Absolutely Almond Cranberry Crusted Cake

I come from a long line of sturdy German/Scandinavian farm women long devoted to potluck pride. These are stoic, sensible women that do what needs to be done with no room for nonsense, fashion or attention-getting schemes. So the potluck is their way of showing off in a way that allows them to pretend it's not showing off.

"Oh, land sakes. They're just cookies!" they'd say. "Aw, haven't you ever seen a casserole before? 'Twasn't anything special." No compliments are ever accepted, but we know they are proud of their potluck offerings - you can tell by the sparkle in their eye and the slightest twitch of a smile on their lips. 

My daughters's Christmas program was last week, and a potluck followed. We decided to bring the Absolutely Almond Cranberry-Crusted Cake from our website, and oh my stars ... what an amazing cake it was! The church-goers fairly licked the platter clean and I was filled with pride ... and not only for the cake, but also for my heritage and Tastefully Simple - we've got good stuff!

Check out the tips & hints for some ideas, and have a cranberry cake for the holidays!


Absolutely Almond Cranberry-Crusted Cake



Combine first 3 ingredients; pat into bottom and up sides of a greased deep-dish pie plate. Prepare Absolutely Almond Pound Cake Mix as directed on package with water and butter. Pour over cranberry crust; bake at 325° for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 8-10 servings.

Tips and Hints

  • I used a mini-bundt pan, because a) I have one and b) I thought this cake would look cute in bundt format ... and it did!
  • However, using the bundt pan seemed to necessitate the addition of a glaze (it looked kind of naked without it). So we made a simple glaze out of ½ cup of powdered sugar, some orange zest and some juice squeezed from the orange. It was wonderful, and the addition of the orange to the cranberry cake was marvelous.
  • I always make Absolutely Almond Pound Cake using ¼ cup of butter and ½ cup of applesauce instead of ¾ cup of butter. I don't miss the extra butter a bit (neither do my thighs!), and I think the flavor and texture is perfect, so I highly recommend it!
  • I was going to chop the cranberries with a big chef's knife, but that proved to be a slow process (with lots of cranberries bouncing off the floors, the walls and me!), so I shifted gears and used the food processor - much easier!
  • To get the cake neatly out of the pan and onto the cooling rack, position the cooling rack on top of your pan. Make sure you have the legs of the rack pointed in the right direction, then just flip the whole works over. Works like a charm!
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