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Lemon-Cranberry Pound Cake Tested Recipe

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Lemon Cranberry Pound Cake Recipe

Cranberry desserts are especially popular during the Holiday season. This Lemon Cranberry Pound Cake has a rich and buttery lemon flavor and is stubbed with lemon and brandy-laced dried cranberries. The finishing touch is a lemon frosting, really a glaze, that is poured over the top and allowed to drip down the sides of the cake. 

When making this Lemon Cranberry Pound Cake the first step is to steep dried cranberries in lemon juice flavored with a little brandy. This softens the cranberries plus imparts a lovely lemony brandy flavor. Dried cranberries are cranberries that have most of their moisture removed (up to 80%) through drying (by machine or by the sun). The advantage of drying any fruit is to prolong its storage but it has the added benefit of concentrating the fruit's sweetness and flavor. The texture of the fruit becomes all soft and chewy which makes it ideal for both eating out-of-hand and in baking.

Next, the pound cake batter. Have all the ingredients at room temperature as this ensures that the maximum amount of air is beaten into the batter. The batter has a tendency to curdle when the eggs are added. Having the eggs at room temperature and adding them gradually will help prevent this. But don't worry if it does curdle. Once you add the flour the batter will smooth out. The dried cranberries are folded into the batter at the end and because the batter is heavy, the cranberries will not sink during baking. This Lemon Cranberry Pound Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Shortly after pulling the cake from the oven, the top of the cake is brushed with some of the reserved cranberry liquid. Once you remove the cake from the pan, the rest of the cranberry liquid is brushed over the cake. This adds moisture plus a nice lemon/brandy flavor to the cake. This cake can be served with just a dusting of confectioners sugar or it can be glazed with a lemon frosting. The lemon frosting is simply a mixture of confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar and lemon juice and it is poured over the top of the cake, so it will drip down the sides. Keep in mind, though, that if you want to freeze this cake, freeze without the glaze.

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For Cranberries: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring the lemon juice, brandy, and dried cranberries to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let cool completely and then drain, reserving the cranberries and the juice separately.

For Pound Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter and flour (or spray with a vegetable oil and flour spray) a 10 inch (25 cm) bundt pan. If using a dark colored pan, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest, vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With mixer on low, add 1/3 of flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating just until batter is smooth. (You will have three additions of flour and two of the sour cream.) Stir in the drained cranberries.

Pour batter into bundt pan and smooth the top. Bake for approximately 60 - 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool 5 minutes and then lightly brush the top of the cake with half of the reserved cranberry liquid. After 10 more minutes loosen sides of pan with a sharp knife and invert onto a wire rack. Immediately brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining cranberry liquid. Cool the cake completely before frosting.

Lemon Frosting: In a bowl, combine the sifted confectioners sugar with the 2 tablespoons lemon juice. (You want the icing to be thicker than a glaze but still thin enough that it will just run over the sides of the cake. If not the right consistency add more lemon juice or powdered sugar, accordingly.) Pour the frosting over the top of the cake, allowing the icing to drip down the sides. Let the icing dry before covering and storing. This cake can be frozen. However, if freezing, do not cover with the lemon frosting.

Serves 12 - 14 people.


1/3 cup (80 ml) lemon juice (about 2-3 large lemons)

2 tablespoons brandy

4 ounces (115 grams) dried cranberries or dried cherries

Pound Cake:

3 1/2 cups (455 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups (600 grams) granulated white sugar

6 large eggs

2 tablespoons lemon zest (outer yellow skin of lemon)

1/2 tablespoon (6 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) sour cream or plain yogurt

Lemon Frosting: (optional)

1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing)  sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice





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