How to Make January Cake

Try the recipe for January Cake, reprinted with permission from Abra Berens’ book, ”Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit.”
Photograph by E.E. Berger

Despite its name, this sweet treat from Pulp is good to make and eat beyond the first month of the year. The Hour Detroit staff thinks it would make the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert for you and yours. Or just for you — Berens herself prefers it solo: “My favorite way to eat this cake is lying in the afternoon winter sun as it streams through my bedroom window while I pretend to be in the tropics,” writes Berens in the recipe introduction.


  • 2 whole oranges or 1 cup [240 ml] orange purée
  • 6 eggs
  • 11⁄2 cups [180 g] ground almonds
  • 1 cup [100 g] sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup [100 g] cranberries or other tart round fruit, fresh or froze


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F [200°C]. Line a 9 in [23 cm] cake pan with parchment or grease with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Fully submerge the oranges (peels and all) in a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil, decrease to a simmer, and cook until the oranges are soft, about 30 minutes. Transfer the oranges from the water to a food processor and process into a fairly fine paste.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy. Add the almonds, sugar, baking powder, orange purée, and salt and stir to combine. Tip the batter into the prepared cake pan. Add fruit. Bake in the middle of the oven until the cake is starting to brown, feels firm to the touch, and a knife test comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the cake from the sides of the pan and flip it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Reprinted from Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit by Abra Berens, with permission by Chronicle Books, 2023. Photographs © EE Berger.

This story is from the February 2024 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition.