Easy Lemon Cranberry Cake Recipe

Two of my favorite flavors come together in this lemon cranberry loaf cake. Drizzled with a tart glaze, this lemon cake recipe is the perfect addition to a dessert tray.

Need another dessert idea? Try this layered carrot cake!

cranberry lemon cake on a white dish

While it’s perfect for the holiday season, don’t relegate this lemon cake to just December! It’s delicious year round. The flavors of lemon and cranberry come together to make a sweet cake with a bit of tang. Pack it along on a picnic, serve it up as a sweet finish to an easy barbecue gathering, or yes, add it to a holiday dessert tray.

While the recipe doesn’t call for nuts, if you love a bit of crunch in your cakes, feel free to stir in a cup or so of toasted walnuts.

lemon cake on a white dish

Lemon cranberry cake

Begin by creaming the butter and sugar together thoroughly. This prevents lumps of butter in the batter. Add eggs and lemon zest, then mix in the dry ingredients. Once the batter is completely mixed, stir in the cranberries. Reserve a few cranberries to sprinkle onto the raw batter in the loaf pan before baking if you like.

Once cooled, enjoy this loaf cake as is, or add a lemon glaze.

Freezing cranberries

If you love the flavor of cranberries, here’s a hot tip for you: Buy extra during the holiday season and pop a few bags in the freezer. They’ll keep for up to a year, taking you to the next holiday season! Frozen cranberries can be used just like fresh cranberries in this lemon loaf cake recipe.

Freezing this lemon cake recipe

This loaf cake freezes well, making it perfect for when unexpected guests show up. Keep a loaf in the freezer for just such social emergencies.

Wrap unglazed loaf in waxed paper and then aluminum foil. To use, thaw and drizzle glaze over the loaf prior to slicing. (Reserve a bit of glaze for drizzling on the cut slices before serving, if you’d like!)

cranberry lemon cake on a white dish

Easy Lemon Cranberry Cake Recipe

Two of my favorite flavors come together in this lemon cranberry loaf cake. Drizzled with a lemon glaze, it's the perfect addition to a dessert tray.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 48
Calories: 91kcal

Ingredients

Lemon loaf cake

  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 ¼ cups self-rising flour sifted
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or juice of one lemon
  • 2/3 cup fresh cranberries

Glaze

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice or juice of two lemons
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use the butter wrappers to grease a loaf pan or use a bit of neutral-flavored oil.
  • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
    beaters in a white bowl, creaming sugar and butter
  • Add eggs. Mix in the lemon zest.
    adding eggs in cake batter
  • Fold in flour and ground almonds and then stir in the lemon juice.
  • Add cranberries.
    cranberries on top of cake batter
  • Pour into loaf pan, scattering a few extra berries over the top.
  • Bake for one hour, checking for doneness with a toothpick. Cool completely.

Make the glaze

  • Mix lemon juice and powdered sugar to make a glaze. Add additional lemon juice if a thinner glaze is desired. Drizzle over the top of the lemon cake.
    cranberry lemon cake on a white dish

Notes

Makes 48 servings.
Cut loaf into 8 slices and then cut each slice into 6 bars. This makes the perfect size for serving on a holiday dessert tray or cookie platter.
To freeze: Wrap unglazed loaf in waxed paper and then aluminum foil. 
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