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red jewels

Recipe: cranberry nut dessert

Just a reminder that Menu for Hope IV is underway as I type! Be sure to visit the full list of prizes being offered over at Chez Pim. If that’s too confusing for you, visit the various regional hosts at the end of Pim’s post – the prizes are being offered from all over the globe! Hurry up! Go! Bid! Do you really want someone else walking off with YOUR prize?!? Well then, get on it! [after you read the rest of my post] :)

Are you freaking out right about now? Maybe now? Maybe – NOW? It’s a big time of year for baking and cooking and feasting and festivities – no matter what the festivities may be. I typically find myself making all manner of sweets and baked goods to share with friends, neighbors, our slow but friendly small town post office, the Subaru dealer, Kaweah’s favorite kennel… When I add up the list though, there just isn’t the time to mass produce super fancy time-intensive confections for everyone. That’s why I love the goto recipes, the ones that are easy to make and delicious to boot.


’tis the season of the cranberry



My mother-in-law gave me this recipe years ago and I cannot tell you how many dozens of times I have made this recipe and doled it out to the masses (the masses = my co-workers and other people I know). So when I see cranberries arrive at the market, I know what I’m going to be baking for a few months. The other nice thing about cranberries is that they freeze well and can be tossed right into the recipe just like fresh cranberries. Even so, I tend to make this between November and January.

the star ingredient

add walnuts, or substitute a different nut if there are allergies



The best part of this recipe is how all of the ingredients are dumped into a big bowl, mixed together, and then baked in a dish. No wait, the best part of this recipe is one of my absolute favorite ingredients in any pastry or baked good…

the secret ingredient: almond extract



People will bite into the cake and their eyes will wander around trying to pinpoint the lovely flavor they are experiencing. Bakers will identify it immediately, but most others just get a dreamy look on their face and repeat, “there’s something in this that tastes… tastes like… what is that flavor?” Almond extract, kids. Repeat after me: almond extract.

spread into a pie dish



I grease my baking dishes, but you should be warned that the only sticking point (pun intended) to this recipe is that it is slightly sticky on the pan. Nothing horrible, but any intricate pan designs might result in some swearing and unhappiness on your part – your recipients will be oblivious because they will be too busy stuffing their faces with this red-jeweled treat.

the berries are like dots of candy



Cranberry Nut Dessert
[print recipe]
from my best mom-in-law

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups fresh cranberries (fresh is best, but you can use frozen)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a pie dish. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cranberries, and walnuts. Mix the dry ingredients together and coat the berries. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Pour the eggs, melted butter, and almond extract into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spread the batter into the pie dish and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (crumbs are okay). Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Goes well with a scoop of ice cream!

23 nibbles at “red jewels”

  1. Amy says:

    This looks lovely! Almond extract is one of my favorite smells and flavors.

  2. Rachel says:

    I love your polish pottery!

  3. Christine says:

    Jen- this dish resembles a blueberry cobbler I make. Of course, it doesn’t have the lovely walnuts that you put. Almond extract is so good, it’s hard for me not to over do it. I was wondering, do you serve it the way you would a cobbler or like a pie?

  4. Elle says:

    What a festive and seasonal dish. Do you serve it by scooping some into a bowl, or does it cut like a pie or cake? Looks delicious!

  5. peabody says:

    It makes for such a lovely cake.

  6. jenyu says:

    Amy – ditto on the almond extract!

    Rachel – thanks :) My grandma-in-law gave that to me several years ago. It’s very special.

    Christine – Oh, it’s not very much like a cobbler in that it has more structural integrity and can be sliced like a cake. It’s sort of a sticky cake or a cakey sticky thing. When you cut a slice, it will come out as a slice, but it’s not as light and fluffy as cake. So I guess serve it more like a pie (and with ice cream!)

    Elle – you can do both, but it will come out fine like a slice of pie or cake too.

    Peabody – thanks, lady! :)

  7. Kevin says:

    This looks good! The tart cranberries go well in sweet dishes. I am definitely going to be looking for some almond extract when I go shopping this weekend.

  8. Dana says:

    This sounds AWESOME. A month or so ago in the NYTimes, Melissa Clark mentioned that she hates almond extract. My response was, “WHAT?!?” Every baked good to which I’ve added almond extract has tasted amaaazing. I’m sure this is no exception!

  9. jenyu says:

    Kevin – mmm, if you find a good recipe to use with that almond extract, I hope you’ll post it!

    Dana – if you like almond extract, you’ll like this one. I cannot believe Clark hates almond extract?! Oh well – more for us ;)

  10. Seth says:

    This was divine. I made this cake along with the Artichoke chicken and ate like a king. I think I’m going to cook everything you posted on this site.

    Thank you sooooo much!

  11. jenyu says:

    Seth – this dessert is such a winner because it’s so easy and delicious! :) I’m so glad you are finding the recipes useful. Thanks for your sweet comment!

  12. nusantara recipe says:

    i like this article, thank you

  13. jenyu says:

    Nusantara – thank you!

  14. Leitha Heine says:

    This is very similar to one I make that I found on the back of an OceanSpray bag. It’s on their website too, but it doesn’t have the almond extract. Now I have to try this new version! My husband will go nuts! He he he

  15. jenyu says:

    Leitha – the almond extract is awesome in the recipe. I hope you like it!

  16. cranberry nut dessert recipe use real butter | Cast Iron Cookware says:

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  17. tatlı tarifleri says:

    Very nice dessert. Newsflash you’ve added.

  18. Tricia says:

    I know this is an old post but I am just reading through your blog. Your photography is amazing and your dog is a cutie. I made this over the weekend and it was so delicious. I’m now running to the store to buy up all the cranberries so that I can make it again and again. I’ve made two of your recipes so far and both were keepers :D

  19. Kasia says:

    OMG, looks sooo yummy! I am definitely bookmarking this to try later, thanks! I also adore your polish pottery! I’m literally the biggest fan of polish pottery out there! I love how it can be so incredibly beautiful and so functional at the same time! Love love love. I just stumbled upon Polish Pottery and was blown away by some of their pieces. Thought I would share cause there might be other polish pottery fanatics out there as well =)

  20. Bridget says:

    I have made this recipe a million times now, and it is always a winner. Guilty secret — I actually increase the amount of almond extract because I just love it so much (this is not required, folks, but I’m a glutton for it). Super easy, super fast, and my god is it ever delicious.

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