with a fork.
- (If using salted, vegan butter, omit extra salt.)
- Add 1 tablespoon of this flour mixture to the nut and cranberry mixture and stir.
- Using a rubber spatula, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquids.
- Gently stir and fold the batter just until flour lumps disappear. Fold in 3/4ths of the nuts and cranberries.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle reserved nuts and cranberries on top of cake. Bake 40 – 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean and dry. Let cool completely on a wire rack. For easier cutting, wrap and freeze and cut while frozen. Makes 16 large squares or 32 small rectangles or triangles.
- Serving suggestions: Serve with eggs and fruit for breakfast, with fruit and cheese at happy hour, dessert, on a picnic or road trip.