Holiday cranberry cake

This little cake often shows up at our house during the holidays, and it never outwears its welcome. It makes dinner more festive, elevates brunch, cozies up to a cup of tea or coffee, and stays fresh for days. The rich, dense texture (like pound cake), cradling dried fruit redolent with brandy, leaves nibblers feeling all’s right with the world. In its own little way, it augments the joys of the season.

To work at our altitude, I increased the flour, flavorings and liquid, used superfine sugar and decreased the baking powder. Feel free to substitute other dried fruits for those I’ve recommended, just be sure to chop them all to the size of raisins. And crème de cassis, orange liqueur or even rum or orange juice can stand in for the brandy. The taste will be different but still good. Though it needs no accompaniment, you can fancy it up with a topping of hard sauce or a drizzle of brandy.

Holiday Cranberry Cake

Vera Dawson is a high-elevation baking instructor and author of three high-altitude cookbooks (available at Garcia Street Books in Santa Fe). Contact her at veradawson1@gmail.com.