Christmas is just a few days away, which also happens to be my birthday! Growing up, my mom always let my twin sister and I pick out our birthday cake. This glazed cranberry lemon cake happened to be our choice last year and let me tell you, it was pretty amazing!
I often find myself telling my patients, “It’s what you eat most of the time that really matters.” I think focusing on a whole foods, plant-based diet is really important, but that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods, especially on your birthday! I strongly believe that part of living a healthy lifestyle is allowing yourself to indulge every once in a while.
Birthdays are a time for delicious food, which usually includes some birthday cake. Since cake is not something I eat on a regular basis, I usually don’t try to make substitutions in order to make it “healthy”, rather, I prefer to have a small amount of the real deal. Your birthday is the one day out of the year that is essentially yours (unless you have a twin/share your b-day with Jesus like I do). It’s not a day to count calories or grams of fat. It’s a day to enjoy and savor.
Birthday or no birthday, this cake makes a beautiful centerpiece for any holiday meal. It is simple to prepare and can be made in advance which makes it a perfect recipe for this time of year.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!
- ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 and ½ Tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a Bundt pan with butter.
- Sprinkle brown sugar in the bottom of the pan and distribute the cranberries over the sugar.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine granulated sugar with the zest from the lemons.
- Add the butter to the bowl with the lemon zest and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a measuring cup combine the buttermilk with 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk mixture, mixing each addition just until incorporated.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan, over the cranberries.
- Bake about 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving platter, remove the pan and let cool.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, combine powdered sugar with 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the cake and serve.