Every year I make Jeff a different treat for his birthday. This year, it was a Bundt cake. A lemon-cranberry Bundt cake to be precise. And a very well received one at that. This was one of the rare treats that pleased every palate in the house. The cake itself is very fresh and tart, while the (sugared) cranberry filling adds the perfect sweet balance. Once it’s topped with a drizzle of lemon icing, well, let’s just say we have ourselves a winner. I made the cake again this week as dessert for a birthday luncheon I hosted. The bright side, of course, is that when you eat such a hefty lunch, the guests have little room for dessert. My family was rather pleased that there was plenty of cake left over :)
Lemon Cranberry Bundt Cake
For the cake:
3 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 12-oz. bag of cranberries
2 1/2 c. sugar
6 T. whole milk
4 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
2 t. vanilla extract
2 T. finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
For the syrup and glaze:
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. plus 2 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Prepare the cake: Butter and flour a 10-cup fluted Bundt pan.
Heat the cranberries in a pot heat the cranberries until they start to release their juices. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and cook over medium heat until until juicy and the mixture reduces to 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°.
Whisk the milk, whole eggs and yolks, and vanilla in a medium bowl; set aside.
Whisk the 3 cups flour, the remaining 1 3/4 cups sugar, the lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the 3 1/4 sticks butter and beat with a mixer on low speed until moistened. Add half of the milk mixture, increase the speed to medium and beat 1 minute. Add the remaining milk mixture in two batches, beating between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again, about 30 seconds.
Transfer 2/3 of the batter to the pan. Spoon the cranberry mixture in a ring around the middle of the batter (do not let it touch the pan). Top with the remaining batter and smooth evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the syrup: Dissolve the 1/4 cup granulated sugar in 1/2 cup lemon juice in a saucepan over low heat. Remove the cake from the oven, poke the surface all over with a skewer and pour the syrup on top. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully invert the cake onto a parchment-lined rack to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let sit overnight.
When ready to serve, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice until smooth. Spoon over the cake.
*As a side-note, the original recipe calls for Meyer lemons, but for the life of me I couldn’t find them and I went with plain ol’ lemons instead. I gather that my version is slightly less sweet than the Meyer one would be, but it hasn’t stopped us from licking up every last crumb.*
SOURCE: FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE