This cake makes a moist, festive and fresh-tasting treat for November and December when cranberries are in season and oranges are really good. It has a lovely, fine crumb and isn’t icky sweet. The tartness of the cranberries provides a great contrast to the streusel topping and the delicious orange icing made with fresh orange juice. It’s colourful and very pleasing for morning coffee or afternoon tea when you want a bit of an indulgence and pick-me-up. I also fancy it for lazy holiday brunches when I have house guests, to fill the muffin niche. And why not? I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like having a suitable cake on the table for breakfast.
This cake is based on the David Leibovitz recipe I adapted for blackcurrants. It’s a brilliant foundation recipe that you can vary with all kinds of fruits (he uses plums in his original and adds a toffee sauce, which I’ve also used to top an apple version). It’s pretty easy to throw together, and the streusel topping is the nicest I know, with a subtle sweetness and excellent texture from sliced almonds. This is a well-balanced cake, with just the right proportion of foundation to fruit and topping.