I think I should change the name of this series to “12 Days of Christmas Treats”. Clearly I’m running out of cookie ideas. Well, that’s not entirely true. Originally I was going to make red velvet cookies, but then I made this awesome fudge that I thought you all would enjoy. BUT THEN I made these mini cranberry pound cakes to take to a potluck and to give as gifts. They were so good that I scraped all my other plans and took some pictures because you all need this recipe.
Every year I make some sort of bread to give out to people at work, my neighbors, the mailman, and whoever else looks like they need a little something special. I typically make an old recipe of my mother’s for cinnamon bread, but this year I thought I would change it up.
Pound cakes are kind of my thing. They have their own board on my Pinterest page and I’ve posted a couple of recipes here. I love pound cake because it’s dense and delicious and usually requires an insane amount of butter. So this year, instead of giving out cinnamon bread, I thought I should give out mini pound cakes. I found this recipe for a cranberry cream cheese pound cake on one of my favorite food blogs, and thought it would be perfect for gift giving.
If you’re still looking for something to bake as last minute gifts, make mini cranberry pound cakes. Your recipients will love the sweet + tart flavor combination that the fresh cranberries bring.
Mini Cranberry Pound Cakes
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 6-8 mini loaf pans* with cooking spray and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Cream butter and cream cheese together until very smooth, 2-4 minutes. Beat in sugar, and continue to cream for another 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time.
Add lemon juice, lemon zest, both extracts, and salt and mix well. Add flour in gradually, mixing until just combined. Toss cranberries with a tablespoon of regular flour and then fold them in by hand. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are combined.
Divide evenly among greased pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and frost, if desired.
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla, clear preferred
Combine in a small bowl; icing will be rather thick. If you prefer a glaze rather than icing, add more heavy cream, one teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Spoon icing into a small plastic bag, seal, and snip a small hole at the end. Pipe frosting in desired pattern over the cakes.
*I use the paper mini loaf pans from King Arthur. They’re 4¾” x 2¾” x 1¾”. The average mini loaf pan you can buy in the store measures about 5¾” x 3¼” x 2¼”. I got 8 loaves out of this recipe, filling the pans a little more than 3/4 of the way full. If you use the larger mini loaf pan, I imagine you would get about 6 loaves. If you’re using the larger pans, be sure to adjust the bake time.
-Adapted from Let’s Dish