Not a big fan of Christmas fruit cake? Actually, me neither. This soft, buttery and moist vanilla-lemon pound cake with a festive cranberry glaze is perfect for you then!
Hey, you guys! I hope you are enjoying winter wherever you are and enjoying time with loved ones on Christmas break. I’ve been baking cookies with the kiddo and that got me thinking about Christmas cakes.
I have a confession to make. I have never been a fan of the Christmas fruit cake or plum-cake as it is called in India. Rum soaked dry fruits and nuts baked into a dark cake is a Christmas staple, but sadly, I do not care for it. And (thankfully) neither does the hubby nor the kiddo. We are all about vanilla and citrus flavors in our cakes.
If the boys could have their way, I would always end up baking our favorite orange pound cake. But to switch things up a little, I tried lemon instead of orange in the recipe and made this vanilla scented lemon pound cake loaf.
This cake is great on its own or just a light dusting of powdered sugar or with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. But my stash of winter cranberries had me thinking in another direction. (By the way, do yourself a favor; stock up on cranberries and freeze them to use throughout the year.)
First, I cooked the cranberries down to a thick red syrup.
And then I used the fresh cranberry syrup to make a glaze (icing) with powdered sugar. What I got was this pretty pink glaze that was naturally colored with cranberries and had the sweet-tart-tangy deliciousness that goes so well with the vanilla lemon cake.
This cake is a great make-ahead dessert as well. In fact, if you can help it, I would suggest that you actually bake this cake a day or two in advance. That also helps the pound cake hold its shape better when cut.
But we are not very patient people, and as you can see, we dug into it right away. This cake is so soft, moist, and buttery along with the freshness from lemon. The pink colored cranberry glaze adds the perfect festive touch to this already delicious cake.
Here’s the recipe for Vanilla Lemon Pound Cake With Cranberry Glaze.
- All purpose flour – 1½ cups
- Baking powder – ¼ tsp
- Baking soda – ¼ tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Butter – ½ cup, softened
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Eggs – 2, large
- Lemon zest – 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice – ¼ cup, freshly squeezed
- Milk – ¼ cup
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Cranberries - 2 cups, fresh or frozen
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Water - 1 cup
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Powdered sugar - ⅔ cup, sifted
- Cranberry syrup - 1-2 tbsp
- Vanilla Lemon Pound Cake: Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F. Grease and flour a 9″x5″ loaf pan thoroughly or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Combine the lemon juice, milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together till nice and fluffy, 2-3 minutes on high-speed. Add eggs and lemon zest and beat well.
- Add the flour mixture and lemon juice mixture to the batter alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Batter will be thick and airy.
- Spoon batter in to the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 40-50 minutes or till it passes the toothpick test. Check the cake at around 35 minutes. If the top seems to be browning too rapidly, tent with foil and bake till done.
- Cranberry syrup: While the cake is baking, prepare and cool the syrup. Take all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook on medium-high heat. Soon the cranberries will start popping.
- Stir and cook till sugar is completely dissolved and berries are mushy. It should look like a thick syrup. Strain syrup into a clean jar and cool before use. Leftover syrup keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.
- Cranberry glaze: Combine the powdered sugar and a couple of tablespoons of cranberry syrup. Mix well with a fork till combined. Glaze will be a pale pink color, thick but free-flowing. You can loosen it by adding more syrup or add more sugar if you want a thicker glaze.
- Finishing touches: Once the cake is done, cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove onto a wire rack and allow the cake to cool completely.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, pour the cranberry glaze on top. Let stand for some time and the glaze will become stiff.
- Cut, serve and enjoy a lovely Christmas treat. Store cake well-covered on the countertop for 1-2 days or refrigerate it for longer duration.
Isn’t that a bright and lovely cake for Christmas? I hope you will try it soon.
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What is your favorite kind of Christmas cake? Are you all about the fruit and nut cakes? Are you looking for a change this Christmas? Then do give this delicious and delicate Vanilla Lemon Pound Cake with Cranberry Glaze a try, and let me know how you like it.
Don’t forget to check out all my Christmas & Holiday recipes.
It’s almost here – the most wonderful time of the year. I hope you have a festive and joyous Christmas with your loved ones. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!
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I am sharing this over at Fiesta Friday.