Glazed Cranberry-Lemon Cake

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This year was the first Miller-Lee Polish/southern Christmas dinner! Our menu included kielbasa, pierogies, fried chicken, baked beans, roasted brussel sprouts and Adam’s delicious homemade mac and cheese. It was wonderful having our families at our home to celebrate the season. We’re looking forward to many, many more Christmases at our house. 🙂

For dessert I made a delicious (if I do say so myself) glazed cranberry-lemon cake. I frequently attend the Williams-Sonoma cooking technique classes which is where I happened to find this awesome recipe. I am def going to make these for future dinner parties; this dessert is simple to make, but looks somewhat sophisticated.

The recipe describes this cake as follows: Fresh cranberries and bold, bright lemon zest and juice add refreshing qualities to this butter-rich cake. As the cake bakes, the cranberries are transformed into a sweet-tart compote-like topping. A simple lemon glaze is the finishing touch for this delightful dessert.

Here’s what you’ll need…


  • Unsalted butter for greasing pan; 12 Tbs unsalted butter at room temperature (1 and 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries (12 oz)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (possibly more)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 12-cup Bundt pan with butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar in the bottom of the pan, then evenly distribute the cranberries over the sugar.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Put the granulated sugar in the bowl of a sand mixer. Finely grate the zest from the lemons over the sugar and mix briefly. ::The combination of lemon zest and sugar smells heavenly!::

3. Squeeze the juice from the lemons. In a liquid measuring cup, combine 2 Tbs. of the lemon juice, the buttermilk and vanilla; reserve the remaining lemon juice for your glaze.

4. Add the 12 Tbs. butter to the lemon zest-sugar mixture and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly over the cranberries. Bake until the cake is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a cake plate, lift off the pan and let cool completely.

6. Once the cake has cooled, in a bowl, whisk together the 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 1/2 Tbs. of the reserved lemon juice until thick and smooth. Test the consistency by drizzling a bit of glaze over the cake. If it runs off the cake, whisk in a little more sugar; if it sits on the cake without moving, add more lemon juice. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and let set for at least 15 minutes. Cut into wedges and enjoy! Serves 12.


*Buttermilk substitution: I did not have buttermilk so I added 1 Tbs of white vinegar to 1 cup or milk. You could also add an additional Tbs. of lemon juice or 1/2 Tbs. cream of tartar to 1 cup of milk; DO NOT ADD ALL THREE. Just choose one of these substitution methods. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before using.


1 Comment

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One response to “Glazed Cranberry-Lemon Cake

  1. Sandra White

    Hate I didn’t see this recipe before Christmas. Good job! It looks awesome! I’ll be trying it…..thanks for sharing!

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