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How to deal with rising/sinking fruit in cakes and other baked items

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How to deal with rising/sinking fruit in cakes and other baked items

Birmingham | Dec 17, 2010 10:48 AM

One of my favorite dessert recipes is Ocean Spray's Cranberry Nut bars: http://www.oceanspray.com/recipes/rec...

But I can't figure out for the life of me how they got those cranberries all nicely distributed throughout the bars. I first made them as directed and had a hard time getting the batter to spread in the pan because it wanted to stick to my spatual. When baked, the cranberries seemed to all float to the top.

The next time I put the nuts and cranberries in the bottom of the pan and then poured the batter over--very easy to do compared to the first method, but the cranberries all stayed at the bottom. NEXT time, I put the cranberries and nuts on the top and tried pushing them down into the batter but they again rose mostly to the top.

So either I get cranberries mostly at the bottom or cranberries mostly at the top. Just curious as to how to achieve perfect fruit and nut distribution.

While I've got your attention: I also love the crunchiness of the top when first baked, but by the next day that's gone. Same for my bundt cakes and cookies. Is there any way to preserve that crunch or is it just carpe diem because it'll be gone tomorrow?

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