Festive Cranberry Pound Cake for the Holidays

How to make Festive Cranberry Pound Cake for the Holidays


For the Cake:

Sifted Cake Flour: 187 grams (roughly 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons before sifting; use a kitchen scale for accuracy to avoid a dense or dry cake)

Baking Powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Salt: A pinch

Cranberries: 1 cup (fresh or thawed)

White Chocolate Chunks: 140 grams (5 oz.)

Unsalted Butter (softened): 115 grams (1/2 cup)

Sugar: 300 grams (1 1/2 cups)

Heavy Cream: 1/2 cup

Mascarpone Cheese: 1/2 cup

Eggs: 3

Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon

Browned Butter: 2 tablespoons

For the Frosting:

Unsalted Butter (softened): 56 grams (1/4 cup)

Cream Cheese (softened): 112 grams (4 oz.)

Powdered Sugar: 1 1/2 cups (adjust to desired thickness)

Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon

For Garnishing:

Dried Cranberries: A handful

Vegetable Oil: 1 tablespoon

White Chocolate Chips: 1/2 cup


Preheat a convection air oven to 325°F (or 350°F for a standard oven; rotate the pan midway through baking).

Prepare an 8.5 x 4.5 x 3 inches (or 9 x 5 x 3 inches) loaf pan with butter, flour, and parchment paper.

Mix cake flour, baking powder, and salt; sift three times and set aside.

Brown 2.5 tablespoons butter in a saucepan until amber; remove foam and cool.

Whisk eggs with vanilla extract and set aside.

Cream the butter on medium speed, gradually add sugar until creamy.

Beat in heavy cream and mascarpone on medium speed.

On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients and eggs to the mixture.

Coat chocolate chunks and cranberries with a bit of flour.

Stir chocolate chunks into the batter, then gently fold in cranberries.

Transfer batter to the loaf pan, smooth the top, and tap to remove air bubbles.

Make a line down the center with a butter knife and pour in browned butter.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (about 55 to 65 minutes; longer without convection air oven). If over-browning, cover with foil.

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then on a rack.

For the Glaze:

Once cooled, cream together butter and cream cheese, add powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

Spread over the cake and refrigerate to set.

For Garnishing:

Melt white chocolate chips with oil over low heat until smooth.

Sprinkle dried cranberries on the cake and drizzle with chocolate.

Nutrition Information:


Per serving, assuming 12 servings

Calories: 350 kcal | Total Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 130mg | Total Carbohydrates: 42g | Dietary Fiber: 1g | Sugars: 25g | Protein: 5g


Per serving, assuming 12 servings

Calories: 120 kcal | Total Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 45mg | Total Carbohydrates: 6g | Sugars: 5g | Protein: 1g

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use frozen cranberries for this pound cake?

Yes, you can use frozen cranberries.

Thaw and drain them well before incorporating into the batter.

Can I substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour?

While cake flour is recommended for a lighter texture, you can use all-purpose flour.

However, the result may be slightly denser.

Can I omit mascarpone cheese in the cake batter?

Yes, you can omit mascarpone, but it adds richness.

Consider replacing it with an equal amount of sour cream or Greek yogurt for a similar effect.

How can I prevent my pound cake from being too dense?

Sifting the cake flour and not overmixing the batter can help prevent a dense texture.

Also, avoid overpacking the flour when measuring.

What does browning the butter add to the cake?

Browning butter adds a nutty flavor to the pound cake, enhancing its overall taste.

Can I make the pound cake without the white chocolate chunks?

Yes, you can omit the white chocolate chunks if desired.

The cake will still have a delightful cranberry flavor.

How do I prevent the cranberries from sinking to the bottom of the cake?

Coating the cranberries with a bit of flour before adding them to the batter helps prevent sinking.

Can I use a different pan size for baking?

You can, but adjust the baking time accordingly.

Smaller pans may require less time, and larger pans may need more time.

Can I freeze the pound cake?

Yes, you can freeze the pound cake without the glaze.

Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing.

Can I use a different glaze for the cake?

Absolutely! You can experiment with different glazes, such as a citrus glaze or a simple powdered sugar glaze, based on your preference.

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