When I have a day off, I like to indulge my love of baking – and I worry about who will eat it later…. A few thanksgivings ago, I found this recipe for a lemon cranberry pound cake and it was wonderful. The recipe, from the Joy of Baking, said that you could also use dried cherries and since I happen to have some lovely cherries from Nuts.com, I’m going with that today. The end product is a beautiful cake, bright with the tang of lemon and either the dried cranberries or sour cherries. It’s wonderful for a buffet and lasts for days, with the flavors intensifying, if well wrapped. It’s so pretty that I like to display it in my domed cake stand. And while I do not have a freezer large enough, you could make this ahead, except for the glaze, and freeze it in preparation for the holidays. Yep, it’s almost that time already.
Yield: 12 – 14 servings
Dried sour cherries or cranberries
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons brandy
1 cup dried cranberries or sour cherries
2.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs at room temperature
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 Tablspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
Lemon Frosting (optional)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Bring the brandy, lemon juice and cranberries/cherries to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool completely, reserving the cranberries/cherries and the liquid separately.
For the Pound Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. If using a dark colored pan, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, alternating with 1/2 of the sour cream, beating just until the batter is smooth.
- Stir in the drained cranberries/cherries by hand.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for approx. 60 – 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into themiddle of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. After 5 minutes, lightly brush the top of the cake (it’s really the bottom) with half of the reserved liquid from the cranberries/cherries.
- After 10 more minutes, loosen the sides of the pan with a sharp knife and invert onto a wire rack. Immediately brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining cranberry/cherry liquid. Cool the cake completely before frosting or dusting with powdered sugar.
- In a bowl, using a whisk, combine the confectioner’s sugar with the lemon juice. You want the icing to be thicker than a glaze but still thin enough that it will run down the sides of the cake. If necessary, 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. Allow the icing to dry completely before covering and storing the cake.