Tart, moist and ever so slightly festive, this cranberry lemon loaf cake is the easy bake for the holiday season! Sugared cranberries always comes to mind when I think of festive fruits, but until now I had never tried making them. Newsflash – it’s super easy!
This lemon loaf is studded with fresh cranberries, though you could replace them with frozen if that’s what you have to hand. It is then topped with a white chocolate and cream cheese frosting, which I think perfectly compliments the slightly sour loaf.
Ingredients for a cranberry lemon loaf cake
- Cranberries I used fresh cranberries as they’re in season right now, but you can also use the same weight of frozen cranberries!
- Lemon Zest the zest of one whole lemon is added into the batter to add even more tang, but you could sub this for orange zest
- Granulated Sugar only white sugar is used in this recipe
- Vanilla Extract I use vanilla extract in this recipe, but you could try subbing in almond extract
- White Chocolate make sure the white chocolate you use has cocoa butter in it
How to make sugared cranberries
First step is to make a sugar syrup! You’ll need to dissolve sugar and water together in a small/medium saucepan (depending on how many cranberries you want to sugar) over medium heat. You can stir occasionally to help the sugar dissolve faster. Once it’s all dissolved, you can take the saucepan off the heat and add your (washed and dried!) cranberries. Give them all a good stir to make sure they’re evenly coated with the sugar syrup.
Lay out a piece of parchment paper next to the saucepan, and use a slotted spoon to take out the cranberries. Keep them on the parchment paper for about an hour. Then, add granulated sugar to a medium bowl. Spoon the cranberries into the bowl, making sure they’re evenly covered.
Other recipes to try
Cranberry & Lemon Loaf
- 1 .5 lb loaf pan
Cranberry & Lemon Cake
- 113 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 zest of a lemon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 190 grams flour
- ½ tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 120 ml whole milk
- 120 grams cranberries
White Chocolate Frosting
- 170 grams cream cheese, room temperature
- 57 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150 grams white chocolate
- 15 grams sour cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 110 grams cranberries
- 60 grams water
- 100 grams sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease and line a loaf pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. While the mixer is running on a low speed, gradually pour in the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk, ending with the dry.
- Add the cranberries and fold them in. Transfer to the loaf pan. Bake for 55-70 minutes. It's ready when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Make white chocolate frosting
- In a small bowl, break up the white chocolate and microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring in between each burst until the chocolate is melted. You can also put the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with an inch of boiling water, stirring util the chocolate is melted.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and butter together until smooth.
- Pour in the melted white chocolate and vanilla and beat until completely combined.
Make the sugared cranberries
- In a small saucepan, dissolve 50g of the sugar and water over a medium heat. Using a silicone spatula, you can stir occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Once all the sugar is dissolved take it off the heat.
- Add the cranberries to this syrup and make sure the cranberries are evenly coated. Place a piece of parchment paper on your counter and use a slotted spoon to take the cranberries out and place on the paper. Let them sit for about an hour.
- Put the remaining sugar in a medium bowl and add the cranberries, making sure they're all coated.