Glazed Lemon-Cranberry Loaf Cake

in Cakes & Cupcakes, Christmas, Citrus, Cranberries, Fruit, Lemon, Project Pastry Queen, Thanksgiving

Glazed Lemon-Cranberry Loaf Cake

Merry Christmas, y’all!

My week to host Project Pastry Queen fell during Christmas so I picked the most Christmasy recipe I could find: Glazed Lemon-Cranberry Loaf Cake.

It’s “just” a small loaf cake scented with lemon zest, studded with fresh cranberries, and topped with a lemon syrup that soaks into the cake. I brought the cake to Christmas Eve dinner and it “just” went over really well.

I stayed true to the recipe but have no doubt it would work as beautifully with orange instead of lemon.

Glazed Lemon-Cranberry Loaf Cake

A moist lemony cake studded with fresh cranberries and glazed with a lemon syrup.


  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 2/3 cup flour + 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temp
  • 1 cup sugar (I reduced to 2/3 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 0% fage)
  • For the glaze:
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Toss the cranberries with 1 Tbsp flour and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs and lemon zest and beat until thoroughly combined.
  6. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the mixture and mix on low speed just until combined.
  7. Add half of the milk and mix on low speed just until combined.
  8. Add the remaining flour, mixing just until combined, and then the remaining milk.
  9. Add cranberries and mix a few seconds longer.
  10. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 45-60 minutes, until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs attached.
  11. Cool the cake for 15 minutes and then remove it from the pan.
  12. To make the lemon glaze, combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
  13. Bring the mixture to a boil for 30 seconds.
  14. Remove the pan from the heat.
  15. Gently pierce the top of the loaf cake many times with a toothpick.
  16. Use a pastry brush to apply the warm glaze evenly over the top of the loaf.
  17. Slice into ~10 slices to serve.
  18. Store leftovers tightly wrapped, will keep ~3 days.


Yields: 10 slices

Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Check out how the other Project Pastry Queen members fared with their cakes.

9 comments… add one
  • I could see myself eating this for breakfast! And by “this”…I mean the whole loaf.

    Merry Christmas love! Looks delicious.

  • Um, absolutely gorgeous? Lemon and cranberry is a great combo too, that you don’t see as often as you should. Looks perfect! Hope you guys had a great Christmas!

  • THIS is a KEEPER! I just made this tonight and want to eat the entire loaf… the bread is light and fluffy and the tartness of the berries and lemon are superb.

    Like you, I reduced the sugar in the bread a bit, but think I’d like to coat the cranberries with powdered sugar, as called for in a muffin recipe I made recently (which was also fabulous), as there was a little edge to them. Oh, and mine baked for 45 minutes.

  • meg

    I made two lemon cranberry loaves to-day…my question….after 30 started to split in the middle and rose higher than the ends….what causes this….

  • Tammy Steinsapir

    Are you using confectioner’s powdered sugar in the glaze?

  • Rachel

    It’s in the oven! Smells good !!
    How long do you wait to put the glaze on? Till the loaf cool?

  • Robin

    I LOVE this! I remember living in Canada and eating muffins similar to this and I’ve craved it every since. The loaf has great texture and the glaze is perfect. I like lots of lemon flavor, so I did add a little lemon juice to the batter, but other than that I followed exactly. This is my new holiday loaf/brunch get together recipe 🙂

Leave a Comment