Winter, Holiday, Dessert, Snack, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Cranberry Spice Bread

As I type this, I’m looking out my 12th floor window to see downtown Pittsburgh blanketed in a fresh batch of snow. It’s official, Flashdance the Musical is open! We had a rough time traveling to Pittsburgh from Utica via bus (the weather disagreed with our plans), but thanks to a tireless and remarkable crew, the set was loaded into Heinz Hall and we opened on schedule. Last night was a thrill, many thanks to all who came out for the launch!

Life on the road is challenging my baking obsession. I have a wok and an induction burner with me, and have, thus far, been able to cook breakfast for myself nearly every day (two eggs sunny-side up over stir-fried broccoli). But now, with the cold kissing my cheeks all I really want is to stand in my kitchen, mixing a batch of spice bread while the oven heats my apartment into an adult womb.

Are you home? Do you have family filling your couches and dining chairs? Do me a favor, yes? Bake. Bake something warm, bake this cake, bake some cookies, make food and eat together. I’m still adapting to my vagabond journey across America, I’ve never been one to eat all my meals in restaurants.

I made this cake and video for Arrowhead Mills to highlight their Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix. If you’re new to GF baking and need a simple way to get in the game, buy a box of this flour blend and start tonight. I’ve never understood the fear and vitriol surrounding fruitcake, but let this be my response to all those naysayers, a spice bread studded with cranberries and topped with a crunchy cinnamon crust.

Though I’m longing for my own kitchen, I wish we were in Pittsburgh for more than a week, I’m falling in love with the bridges and downtown architecture. After our 8.5 hour bus ride from Utica I was in search for a proper fork+knife+cocktail kind of meal and found respite in the glorious Meat and Potatoes. A well-made Old Fashioned, a salad of fried pig’s ear and a bowl of grinning mussels filled my belly and soothed my frayed synapses. I promptly returned the next night (new year’s eve no less) and ate deeply again. If you’re in Pittsburgh for business or pleasure please make a note in your book and stop there for dinner. I plan to eat my last meal in Pittsburgh at Meat and Potatoes again.

All my love from the road,


  • ¾ cup Pecans
  • ⅓ cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Spectrum Safflower Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon


  • ¾ cup Cranberry Juice
  • ½ cup Spectrum Safflower Oil
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • Zest of one Orange
  • 1 ¾ cups Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Dried Cranberries


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together ingredients for topping. Set aside.
  3. In medium bowl whisk cranberry juice, oil, sugar, eggs and orange zest.
  4. Stir in dry ingredients.
  5. Pour batter into parchment lined loaf pan.
  6. Scatter topping over cake.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.