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Cranberry Lemon Cake with Lemon Icing


I used meyer lemons (which are slightly sweeter than regular lemons, rounder in shape, and more orange in colour), but you can use standard lemons with equally wonderful results. I adore tart lemon desserts, but if your tastes err on the sweeter side, you may opt to reduce the cranberries to 1 cup or omit them completely.

For a moist, well-risen, perfect cake, be sure your ingredients are all at room temperature; measure your flour accurately by gently spooning and leveling (rather than scooping, which will cause a dry cake); preheat your oven fully; and be gentle when folding in the cranberries.

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  • For Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or line with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Set this aside as well.
In the large bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
Reduce mixer speed and alternatively beat in ⅓ of flour mixture, followed by ½ of sour cream mixture, and repeat, ending with the last ⅓ of the flour mixture. Be sure to pause the mixer occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl. Use a spatula to gently fold in cranberries.
Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 55-60 minutes, until top springs back when lightly pressed or a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.
To make glaze, whisk together lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar until there are no lumps. Drizzle over cooled cake.

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