How to add moisture to a cake

The recipe for a cranberry almond skillet cake below was in our local paper yesterday. I made the cake and while it has good flavor and texture, it came out very dry. I will shorten the cooking time, but is there anything to add/adjust in this recipe to make it a little more moist? Thanks.

Makes 1 (10-inch) cake
Butter (for the pan)
2/3 cup whole, unblanched almonds
¾ cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into slices
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup (4 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 10-inch skillet with a heatproof handle.
In a food processor, grind the almonds and ¼ cup sugar until fine. Set aside ¼ cup almond-sugar mixture for the topping.
In a bowl, whisk the remaining almond-sugar mixture, flour, baking powder and salt until blended.
In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and the remaining ½ cup sugar together for 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat in vanilla.
With the mixer set on its lowest speed, gradually add the flour mixture until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thick. Scrape it into the skillet, spreading it evenly with the back of a spoon.
Distribute the cranberries over the cake and sprinkle with the reserved almond sugar.
Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs still clinging to the skewer. Set on a wire rack to cook to room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cut into wedges.

  • Posted by: DebJ
  • November 2, 2017


sexyLAMBCHOPx November 3, 2017
When I think of a moist cake, I think of a recipe using mayonnaise. Here's a recipe and article that uses a cup and perhaps you can adjust your recipe to make it moister.
Nancy November 5, 2017
In a similar vein, I find cakes made with olive oil as the fat both flavorful and moist. Big range of flavors...fruit, spices, nuts.
creamtea November 2, 2017
In my experience, cakes made with almond flour as a component do tend to be a little drier and more crumbly than cakes made with wheat flour. Having said that, you could try to reduce the dry ingredients by a little. Perhaps just a tablespoon or two would give you the texture you're looking for. Alternatively, perhaps you could add an extra egg yolk. Also, what was the material of the skillet you used? a material that retains heat well (like cast iron) might also overcook the batter. If you still don't obtain the results you're looking for, perhaps you could apply the flavors that you're liking to a conventional cake recipe: follow a sturdy good pound cake recipe that uses a loaf pan. You can use dried cranberries that have been soaked and drained or fresh (maybe not a whole cup--might have to use your judgment here). Make a streusel of almond flour and sugar per the original recipe, and sprinkle on top just before baking.
DebJ November 2, 2017
Great suggestions! Thank you.

Voted the Best Reply!

Matilda L. November 2, 2017
You could brush it with/pour on a flavored syrup, like many Middle Eastern cakes have you do. See this example by ChefJune--( she calls this liquid a "glaze" and it adds quite a bit of moisture. (It's a recipe that my family loves--I've made it many times.) Or in this Goh-Ottolenghi recipe:
Matilda L. November 2, 2017
A simple syrup flavored with lemon zest or vanilla would be nice with that cake.
DebJ November 2, 2017
I'll check it out. Thanks a lot!
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