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.