Fa la la la la! It’s baking season and this cake was a hit. Of course we all love cookies, and I have plenty of those on the list. My people love a breakfast sweet, and this has stood in for a simple dinner dessert on occasion as well. I know you all love to have a spread planned for holiday mornings, so hope this works for those of you gluten free folks. We always have sweet rolls, but I may double up this year since everyone liked this cake so much. I’ll say it again, like we do with the lemon loaf or banana bread, toasted for a few minutes for a bit of a crisp edge is lovely.
I have made many dense gf baked goods, but I’m starting to figure out the ratios. Eggs are important for strength, going all almond flour turns out pretty dense, so I cut it with superfine brown rice flour like I learned from Aran of Canelle et Vanille. Hugh is the gluten free one in the family, but I have found the kids don’t question a thing when it looks like cookies and cake and sugar. I added some swap suggestions in the headnote.
GLUTEN FREE CRANBERRY TEA CAKE
This could be part of a breakfast spread or a dessert. It is sweet and seasonal but we nibbled at it most in the afternoon with a second (er, third) cup of coffee or tea. It has a good amount of moisture, so it sits well at room temperature for a day or two, then should be kept covered in the fridge. Great served with a dollop of plain yogurt in the morning or sweetened creme fraiche for dessert.
Dairy-free option is to replace the buttermilk with non-dairy milk with a squeeze of lemon juice – oat or almond both great, coconut is a bit heavy. You don’t need it gluten free, replace the almond and rice flours with 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour.
Not cranberry season? try lemon blueberry or almond raspberry (replace the vanilla with almond extract).
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter (vegan butter works great!), room temperature
3/4 cup cane sugar
2 Tbsp. avocado or coconut oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (or non-dairy milk with a squeeze of lemon juice)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of one orange
1 cup almond flour
1 cup superfine brown rice flour (I buy this one)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 cups (8 oz.) fresh or frozen cranberries, roughly chopped
turbinado sugar, for finishing
sweetened yogurt, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350’ and parchment line and butter a 8-9” cake pan.
In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. At least 3 minutes. Add the oil, eggs, buttermilk, maple, vanilla, orange zest and beat again to incorporate. Add the almond and rice flours, baking powder, salt and fold it a few times. Add half the cranberries and fold again. Transfer it to your prepared pan, sprinkle the remaining cranberries over top, swipe it down to an even layer, and sprinkle the top generously with turbinado sugar.
Bake on the middle rack for about 50 minutes, until tested in the center and only a few crumbs (no batter!) come out with it. If the top starts to get to brown, cover it with a piece of parchment or foil. Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with yogurt or sweetened creme fraiche.