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Dec 27, 2012

Guest Post: Little Miss Sunshine

Here I was, thinking I wasn't going to be able to come up with a post until the end of the year with all that's been going on, when a little ray of sunshine popped out of the darkest clouds that were looming over my head ... in the form of my niece. Such a great support. Thank you, dear girl, for carting away my cake pans, messing up my kitchen., and "trying" to clear my fridge. That would take many visits, *hint*.  

How can this not cheer anyone up? And if the looks alone doesn't get you, those little sour bursts from the cranberries will! I loved the tartness of the fruit in this and the crunch of the almonds with the caramelization from the sprinkling of sugar. 

Everyone, I'm sharing with you today .... my personal ray of sunshine with her Cranberry Bottom Cake.

My aunt's pantry is a bajillion times better stocked than my own bare-bones, gotta-cart-it-to-a-new-apartment-every-few-months one. Every time I come over I'm itching to bake or cook and take advantage of her ridiculous supply. I've already got several ideas for my next trip so she better be prepared to do some serious eating!

I love the tart explosiveness of cranberries, but I haven't had any of the fruit since my last Thanksgiving in the States 3 years ago (I've been working abroad since). When my aunt mentioned that she had some in the freezer I jumped at the opportunity to bake something with it and promptly found this recipe from the Beantown Baker that I had to adapt a bit (not fully melted butter and coarse sugar), resulting in a thicker batter and thus more of a cake-y-ness than the pie/macaron-ish texture she described. It's fast and easy and the sugar/cranberry/almond bottom resulted in a caramelized coating. The cake itself was just light enough and not too sweet, letting the cranberry's flavor and zest shine through. 



2 cups raw cranberries (fresh or frozen)

zest of half an orange

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 & 1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup (~170g) butter, melted

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup all-purpose flour


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). Grease a 10-inch pie plate or 8-inch square pan.

2. Wash the cranberries, leaving some water on them (thaw first if frozen). Combine the cranberries with the almonds in the pie plate. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the sugar. It was basically enough for a layer of almonds and then a layer of cranberries.

3. Cream the remaining 1 cup sugar with the eggs and butter. Stir in the almond extract and zest. Add the flour and mix well. Pour/spread over the cranberries.

4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center of the crust comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving warm, or serve completely cooled. This would go well with some whipped cream or ice cream.

Happy holidays everyone, enjoy the cranberry cake!


  1. Ping, she sounds uncannily like you! Hey you, Ms Sunshine, your cake is very attractive what with the fresh cranberries on the side. I would eat it with vanilla ice-cream. What a dream!

  2. Your niece is so sweet & talented too! The cake looks so yummy! I cant recall eating fresh cranberries, must go search for them. Can I come raid your pantry too? :)

  3. Who doesnt love a well stocked pantry? Hey Ms Sunshine, so glad to know that you are bringing some much needed sunshine into your aunt's life esp at this time of the year. Good on ya!

  4. Sounds like aunty's pantry is like a mini supermarket:)
    Nice easy recipe.

  5. I remembered when I was having constipation and URTI..I drank a lot of cranberry juice and I never like it because it is so sourish. This cake certainly doesn't make my face looks sour..ahhahahhah

  6. Hi Ping!

    Congratulations - Your blog has been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award! You truly deserve the recognition and I look forward to reading more interesting posts from you in the coming new year!

  7. Ping, you are really lucky to have such a wonderful niece! And so talented too! The cake looks extraordinary and as a big fan of tart sweets I am sure I would love it.
    Happy New Year again!

  8. I'm so happy that your niece's visit improved your holidays. May there be many better days ahead. As for that cake, it looks fabulous!

  9. I love the gift boxes in the picture. :) Adds to the photo.

  10. Wow, what a lovely cake for a lovely aunt! Ask you niece if she wants an "aiyah" aunty, ME! If yes, bake me one of these! hehehe Ping, hope 2013 will be a fantastic year for you. Hugs.

  11. I apologize for not visiting in SO long, Ping. What a wonderful looks like she's gotten the baking gene, too! I love the cranberry and orange combo...truly delish!!!

  12. Another great guest post! Thanks for filling in, Little Miss Sunshine. :) (Your cake made ME smile, too!)

  13. Just checking in on you, my friend. Hope you are OK. xo

  14. You are right this would cheer anyone up. I have not been around since my parents were killed in January, so I know how difficult it is to get through each day. We have to take it just one day at a time. A day does not go by without thinking of them. Sorry to hear that you are going through hard times too. Please email me if you want to talk. Hang in there! :)