Friday, November 16, 2012

Dorie Greenspan's Spiced Cranberry Bundt Cake

"Life is a long lesson in humility."
Sir James Barrie

This is my fifth November to make Dorie Greenspan's Spiced Cranberry Bundt Cake, but it is the second time this month. R.H. was all ready to photograph this superb cake after I baked it, let it cool and applied the glaze. We never got to that point. When I turned over the pan, half of the cake decided to stay behind. "Life is a long lesson in humility." I should have let R.H. take a picture of it but was so disgusted that I scraped it out and sent half home with our son. 

So we did a redo.

Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Spiced Cranberry Bundt Cake appeared in the November 2008 issue of Bon Appetit. The recipe calls for a spice that can be difficult to find here, Chinese Five Spice Powder. After using the bottle I had for 3 years, I decided that this cake deserved a fresh bottle. I put it on my calendar for October 2012 to buy a new one and threw away the old one. After searching at four grocery stores I finally found it at a Kroger's.

Do you alphabetize your spices? Just remember not to confuse the Chinese Five Spice with cinnamon when you add it to your oatmeal in the early morning hours. Strange bowl of oatmeal.

I put all the ingredients out to come to room temperature after breakfast except for the Greek yogurt. I wait until 1/2 hour before mixing the cake to set it out. Then I start laundry, make the bed, unload the dishwasher and check emails. Then I'm ready to put on Pink Martini's "Joy to the World" Christmas CD and give myself up to the joy of baking Dorie's cake one more time. Don't be afraid your cake will fall apart if you try this. It turns out that I followed my "typed" copy of her recipe and left out her line that said: "Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes." That does make a difference. Never fear, I will triple-check this recipe after typing it this time.

Dorie Greenspan's Spiced Cranberry Bundt Cake
12-14 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups almond flour or almond meal
2 1/2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice Powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature [not too soft]
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large eggs [room temperature]
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup plain reduced-fat (2%) Greek-style yogurt
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1/3 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons (about) orange juice

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract, then Greek-style yogurt, Add dry ingredients [on low speed]; beat just until blended. Fold in almonds and all cranberries. Transfer batter to prepared Bundt pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes [my oven only takes about 55 minutes]. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.

Icing: Stir powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons orange juice in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Mix in more juice by 1/2 teaspoonfuls to reach consistency of heavy cream. Spoon icing over cake, allowing it to drip down sides. Let stand until icing sets, at least 30 minutes.

Do ahead. Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with cake dome and store at room temperature.

Again, this recipe was from November 2008 Bon Appetit. Dorie Greenspan is the author of Baking: From My House to Yours. You can find her at where this recipe is in her archives.

It smells heavenly baking--and Pink Martini's "Joy to the World" keeps me singing while it bakes!


  1. I'll take a piece of that bundt cake, please........a large one if you don't mind. There are just too many wonderful sounding recipes floating around in blogland right now. Come to think of it, that is probably why my hips look the way they do!

  2. They're tempting, especially those pecan pralines you made. My husband has requested them after seeing your picture and couldn't help laughing at poor Sophie's sweet little face. We will survive the good food of December. There is always January to diet, or that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

  3. I will say that cake was good. even the bad one was good :) but anything my mom cooks is good. I'm just glad I'm not picky like my brother, he always has to pick out all the "green and red" things out of food (onions, peppers and what not) Ha ha.

  4. Yes, he came in when I was ready to make it and said, "Cranberries? I can't eat that." Doesn't know what he's missing!

  5. That Bundt Cake looks so delicious!!! but I would never be able to find Chinese Five Spice Powder in my neck of the woods :( I love how organized you are with all your spices gives me some motivation!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  6. Thank you, Marissa, and if you ever do want a bottle of the spice, email me with your address and I'll send it to you. You'd be surprised how many recipes call for it. Giving up a drawer to spices and herbs was hard but it is the only way I've ever been able to see them at a glance and not end up having 3 bottles of cumin pushed to the back of a cabinet! Your table for Thanksgiving is simple elegance. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  7. Hi Dewena,

    Your Spiced Cranberry Bundt cake looks absolutely scrumptious! It would make a beautiful complement to both a Thanksgiving and Christmas feast. I always get my Five Spice Powder from Canada, as it does not exist here. I use it when cooking up savoury Chinese fare and it makes a world of difference. Your cake deserves a proper tea party, and how I would love to join you for a sweet slice in the comfort of your cozy kitchen!



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