I’ve made a few cakes lately, and they haven’t made me happy. There was a ginger pear cake that completely fell apart when sliced. A double chocolate loaf cake had the same problem, though its redeeming quality was that the pan was sugared instead of floured, which made for a delightful crunchy and sweet exterior – I’ll keep that idea in mind for other cakes, but I can’t bring myself to keep that recipe. I also made a coconut cake that had none of the decadence that it promised. And as it turns out, it was a gluten-free cake that made me happy again.
I was looking for a recipe to use up some pistachios (left over after making bread pudding), and I also had some cranberries at the bottom of the freezer, so Aran Goyoaga’s cranberry pistachio cake was perfect. It’s moist enough that it keeps for several days, and it’s not too sweet, so you could have it for breakfast if you wanted. We all loved it, and I’m not even sure the Engineer realized it didn’t contain wheat flour (I certainly wasn’t going to tell).
1 cup superfine brown rice flour (I used 160 g.)
½ cup almond flour (I used almond meal)
¼ cup tapioca starch
¾ tsp. coarse sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup natural cane sugar
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup light olive oil, plus more for the mold
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped (mine were frozen)
½ cup chopped pistachios
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Rub the inside of a 9" bundt pan with some olive oil (you could use pan spray as well), making sure you get into all corners so the cake doesn’t stick.
Mix the rice flour, almond flour, tapioca, sea salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, rub the sugar, lemon and orange zest together between your fingers to let the natural oils come out. Whisk in the eggs, applesauce, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk to mix. Fold in the cranberries and pistachios. The batter will be very thin.
Pour the batter into the mold and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (since my cranberries were still frozen, I had to leave my cake in the oven a few minutes longer). Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.