Lemon-Cranberry Cake

With all the heavy foods that appear around Christmas, this lemon cake with its fresh cranberry filling and fluffy frosting offers a fresh-tasting alternative.

Lemon-Cranberry Cake
Servings: 16 Prep 30 mins Bake 25 mins Cook 350°F 15 mins


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) whole cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Sugared cranberries (see Note)
  • Sugared cranberries (see Note)
Thinly sliced lemon, for garnish
  • Thinly sliced lemon, for garnish

Make It


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9-inch-round cake pans.

2. In a medium-size bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.

3. In large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar until fluffy and light colored, 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

4. In a measuring cup, whisk together milk, lemon juice and vanilla.

5. On low speed, alternately beat flour mixture and milk mixture into butter mixture, ending with flour. Stir in lemon rind. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.

6. Bake in 350 degree F oven until tops spring back when lightly pressed, 25 minutes. Let cake layers cool in pans on rack 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; remove pans. Let cool.


7. In saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to simmering over medium-high heat; cook, stirring, until berries pop and mixture thickens slightly, 5 minutes. Scrape into sieve over bowl; press through sieve, discarding seeds and solids. You should have 1 cup filling. Let cool to room temperature.


8. In heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, water and corn syrup. Beat on medium-high speed with a hand mixer over medium-low heat until icing is thick, pure white and fluffy (soft, shiny peaks), about 7 to 9 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add extracts; beat until very thick, 1 minute.

9. Place one cake layer on serving plate. Top with half the filling, leaving 1/2-inch border around edge. Top with 3/4 cup icing. Repeat with second cake layer, remaining filling and 3/4 cup icing. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining icing over sides and top of cake. Garnish with sugared cranberries and lemon slices just before serving, if desired. Makes 16 servings.


10. Place 1/4 cup refrigerated pasteurized egg white in small bowl. Dip cranberries in egg white; then 1/4 cup granulated sugar to coat. Place on waxed paper and let stand until dry, about 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 16; Amount Per Serving: cal. (kcal): 450, Fat, total (g): 13, chol. (mg): 86, sat. fat (g): 8, carb. (g): 79, fiber (g): 2, pro. (g): 5, sodium (mg): 122, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.