Glazed Cranberry Lemon Cake

Glazed Cranberry Lemon Cake
Glazed Cranberry Lemon Cake

I am really feeling the cranberries this year.  I think more so now, than in the past.  Not everyone in my family is a huge fan of their tartness, but I find it really growing on me.  Especially when paired with something sweet.  It's all about the balance act, right?  This cake recipe was something I saw last year, but never got around to making.  So this year, I put it on the top of my list to share before Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Everyone needs a show-stopper cake for the holidays, amIright?

Glazed Cranberry Lemon Cake
Glazed Cranberry Lemon Cake

It's an impressionable cake.  Something you'll see, taste, then always remember.  Kind of like the season premier of The Walking Dead.  Anyone else see that? Oh my gawd, I seriously can't even.  I literally had to leave the room.  Poor Glen.  Something that definitely left an impression.  Perhaps that's a bad example for this cake though.  Because The Walking Dead was depressing, but this cake is anything but that.  Just the colors of this cake alone, make me want to sing and dance around the room.

Glazed Cranberry Lemon Cake
Glazed Cranberry Lemon Cake

So, if you are still scrambling for ideas, or in need of a cake that will feed many with minimal effort, this is the one.  You needn't look any further!  This cake is really fast and simple to throw together, but yields wonderful results.  The flavor combination of the fresh cranberries and lemon is perfection.  

Glazed Cranberry Lemon Cake

Glazed Cranberry Lemon Cake
Yield: about 12-16 servings

For the cake

  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • zest and juice from 2 lemons, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

For the glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Grease a bundt pan with butter.  Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan, then layer the cranberries over the sugar.  Set aside.

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

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the granulated sugar with the lemon zest from both lemons.  Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar is fragrant and combined.  Add the butter to the bowl with the lemon sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla extract, then mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each addition.

In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan over the cranberries, smoothing the top.

Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out with a few clinging crumbs.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.  Invert the cake onto a serving platter or cooling rack, remove the pan and let cool completely before glazing and serving.

To make the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake and let set before slicing and serving.  Store covered in the refrigerator.

Source: Adapted from Williams Sonoma, via Annie's Eats