Hi Guys! I hope you’re having a great week! I found the most amazing recipe for cranberry pound cake, and I’m really excited to share it with you today! Last weekend, my husband and I went through the drive-thru at Starbucks with the cuties, and they saw that delicious looking picture of the cranberry bliss bars that Starbucks rolls out at Christmastime each year.
I’m not sure whether or not I’ve mentioned that we’re a gluten free family on the blog before, but we are! I won’t get into the details, but the girls and I are all super sensitive to gluten and we have a much happier and healthier life now that we’ve kicked it to the curb 🙂
So anyway, Jenna saw the cranberry bliss bars, and commented on how yummy they looked, and that she wished she could try one… She was a bit sad, and I wasn’t going to have that – especially at this time of year!
I remembered a recipe for cranberry pound cake that I pinned on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago, and promised to try and rework it to be gluten free this week. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best today, because I have most definitely been fooled by amazing looking Pinterest recipes with gorgeous photos that don’t quite pan out. Well, this cake is not one of those recipes. Is it a cranberry bliss bar? No. But it is topped with white chocolate drizzle and a smattering of dried cranberries like the bliss bars are, and trust me, no one was complaining when they ate it today. This is a seriously delicious pound cake. And you’ll probably gain a pound or two eating it, but who cares! It’s almost Christmas! Just kidding, I do care and I kinda feel guilty about how amazing it was, but it was worth every calorie 🙂 This cake is super moist, and super rich, and perfect for Christmas. If you’re not gluten free you can find the original recipe here. But I’m not kidding you when I say, you can not tell this recipe is gluten free. If you have a friend who needs to eat this way, make this and you’ll both be happy. It is just an incredibly delicious cake, period!
One thing to mention before beginning. You know how when you’re baking with wheat flour, you need to be careful not to overwork the batter because you’ll end up with a dense, tough cake? Well, you don’t have that problem with gluten free baking because there’s no gluten in the batter to overwork! It’s actually beneficial to really beat the batter for a decent amount of time, to make sure that all of the flours in your blend (and the xanthan gum) is evenly distributed. Okay, that’s my tip. Here’s the recipe!
Gluten Free Cranberry Pound Cake
For the Cake:
187 grams Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Flour Blend* (that’s about 1 ½ cups plus 3 Tablespoons flour but it’s a good idea to weigh it out because different GF flour blends have different volume ratios. If you try the cup version, let me know how it goes!)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
a hefty pinch of salt
1 cup fresh cranberries
½ cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
300 grams sugar ( 1½ cups)
½ cup heavy cream
zest of one orange
½ cup mascarpone or cream cheese (at room temperature)
3 eggs (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
zest of 1/2 an orange
1/2 cup butter (softened)
8 oz cream cheese
3 cup powdered sugar (or more to make it thick enough to spread on the cake)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
handful dried cranberries
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup white chocolate chips
Preheat convection oven to 350 F (rotate the pan half way through the baking time)
Butter and flour 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
Combine gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt and sift. Set aside.
Cream the butter, oil, and sugar with an electric mixer using the paddle attachment until creamy. Add the vanilla extract, orange zest, and the eggs (one at a time) and beat 2 to 3 minutes.
Add heavy cream and mascarpone, and beat another one to two minutes on high.
Turn mixer to low and begin adding in your dry ingredients that were set aside. Beat on high, 2 minutes (there’s no gluten in this, so this amount of beating is fine, and necessary!)
Toss cranberries with a little flour to cover them and fold them in to the batter.
Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan, smooth the top and gently tap the pan on the counter to remove the air bubbles.
Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean (about 55 to 65 minutes). Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on the rack.
When the cake is completely cooled, prepare the glaze.
With a stand mixer, cream together softened butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla extract and orange zest. Spread on the top and sides of the cake. Place the cake in the fridge until the frosting is set.
When the frosting is set, melt ½ cup white chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a small sauce pan over low heat until it’s smooth (let it cool if it’s too thin).
Sprinkle the cake with dried cranberries and drizzle with white chocolate. (You can drizzle the chocolate with a spoon or transfer it into small zip-lock bag, cut off the corner and pipe the chocolate over the cake).
And voila! Gluten Free Cranberry Pound Cake!
*I used Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Flour Blend for this recipe. King Arthur Gluten Free Flour is also good. Just make sure your blend does NOT already contain xanthan gum.
It’s an incredibly yummy cake!
And the girls were so happy to come home to this today 🙂 It’s a definite keeper.
Have a great week, Friends!