Fa la la la la! It’s baking season and this cake was a hit. Of course, we all love cookies, and I have a lot of them on the list. My people love breakfast candy, and this has occasionally stood for a simple dinner dessert as well. I know you all like to plan a spread for holiday mornings, so hope this works for those of you gluten-free people. We always have sweet rolls, but I can double this year since everyone liked this cake so much. I’ll say it again, as we do with lemon bread or banana bread, which is roasted for a few minutes to get a crisp edge.

I made a lot of dense GF baked goods, but I’m starting to figure out the ratios. Eggs are important for strength, all almond flour turns out quite dense, so I cut it with superfine brown rice flour, as I learned from Aran from Canelle et Vanille. Hugh is the gluten-free one in the family, but I’ve found that the kids don’t question anything when it looks like cookies, cakes and sugar. I have included some exchange suggestions in the top note.


For 6-8 persons

This could be part of a breakfast spread or a dessert. It’s sweet and seasonal, but we nibbled on it most afternoons 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, and then it should be stored in the refrigerator, covered. Great served with a dollop of natural yogurt in the morning or sweetened creme fraiche for dessert.

The dairy-free option is to replace the buttermilk with dairy-free milk with a splash of lemon juice – oats or almond, both great, coconut is a little heavy. You do not need it gluten-free, replace the almond and rice flour with 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.

No cranberry season? try lemon blueberries or almond raspberries (replace the vanilla with almond extract).


6 Tablespoons. unsalted butter (vegan butter works great!), Temperature
3/4 Cup Cane sugar
2 Tablespoons. avocado or coconut oil
2 eggs
1/2 Cup Buttermilk (or non-dairy milk with a splash of lemon juice)
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Teaspoon. Vanilla extract
peel of an orange
1 cup almond flour
1 cup superfine brown rice flour (I buy this one)
2 Teaspoons. Baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon. salt
2 cups (8 oz.) fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped

turbinado sugar, for refining

sweetened yogurt for serving


Preheat the oven to 350′ and parchment line and coat an 8-9 ” cake pan with butter.

Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric mixer until foamy. At least 3 minutes. Add the oil, eggs, buttermilk, maple, vanilla and orange zest and beat again to incorporate it. Add almond and rice flour, baking powder, salt and fold in a few times. Add half of the cranberries and fold again. Transfer it to your prepared pan, sprinkle the remaining cranberries on top, spread it down to an even layer and generously sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.

Bake on the middle rack for about 50 minutes, until tested in the middle and only a few crumbs (no dough!) come out with it. When the top begins to brown, cover it with a piece of parchment or foil. Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Serve with yogurt or sweetened creme fraiche.