Culinary mysteries are easy-to-read cozy novels that are lots of fun for foodies to read. The bonus is, of course, that not only are there lots of mentions of food entwined with the protagonist solving the mystery, but also recipes. Peg Cochran’s Berried at Sea is the fourth installment in the Cranberry Cove Mystery series, and there is mention of dozens of mouthwatering cranberry dishes. Unfortunately there are only two recipes in this one, and only one of those uses cranberries. However, it’s a Cranberry Apple Cake and is delicious – a perfect dessert to eat while reading about amateur sleuth and newlywed, Monica Albertson Harper, who finds the dead body of her old college friend’s husband, and her involvement in solving the murder. There are twists and turns, and readers won’t know who the murderer is until the very end. The book is well-written, the characters are believable, and the scenarios are fun. The book is recommended for anyone who loves reading about food, and also for mystery lovers of all ages.
I have adapted and changed the recipe to my tastes for Cranberry Apple Cake from this delightful mystery, and it will be the perfect dessert to eat while reading it. The original recipe is for the cake only, and doesn’t mention toppings or frosting. While the cake is extremely moist, it still needs something on top. It is excellent soaked in cranberry flavored syrup and topped with cream cheese frosting or topped with a warm cranberry topping and whipped cream (recipe included). Either way, even cranberry haters will enjoy this cake.
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 15 oz. can applesauce
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking spice, (or ground mixed spice)
2 cups oatmeal
1 14 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 14 oz. can jellied cranberry sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray a 9 x 11" shallow glass casserole dish with non-stick spray and line it with a piece of parchment.
- Cream the butter, sugar, and eggs until light; mix in the applesauce.
- Measure the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking spice into a fine strainer set over the butter mixture; shake through.
- Mix well and fold in the oatmeal and whole berry cranberry sauce.
- Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool thoroughly. Dust with powdered sugar.
- Topping: Mix the sugar and water; bring to a boil and let cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to thicken.
- Add the cranberry sauce and whisk until melted and smooth.
- To serve: Place a square of cake on a serving plate; spoon the warm sauce over the cake and top with sweetened whipped cream.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 332 Calories from Fat 83
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 25% Protein 5% Carb. 70%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 56 mg
Sodium 200 mg
Total Carbohydrate 58 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 25 g
Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 7% Vitamin C 2% Calcium 0% Iron 4%