Spiced Cranberry Tea Cake

I love showing hospitality.  But I’ve never been great at saving things ‘just in case’ somebody drops by.  My mom has always been good at that.  “Mom, why are you buying so much cheese?”.  “Well, you never know who’s going to stop by and you have to have SOMETHING to feed them”.

Do you?  I guess it is a part of hospitality.  Maybe I’ll never get to that point.  Usually, I eat all the cheese before people ‘drop by’.

My friend Marla is the same.  When we lived nearby and would drop in, inevitably, within a few minutes, the table was full of snacks, and I don’t mean chips, I mean baked goods and other real food.  “Where did this come from?” I would always ask.  “The freezer, I bake and save it for when people drop by”.

Guess mom isn’t the only one.

I used to KINDA do that.  When I made cookie dough, I would save half and freeze it for the next time that I wanted fresh cookies.  But she took it a step further, baked the cookies, then froze them.  That way she wasn’t baking when people came by, the cookies were already ready.

This is another recipe that came from her.  I discovered it’s from an old Walmart flyer.  I kind of miss those little magazines from the grocery store with random recipes promoting certain brands.  Some of the best recipes come from those little flyers.

This cake is pretty fantastic.  The spices, the beautiful cranberries; I fell in love with it the first time I made it.  It’s not too shabby to look at either.  I mean red cranberries and a beautiful glaze?  I wish I could just leave it on the counter to stare at every day.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray the bottom of an 8×4 inch loaf pan.

Combine flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl.   In a separate bowl, whisk egg with brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture.  Add cranberries and pecans and stir just until combined.  Transfer batter into loaf pan.

Bake for about one hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about ten minutes.

For glaze, stir icing sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until thickened and smooth.  Drizzle glaze over warm loaf.  Cool completely in pan.


Makes one loaf.




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