Lemon Cranberry Bread

  Lemon Cranberry Bread  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Lemon Cranberry Bread | Image: Laura Messersmith

We just passed the longest day of the year, so scientifically we’ve turned the corner and are now on our way to spring, but practically we all know winter has just begun. Here in New York we can probably expect another 3 months of grey, cold weather, so I’m thankful that we have citrus season to look forward to.

It’s ironic to me that citrus is in season during the coldest months of the year, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth and just enjoy the gorgeous lemons, grapefruits, clementines, and oranges arriving here in the north.

While I plan to eat a ton of fresh fruit, I also want to incorporate citrus into my cooking and channel some of those tropical flavors. I can’t take full credit for this recipe – my girl Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake and this recipe for Lemon Cake with Cranberries on Melangery helped guide my baking ways. Thanks Ladies!

   Lemon Cranberry Bread    | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Lemon Cranberry Bread | Image: Laura Messersmith

Lemon Cranberry Bread (yield: 1 loaf)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Chobani 2% plain whole-milk greek yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup fresh cranberries

For the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions:
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.

In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Next, add the vegetable oil into the wet ingredients, making sure it's all incorporated.

Lastly, slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Prepare a loaf pan by buttering and flouring the bottom and sides. Pour the batter into the pan and evenly sprinkle a 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries across the top. Use a bamboo skewer to gently press the cranberries toward the bottom of the batter spacing some closer to the bottom and some toward the middle.

Repeat the process with another 1/4 cup of cranberries, pressing them just below the surface. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool completely before turning out of the pan. Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.

Alternate Version:
Prepare the mini-muffin tins with non-stick spray or paper liners. Spoon the batter into the tins with a 1/2 teaspoon cookie scoop. Sprinkle 2-3 fresh cranberries in each cup and press gently into the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Yield: about 2 dozen mini-muffins

Glaze:
Measure the confectioner’s sugar into a small bowl. Stir in the lemon juice one teaspoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. It should drip from the spoon in a thin ribbon.

   Lemon Cranberry Bread      | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Lemon Cranberry Bread | Image: Laura Messersmith

Small Kitchen Friendly?
Yes! I used one small mixing bowl, one medium mixing bowl, a mixing spoon, rubber spatula, liquid and dry measuring cups and measuring spoons. I also used a microplane zester and glass loaf pan.

The Verdict:
In this Lemon Cranberry Cake I wanted the lemon flavor to come through clearly and for cake to be on the savory side so that the addition of a lemon glaze wouldn’t make it too sweet. I love the citrus and thanks to the greek yogurt the cake is really tender and moist. This is perfect for a holiday brunch or as a fruit option on a dessert table.

   Lemon Cranberry Bread    | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Lemon Cranberry Bread | Image: Laura Messersmith