Add the topping 40 minutes into baking rather than at the beginning, when it would sink too far into the cake, or at the end, when it wouldn't sink in at all.
This brightly flavored cake tastes best the day after you bake it.
Stock up on packages of fresh cranberries while they're at the peak of their season (late fall). Freeze them to use all year long.
For the cake:
9 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour; more for the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, well softened at
room temperature; more for the pan
1-1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
For the streusel:
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
Make the cake—Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter and flour a 9-inch-square baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt until blended. With an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until well blended, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated. Using a wide rubber spatula, alternately fold the flour mixture and the yogurt into the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the chopped cranberries with the last addition of flour. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Tap the pan gently on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for 40 minutes.
Make the streusel—While the cake is baking, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the butter and mix, using a fork, until the ingredients are well blended and form small crumbs. Stir in the walnuts and cranberries.
After the cake has baked for 40 minutes, sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the cake. Continue baking until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, another 10 to 15 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack until warm or room temperature. Cut into squares and serve.
To flour a pan: Spoon a generous amount of flour into the greased pan. Tilt the pan so that the flour slides all over the inside surfaces of the pan. Dump out the extra flour and give the pan a few hard knocks over the garbage can to get rid of any excess.
Cooking New American
How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat
by Fine Cooking Magazine; edited by Martha Holmberg
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created December 2004
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