Traveling Fruit and Honey Cake

    "In the predawn light they breakfasted on clear streamwater and a traveling fruit and honey cake that Rimrose had baked two days before."
-Marlfox, p. 8

This cake is hearty, moist, lightly-spiced, and studded with cranberries, currants, and apple -  in a nutshell, a perfect 'journeying' food. 

It's topped with almonds, and filled with ingredients like freshly squeezed orange juice, tea, and allspice. It might sound a bit like fruitcake, but I promise - this tender,  mildly-flavored cake is much tastier (that is, unless you love fruitcake).

On top of all that, it's easy to make, and as far as most cakes go, fool-proof.  

Here's a few photos of the process, followed by the recipe:

Traveling Fruit and Honey Cake
Makes 1 large loaf and 1 mini loaf


- 1 black tea bag
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
-1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (juice of one small navel orange)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup currants (raisins can be substituted)
- 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries (AKA Craisins)
- 1 small Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4" chunks

1. Preheat  oven to 350 F. Spray and flour 1 large loaf pan and 1 mini loaf pan (if you don't have a mini loaf pan, you could make a few muffins - adjust the baking time as necessary). Measure 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp.  hot water into a measuring cup and add the tea bag. Set aside to steep.

2. Toss the currants, cranberries, and apple chunks with the 2 tablespoons flour. Set aside. Whisk together the 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Make a well in the center and add the oil, honey, sugars, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla. Remove the tea bag from the measuring cup and add the tea as well. Mix thoroughly, making sure to incorporate all the dry ingredients. Add the fruit and stir gently until just combined. 

3. Divide the batter between the pans. Sprinkle almonds over batter, and bake for 50 min. to 1 hour, until the surface of the cakes are browned and slightly springy, and a skewer inserted into the centers comes out clean (the small loaf may take slightly less time).  Cool for 15 min. before removing from pans (I waited all night, and the cakes were difficult to remove).