We’re coming to the end of 2020, which I’m sure everyone is relieved about. Yet, I don’t believe things change overnight just because of a number associated with a year. I do believe that the new year is a time for reflection and also celebration; as everyone gets to take another lap and maybe get a better time. So, while I am thinking of new goals for the new year as I always do, I am also grateful for many things that happened in 2020 – yes you heard me, grateful. While it’s been a difficult year in many ways, I’ve had many good things happen and I’ve become a better person to myself in ways I didn’t think possible.
So if you’re choosing to celebrate this year, as I am, and want to do it with dessert – I have a recipe for you! This Champagne Loaf Cake is a perfect way to ring in the new year and I’ve topped with Sugared Cranberries for some added sparkle. You guys have been showing my Raspberry Loaf Cake a lot of love lately, so this cake is very similar to that but all dressed up for New Year’s. If you’re familiar with that recipe, then this one will be a piece of cake – literally! I use lemon zest in the cake and make a glaze with champagne in place of milk and then top it with those cute little berries.
I used a 1 1/4 pound loaf pan from my friends at USA Pan, which you can find here. This loaf pan is 9 x 5-inches. Seriously guys, if you don’t have one of their loaf pans by now then you need to get one. I’ve used USA Pan since the beginning of my bake shop for brownies and always knew they were amazing. But, we recently started making more pound cakes and I had this old stainless steel loaf pan at the bakery that was just always there. And by old, I mean it was at my house before it went to the bakery and I don’t even remember buying it… so yeah it was that old. But, whenever we’d make pound cake it was a struggle to get it out! We were always worried about the corners and I’d usually end up eating the end slices (not that I’m complaining about that, as those are the best pieces!). But, when I finally thought one day last year to upgrade to a USA Pan, literally our lives changed. Our pound cakes come out perfectly with little to no effort every single time! I don’t know why it took me so long to replace something so simple. So, if you’re thinking this is you right now, then take my advice and spend the minimal dollars it costs to upgrade your pans! The right tools can really change your experience in the kitchen, and sometimes they can be so simple and easy to upgrade without costing very much at all.
Okay, now that you all know how crucial a pan can be… back to the recipe. This cute little loaf cake can be eaten for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Get the recipe for my Champagne Loaf Cake with Sugared Cranberries below.
Tips for Making the Best Champagne Loaf Cake with Sugared Cranberries
- Have your cranberries made and ready to go. I like to make them a day ahead of time so they are just a topper and I can focus on the cake.
- Make sure you are using a USA Pan 1 1/4 pound loaf pan.
- Use champagne that you like the flavor of because you will taste it in the cake and especially in the frosting.
- Make sure your butter is soft, and your milk and eggs are at room temperature. This will help make the smoothest cake batter, which makes a softer and delicate cake.
- Don’t be afraid to bake your cake a little longer if it needs it. Use a toothpick or a butter knife to stick into the middle of the cake to make sure it comes out clean. If it’s wet, then you can bake it a little bit longer, try 5 minutes at a time and go from there.
Sugared Cranberry Champagne Loaf Cake
Makes 9 x 5-inch loaf cake
Sugared Cranberries (find recipe here)
3/4 cup (170 grams) organic salted butter, softened
226 grams (1 cup) organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
3 organic large eggs
3/4 cup organic milk
255 grams (2 cups) organic all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Zest of 1 organic lemon
142 grams (1 cup) organic powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons champagne
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper letting it hang over the sides for easier removal.
To make the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter, cane sugar, and vanilla extract and mix on low until combined and there are no chunks of butter.
Add the eggs and milk and mix on low until it combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and sea salt and mix on low until combined into a smooth batter. Add in the lemon zest and mix on low to combine.
Grease the loaf pan with either butter or cooking spray. Pour the batter in and spread evenly.
Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
To make the glaze: In a medium bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and champagne.
Remove the loaf cake from the pan and pour the glaze over the top. Top with Sugared Cranberries.
Store in a cake dome or in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Gluten Free – Replace the flour with 269 grams (1 3/4 cups) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude – Bake at 350°F for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.