Two weekends ago, a couple of friends I hadn’t seen since our college graduation came over to my new apartment for a visit. We’d all three originally met on the equestrian team, and spent many early mornings and late evenings together throughout our collegiate riding careers, but went on do to different things in different places after college. Fortunately though, two weekends ago we all happened to be in the same place at the same time, and finally got to catch up!My friend Emma was flying in from out of state, so before she arrived, she went through my blog and picked a bunch of posts she thought sounded good, then put together a list of ideas for what I could make for her visit. It was quite the list! Lots of great things, but lots of time consuming things as well. Seeing as how I received her request list only the day before she was coming, I had little time for planning and getting ingredients, so I picked out a new recipe I’d been wanting to try and went with that. It was easy to make, seasonal, and looked sensational – how could that be bad?!
I set out all the ingredients for the cake early on that Saturday morning, dashed to the gym for a quick workout, then came back, assembled it, and had it baked off and iced by the time they arrived a few hours later. Whew! It was a whirlwind, but so worth it – it was great to catch up with those ladies, and the cake was unbelievable. I’m not lying when I tell you the three of us plus Kevin polished off an ENTIRE coffee cake that morning, less two tiny pieces. It hurts my stomach to admit it, but… at least I had help? It was just too good to resist.
I’d seen this recipe on Katie’s blog The Small Boston Kitchen, originally from Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery Cookbook. It looked amazing to begin with, but once I learned the original source of the recipe I knew without a doubt it would be perfect. Everything in that cookbook works like magic for me! This cake was no different – it’s so wonderfully tender and incredibly light. Each pillowy bite was mildly sweet and lusciously buttery, with crunchy chunks of caramelized walnuts and fresh, tart cranberries.
If you’re looking for the recipe, I’m going to send you over to Katie’s blog. Or you could check out the cookbook, which I hope most of you have! If not, it’s a worthwhile investment… Joanne hasn’t steered me wrong yet. I followed the recipe almost exactly, using walnuts in place of pecans only because I was out of pecans, and I also made my own buttermilk with milk and a splash of vinegar, since I didn’t have any buttermilk either. Despite the small changes, it still came out perfectly. I would definitely recommend this one for any breakfast/brunch occasion, or as a simple snacking cake. It’s fantastic!