To Saunter

Recipe: Almond, Bourbon and Orange Cake & Ratafià Cherries in Syrup

I have a myriad of ideas and inspirations that I like to share. I never really know where my initial idea will lead me. It is always exciting for me to see the how the seed of one idea can expand and grow beyond its small roots.

The historical origin of the word SAUNTER means to walk in the direction of spiritual expansion. Sometimes the path is not a straight one, but rather a journey that takes us to many places along the serpentine route.

On this path, a piece of myself was reshaped, redirected and transformed into something amazing. There is also a piece of me that was left behind in anticipation of what is yet to come.

I like to think of my blog as a place where I can share not only my thoughts and my artistry, but also a place where I can share the amazing craft of other artisans. I truly believe that as we share our light with others, it illuminates the way for all of us to grow beyond what we thought we could achieve alone.

I would like to introduce Juanita Bañuelos of @jbleathercrafter

I discovered Juanita on Instagram a couple of years ago through the network of creatives that I follow. I consider myself very lucky to have crossed paths with this very talented woman. Juanita and I have become each other’s cheerleaders!

Artists Supporting Artists!

Juanita is a Mexican American Leather Artist currently living in Los Angeles. She has a passion for creating unique handmade items, most often using leather craft.

“Consuelo” bracelet in white leather from Jerez, Mexico

When I asked Juanita to be featured here she was so excited! And when I asked her to share photos of herself, she, like so many creative people I know, became very shy. What is it about artists that create such beautiful things that is intrinsically a little bit introverted?

“Both my parents are immigrants from Zacatecas, Mexico. I was born in Santa Clara, California, and raised in Los Angeles, the oldest of 6 children. I was always curious about my surroundings, about architecture, shapes, colors, and textures. The only artist in my family, I was influenced by my mother and my grandmother who taught me and encouraged me to sew, to make things for myself and embellish my clothes. Every afternoon we would crochet together, an old Mexican tradition passed down through generations to teach the girls how to be handy around the home. It’s a tradition that is rare in this technological era.”

As Juanita and I began our friendship through Instagram, we both discovered a true appreciation for each other’s craftsmanship. We were both happy to share our artisan pieces with each other! She requested La Zingara’s Earth Scarab Crossbody Strap and I received this stunning cuff bracelet below!

“Leather crafting started as a hobby, as a way to relieve stress. I never dreamed I would become a leather artist. Before this I worked as a visual specialist in the retail industry and a wardrobe stylist in the Latino music industry in Los AngelesIt was very stressful. I would look for any chance I had to make leather things, even hiding in my office to do so. I find it funny how we can create plans for our lives, but life often has a way of directing you towards your real path, IF we’re willing to listen, and to follow.”


There are so many wonderfully beautiful and unique people that I have met on Instagram. Juanita is someone I cannot wait to meet one day in person. Please give her a follow over on Instagram. She is always inspiring and always looking up towards the sky!

Almond, Bourbon and Orange Cake

I was looking for something sweet to bake this past week. As I perused my pantry, I found myself looking straight at the bag of almond flour. I always love baking with almond flour. It creates the most amazing texture and crumb when it is combined properly with eggs and buttermilk. Hope you give this recipe a try!

Almond Bourbon Orange Cake


  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup packed coarse ground almond flour (I like to use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken well
  • Zest and juice from one large navel orange
  • 1 tablespoon Bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Orange Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectionery icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest, divided


Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt cake pan. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add the almond flour and gently whisk to combine. Set this bowl aside.

In the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs on high speed until thick and pale. This takes between 3-4 minutes. Gradually add both sugars and continue beating for another 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to medium and add oil, buttermilk, orange juice and zest, bourbon and almond extract.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake in a 350F oven for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the Bundt pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is completely cool, whisk together the ingredients for the Orange Glaze using 1 tablespoon orange zest. Drizzle glaze over the entire surface of the cake. Decorate with remaining orange zest.

I like to have fresh whipped cream or Chantilly Cream to accompany this cake. I also like to garnish this cake with a Cherry 🍒! I promised that I would share with you how I turn all of the cherries from the Ratafià (from last week’s post) into

Cherries in Syrup

Using all of the marinated cherries that are left over from the Ratafià, place them in a mixing bowl with one cup of the Ratafià. Making a simple syrup, place 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Combine the simple syrup with the cherries. Mix thoroughly. Put the cherries into jars (that have lids), top with the Ratafià Syrup and place lids on the jars securely. Allow to sit in a cool dark place for a month in order to develop the best flavor.

These cherries are wonderful to bake with, but they are also incredible when used in cocktails, such as a Bourbon Manhattan!

There is always more than one way for each of us to discover and live our authentic life; there is always a choice to be made at every crossroad.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here with me. I love to share mine with you.

I love to share my recipes here, as well. When I am creating in my kitchen, I don’t often use recipes. That is why I create them here. It becomes a place for me to reference back to and use the recipes that work really well for me.

Thanks, as always, for sharing a little time here with me.

La Zingara

“Where will La a Zingara take You?”


Find me on: Web



  1. Andrea Serrahn
    September 24, 2023 / 1:31 am09

    Juanita’s work is wonderfully unique. As a woman who always wears one if not two leather wrist wraps every day, I appreciate the durability, lightweight and quiet quality of leather jewelry. I look forward to exploring her collection. In the meantime, I will ponder when I will make the time to bake that almond cake!

    • 93zingara
      September 25, 2023 / 1:31 am09

      Juanita is inspiring in so many ways. Her work is a direct reflection of the passion that bubbles up from her beautiful heart. I can only imagine the hours spent creating her pieces. I had a feeling that you would love her craft! Her pieces fit in seamlessly with your style.
      It’s always a good time to make a cake! Let me know how it turns out for you.
      Time to start this amazing new week!
      XOX Diana

  2. La Contessa
    September 24, 2023 / 1:31 am09

    Juanita is GORGEOUS!I love the rings!
    It’s so interesting what makes us TICK!
    I of course will give her a FOLLOW!
    Your cake has me licking my lips!
    Seems Fall like.Good enough for me!

    • 93zingara
      September 25, 2023 / 1:31 am09

      She is BEAUTIFUL, most definitely! I’m in awe of how delicate and intricate her craft is, but make no mistake, the quality of her pieces is Amazing✨‼️✨We all have something that makes our hearts sing. Like she said, we just need to listen and follow our heart!
      The cake is a perfect little taste of Fall; like we need an excuse! This is my favorite time of year as we lean into cooler weather and lots of scarves and sweaters! I really liked the lilac one you were wearing in a recent post of yours. That looked so soft and feminine.
      Let’s get this new week started!

  3. Y
    September 24, 2023 / 1:31 pm09

    Hello love ❤️! Looks amazing

    • 93zingara
      September 25, 2023 / 1:31 am09

      Thanks so much. Have a lovely day ahead!🍁

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