Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Glazed Cranberry-Lemon Cake for Eat to the Beat

Years ago, before I started blogging, my friend Elly hosted a blogging event called Eat to the Beat.  I remember reading her blog back then and wanting to start my own food blog just so I could participate.  So when she resurrected it for her 5 year Blogiversary, I couldn't wait to participate.  The premise is pretty straightforward - make any recipe that can be related to music in any way.  I had several ideas floating around in my head, but then as the deadline approached, I couldn't make up my mind.  I was already planning to make this cake for Thanksgiving, so I decided it would be a great recipe to submit.

Does anyone else remember when Woodstock was held in 1994? That was back in my angst-ridden preteen years, and I sure did love some of those bands.  My older sister had the VHS (ha!) of the concert, so when she came home from college over Thanksgiving break, I watched it over and over and over again (in case you couldn't guess, I was really cool back then).  I still remember the performance by The Cranberries, which became my favorite band after that.  Though they are probably most known for "Linger," I really loved "Dreams" as well.

So onto the cake - it was a great contribution to Thanksgiving because not only is it something a little bit different from the usual pumpkin and pecan pies, but it is easy to make and is visually impressive.  The cranberries are so pretty, and I always love it when a cake has glaze dripping down the sides.

The lemon bundt cake is really delicious.  Oftentimes bundt cakes can seem dry and crumbly, but this one isn't.  It is perfectly moist and sweet with a nice hint of lemon.  And the cranberries on top were a nice tart contrast to the sweetness of the cake and glaze.  Just as a warning, if you don't like tart, then you should increase the sugar in the topping.  But I found that the tartness mellowed over the course of a few days anyway, so keep that in mind.

***Don't forget to enter my giveaway before Friday at midnight - I'm giving away a 1 year subscription to Cook's Illustrated magazine.*** 

Glazed Cranberry-Lemon Cake
barely adapted from Williams-Sonoma

  • Unsalted butter for greasing the pan, plus 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1/3 - 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
  • 3 cups (12 oz) fresh cranberries
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 2 lemons 
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more as needed  
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 12-cup bundt pan with butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar in the bottom of the pan, then evenly scatter the cranberries over the sugar.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Finely grate the zest from the lemons over the sugar and use your fingers to combine the two, sort of pinching the sugar through your hands.

Squeeze the juice from the lemons. In a liquid measuring cup, combine 2 Tbs. of the lemon juice, the buttermilk and vanilla.  Set aside the remaining lemon juice.

Add the 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, 1 at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk mixture.  Start and end with the dry ingredients.  Raise the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly over the cranberries. Bake until the cake is browned and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 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.

After the cake has cooled, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 1 1/2 - 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 confectioners’ sugar; if it sits on the cake without moving, whisk in a little more lemon juice. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and let set for at least 15 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve. 


Anonymous said...

Cranberry and lemon sound like the perfect couple! This cake sounds so yummy!

Amy said...

I love using fresh cranberries throughout the season for things other than just cranberry sauce. This cake looks splendid!

Connie / Marinating Online said...

I have some cranberries left over from t-day. This is perfect.

Made in Sonoma said...

I had cranberries left over. I wish I would have made this! So festive.

JB said...

Looks great. I love lemon. I love cranberries. What could be better than cake with both of them?

Joanne said...

Isn't elly the best!

I am LOVING this cake! I wish I had seen it before I made a pumpkin bundt cake to bring to work today! Oh well...there's always next week!

Heather@KidsintheSink said...

The Cranberries! I haven't heard them in years! What a great idea! This cake looks so yummy. I love seeing different ways to use cranberries for the holidays.

kyleen said...

Oi, I think I'm too young to know any of these bands, but I'd make this cranberry-lemon cake anyways! It looks so unbelievably delicious!

Laura said...

In your heeeaaaaddd they are fighting! Ahhh, teenage angst. Loved The Cranberries. This cake looks incredible. I have a bag of cranberries in the fridge leftover from Thanksgiving. And, I don't believe I've ever used my Bundt pan (shame! shame!). Making this on Sunday!

Non woven bags chennai said...

Thanks for such a great post, I am totally impressed! Keep stuff like this coming.

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