Cranberry-Lemon Cake with Lemon Icing

Berries, butter and lemon . . .

Back around Thanksgiving, I made this cake and fell in love. It starts out moist and continues to marinate over the next couple days until it is absolutely decadent.

This time ‘round I’m trying it with orange instead of lemon.

I imagine a blueberry-lemon combo would be great as well. You could get away with any berry combined with your favorite citrus.

For Cake:

1½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter, softened
1¼ cup sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1½ cups fresh cranberries

For Glaze:

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

To prepare cake:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan (note, the pan I used is actually a hotel or steam table pan that is slightly larger than my 9×5 inch loaf pan…my standard 9×5 inch loaf pan is too small for this recipe and resulted in me having to clean the oven), or line with parchment paper.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, zest, juice, and vanilla. Set aside.

In the large bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. I used the BeaterBlade for my Kitchen Aid Mixer. It nearly eliminates scraping of the bowl.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.

Reduce mixer speed and alternatively beat in ⅓ of flour mixture, followed by ½ of sour cream mixture, and repeat, ending with the last ⅓ of the flour mixture. Be sure to pause the mixer occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl. Use a spatula to gently fold in cranberries.

Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 60 minutes, until top springs back when lightly pressed or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a stainless cooling rack.

Cool completely before icing.

To prepare glaze:

To make glaze, whisk together lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar until there are no lumps.

Final assembly:

Drizzle over cooled cake.

 

Mise en Place
Mise en Place for Lemon Cranberry Cake

 

Softened butter ready to be beaten into submission by a BeaterBlade
Softened Butter with a BeaterBlade

 

Butter after its initial mix
Butter After Initial Mix

 

Butter after just having the sugar mixed in
First Mix of Sugar with Butter

 

Butter and sugar after having been creamed together for 3 full minutes
Properly Creamed Butter and Sugar

 

The completed batter, waiting for the cranberries
The Completed Batter ready for the cranberries

 

The cranberry cake waiting for the oven
The Cranberry Cake waiting for the oven

 

The cake fresh from the oven waiting to be plated and iced
The Cranberry Cake fresh from the oven

Electric Canning Burner Elements

Do your canners take too long to come up to temperature on your electric coil stove? Maybe it’s time for a burner element upgrade!

If you’ve been spending a lot of time canning on your electric coil stove, you may have noticed a few things about your elements and stove-top and how they perform together:

  • Maybe your stove-top is hotter than you think it should be while you are canning
  • Maybe the coils of your burner elements are sagging or warped or twisted
  • Maybe your stove-top is sagging under the weight of loaded canners
  • Maybe your canners seem to be taking forever to reach temperature

The sagging stove-top

I’ll tell you right off the bat that not every stove is designed with large canners in mind – or large pots of any kind. So many of us do not cook at all, much less in the quantities that would require a 22 quart stock pot or a 30 quart canner. Manufacturers won’t design their stoves for a big ole water bath canner if they think we will only use the stove to heat 6 ounces of water for a cup of tea. If your stove-top is sagging under the weight, this article isn’t going to be much help to you, I’m afraid. You’ll need to consider other alternatives. A new stove. Or canning outside on a camp stove.

Since many stoves aren’t designed for big pots, it follows that neither would be the elements. A manufacturer will frequently put in elements with lower wattages and with brackets only strong enough for that afore-mentioned cup of tea. Those elements are certainly powerful enough and strong enough for “normal sized” cookware, but when you want to bring a large quantity of water to boiling, and keep the element from collapsing, you frequently run into trouble.

The stove-top is too hot

If you’ve noticed your stove-top being much hotter while canning than during your normal cooking, take a look at the height of your existing coil elements. You’ll notice that they are probably no more than 1/2 inch above the surface of your stove-top. A canner or large stock-pot will over-hang your big burner, usually by at least 2 inches all the way around. This will trap heat between the bottom of the canner and the stove-top. That excess heat could damage your stove-top, the drip pan under your burner or even the receptacle that your burner plugs in to.

Burner elements that are designed for canning are usually higher than the standard burner that ships with most typical stoves. The True Canning Burner listed below is right at 3/4 inch above the stove-top, while the Jenn-Air Big Pot is closer to a full inch. This extra space allows for much more air flow under the canner and keeps your stove-top noticeably cooler.

If your receptacles are damaged, you will not get full performance out of your elements. When you remove your elements for cleaning, if you notice any burnt places on the prongs that plug in to the receptacle, you definitely need to replace your receptacles and almost certainly need to replace your element.

The coils are sagging

Canners and large stock-pots are much heavier than your “normal sized” cookware, even when they are empty. If you fill a typical 22 quart stock pot with water you will easily approach 50 lbs, and all of that weight is resting directly on your burner element. When the coils get hot and are underneath all that weight, they will sometimes warp or sag or otherwise stretch out of shape.

A typical element will have a tripod type bracket under it. Simply three legs in a Y shape to hold up the coils and support the cookware. Burners designed for canning will usually always have a heavier-duty bracket under them and one that is designed with more support for the coils.

Probably the most common – and it’s possible you already have these – are the “D” brackets. In a D bracket, two of the legs of the standard Y bracket are closed in making a shape that resembles a letter D. Less common is what I call the “triangle” bracket shown on the True burner below. The standard Y bracket is made thicker and heavier and taller and then a brace is placed between each leg of the Y.

I have had both D and triangle bracket elements at various times and both seem to be strong enough to support my canners.

The canners take too long to reach temperature

Manufacturers do not always ship their stoves with the highest wattage burners available. To my knowledge the typical wattages for large electric coil burners are 2150 watts or 2600 watts. (Small burners are 1250 or 1500 watts from my research.) I have found that the extra 450 watts provided by by a 2600 watt burner is noticeable. The extra wattage allows for faster heating. All the burners I’ve listed below are supposed to be rated at 2600 watts (I’ve not confirmed this for the Range Kleen).

Below I have compiled a list of all the canning burners that I could track down at the time of this posting (December 2013) complete with as many interchangeable part numbers as I could find.

DISCLAIMER: Check with the manufacturer of your stove to determine if you may safely upgrade your burners and how to do so – don’t just take the advice of some internet blogger whom you randomly discovered via a Google search!

Amazon ImageTrue – triangle bracket – Frigidaire 08011324 also part numbers K1167879, K001167879, 363110, AH413034, EA413034, PS413034, 8011324

Amazon ImageJenn-Air Big Pot CE1 – D-Bracket – Whirlpool YA145A also part numbers 703041, A145A, 704463, 712429, 7-3041, 7-4463, 7-12429, Y703041, 1247494, AH2202791, EA2202791, PS2202791, Y704463, Y712429

Amazon ImageGE WB30k5019 – D-Bracket – also 336177, 4337683, 80650, 257579, AH243843, EA243843, PS243843, 326786

Amazon ImageRange Kleen Canning Burner Kit 102AM7383 – D-Bracket – with drip pan

MP26KA – D-bracket – also MP26KA, TS5C8226, TS5C8226PB, YMP26KA, ERS58D26-CAN, 81410610