Apricot Cranberry Cake

All those that follow my blog regularly know that I constantly reiterate that I am not a good baker.  The problem is that I have a major sweet tooth and love baked goods – I just don’t like the fact that I have to follow the recipes so precisely.  This is why I like cooking – I can always taste whatever I am making and adjust and adapt according to what I like and what I have available at home.  Somehow baking requires precision and it has too many rules and I am just not one for following rules. Unless of course, I can make my own rules – which is what I do when I do bake!
In any case today marks the beginning of a new year and even though I have no resolutions (since I always end up breaking them) I have decided that this year I will try to do things I have procrastinated forever. Next year I will turn fifty and my goal is that before I hit that mark, I have to re-invent myself. Both my kids are now in college and now I have the time to devote to things that I have always claimed that I like to do. Now that I have no excuses what so ever, this year I will get down to the serious business of writing (with disciplined hours put into it) and to learning how to do some basic baking. This cake is first step in that direction. It is somewhat adapted from a recipe that was given to me by my French neighbor.  I am thrilled by the result – the cake tastes delicious and I love the bright colors!


1.    2 cups all-purpose flour
2.    3 tablespoons almond flour
3.    3 fresh apricots
4.    20 dried apricots
5.    ¼ cup dried cranberries
6.    1 tablespoon rum
7.    2 teaspoons baking powder
8.    1 cup sugar
9.    3 eggs
10.    ½ cup melted and cooled unsalted butter
11.    A pinch of salt.
12.    2 tablespoons of warm water


1.    Combine the following dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, baking powder, almond flour, salt and break up at lumps you can find with a fork.

2.    Combine the three eggs, sugar and the vanilla in a large mixing bowl and start mixing them together (either manually or with an electric mixer) till the mixture looks whipped and turns a light yellow (usually takes 3-4 minutes with an electric mixer).
3.    Add the rum and the warm water to the mixing bowl and continue whipping.

4.    Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl while mixing constantly.

5.    Let the electric mixer continue to whip the ingredients, while you chop the dried apricots into bite sized pieces.
6.    Combine the dried apricots pieces and the dried cranberries.

7.    Chop the fresh apricots into halves and remove the stone from each of the three pieces of fruit.

8.    Oil and flour the base of a spring loaded cake pan.

9.    Combine the dried apricots and cranberries into the batter and mix with a spatula.
10.    Pour the batter into the cake pan.

11.    Place the six halves of fresh apricots evenly on top of the batter.
12.    Place the cake pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
13.    Take the cake out of the pan after 30 minutes and let it cool for 5-8 minutes.

14.    Serve the cake while it is still warm with a little bit of whipped cream and powdered confectioner’s sugar on top.


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