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Cranberry-Sour Cream Pound Cake


For a cranberry-scented pound cake that was light and tender, balancing the ingredients was key. We landed on a combination of ⅓ cup of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of milk, and 14 tablespoons of butter for our dairy component. All-purpose flour kept the cake nice and light, with a tender, rich crumb. To tame the tartness of the cranberries and prevent them from sinking to the bottom of our pan, we tossed 1 cup of coarsely chopped cranberries in confectioners’ sugar before adding them to the batter. Baking the loaf in a low (300-degree) oven ensured that the inside cooked through before the exterior became too brown.

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  • 8 8
  • Ingredients
  • 5 5 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 2 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 1 3/4 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • 1/2 1/2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 1/3 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 2 2 tablespoons milk
  • 14 14 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 1/4 1 1/4 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 4 4 ounces (1 cup) fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped coarse
  • 1 1 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar


Adapted from


Step 1

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Spray 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with baking spray with flour. Whisk eggs and vanilla together in 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sift flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and baking powder into bowl. Whisk sour cream and milk together in second bowl.

2. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down bowl once. Reduce speed to medium and gradually pour in granulated sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.

3. Reduce speed to medium and gradually add egg mixture in slow, steady stream. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl and continue to mix on medium speed until uniform, about 1 minute (batter may look slightly curdled).

4. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream mixture in 2 additions, scraping down bowl as needed. Give batter final stir by hand.

5. Toss cranberries with confectioners’ sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt in bowl until evenly coated, then gently but thoroughly fold into batter. Transfer batter to prepared pan and tap pan on counter twice to release air bubbles. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 3/4 hours to 1 hour 55 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.

6. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on rack, about 2 hours, before serving. (Cooled cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

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