Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cranberry Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze

Well, Thanksgiving is over and the holiday season is upon us. Were you brave enough to venture out into the crowds and take advantage of the Black Friday deals? Did you eagerly put up your holiday decorations? More importantly, have you used up all of those Thanksgiving leftovers? : ) In my house, we usually don't have too many leftovers, however two things I did have leftover were fresh cranberries and lemons. I wanted to combine them to make something savory since our last post was a cake (thanks Yvonne for the wonderful birthday cake), but I recently saw this great recipe on Pinterest (thanks Pinterest!) and decided to give it a try. Cranberry Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze....yumm. This cake would be great to serve for brunch or as a holiday dessert. The tartness of the cranberries and lemon blend perfectly with the rich, buttery sweetness of the cake and the glaze (also made with fresh lemon juice and zest) elevates the refreshing lemon flavor. I hope you'll give this recipe a try this holiday season.

Cranberry Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze
Adapted from William Sonoma

Cake Ingredients:
2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 lemons zested and juiced, reserved separately (2 T will be used for the cake, the remaining for the glaze)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk (see note below if you don't have buttermilk)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Glaze Ingredients:
1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
The remaining lemon juice from the 2 lemons above
Zest of 1/2 lemon


Preheat oven to 350

Generously butter a 12c bundt pan with softened butter. Do not use cooking spray as the butter blends with the brown sugar and adds flavor to the cake.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Set aside.

Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly into the bottom of the buttered bundt pan and sprinkle the cranberries evenly over the brown sugar. Set aside. 

Put the granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest and, using your fingers, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until fragrant (approx 30-45 seconds). This process releases the lemon oils from the zest and essentially creates a lemon sugar.

Add the butter and cream at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Then add 1/2 of the buttermilk, mixing just until combined. Repeat this process adding 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing until combined, then the remaning buttermilk mixture, then the last of the flour mixture. Mix just until combined at each addition to ensure you do not overmix the batter. Once the last of the flour is mixed in. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.

Spread the batter into the prepared bundt pan, spreading evenly over the cranberries.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes, then invert onto a cake platter and allow to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze: Combine the zest of 1/2 lemon, 1 c of the powdered sugar and the remaining lemon juice. Mix until well combined. At this point adjust as needed - if the glaze is too runny, gradually add more powdered sugar a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Try not to add too much powdered sugar or you will need to add more lemon juice. The glaze should slowly and partially run down the sides of the cake (it should not completely slide off creating a puddle at the bottom of the cake).

Slice and enjoy!!

Note: If you do not have buttermilk, you can create "sour milk" by adding 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to the 3/4 cup of milk you need for the recipe and allowing it to sit/curdle for 5-10 minutes. You can also use white vinegar, but I think using lemon juice is better since this recipe already requires fresh lemon juice.


  1. This is my first "from scretch" cake, so I loved the steb-by-step instructions and pictures! I will let you know how ii turned out. :)

    1. That's so great. I hope you love it. Let us know how it turns out!