Holiday Cake: Lemon Almond w/ Cranberry Icing

I rarely watch cooking shows, but one recent Sunday, I saw the adorable Molly Yeh make this lemon cake with a cranberry icing.

Hey, I am all about pink icing.
I usually make it in the thick of winter when blood oranges are in season.....but why not get a jump start and use cranberries?

Genius idea.

The cake uses 3/4 cup of olive oil.....which is why it's so MOIST (there's that word again!).

I did everything Molly said, except I subbed in sour cream for the yogurt. I always have sour cream in the fridge, and I love it in cakes.

This is a very straight forward recipe, so don't be scared.

It has almost a marzipan flavor, so you had better love almonds.

Molly decorated her cake with thyme leaves, sliced cranberries and sprinkles......I used pretty green pistachios and sliced raw cranberries (who knew a cranberry could be so pretty when sliced?).

This was not only a stunner, but super delicious.

This is a great holiday cake. I highly recommend you make it.

Molly's Lemon Cake w/ Poppy Seeds and Cranberry Icing: (adapted from Food Network)

For the Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal (not almond flour)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
3/4 cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt (I used sour cream)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I love California Ranch)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

For the Glaze and Topping
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons water, plus more if needed
1 cup confectioners sugar, plus more if needed
pinch of kosher salt

Assorted decorations (Molly uses halved cranberries, sliced almonds, fresh thyme, candied rose petals and sugar pearls....I used sliced raw cranberries and chopped pistachios)

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, almond meal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds and lemon zest. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and yogurt until very smooth. In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar and olive oil until combined, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in the almond extract. Whisk in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the yogurt mixture in two batches, whisking well after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Combine the cranberries and water in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, smashing the cranberries with a rubber spatula as needed, until they start to break down and release their juices, 5 to 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on the solids with the rubber spatula and scraping off the bottom of the sieve.

Add the confectioners' sugar and salt and mix until the glaze is smooth and spreadable. If the glaze is too thick, add a couple drops of water. If it's too thin, add a pinch of confectioners' sugar.

Spread the glaze over the top of the cake (I do this while the cake is still warm), allowing some to drip down the sides. Decorate as desired, before the glaze hardens.

You can make this cake 2 days ahead and keep in the fridge. Take out an hour before serving.

Winner winner, chicken dinner.


Gorgeous! I love cranberries too.