Cranberry Lebkuchen

December 11, 2009

This German cake has many variations, but I especially like using cranberries at Christmas.  The dessert can be left as a cake or cut into bars, which makes it easy to serve during the holidays.  Make up several batches and keep them in tins or give as gifts!

Cranberry Lebkuchen

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups honey
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup blanched almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice

Icing Ingredients

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square or round pan and line with waxed paper.  In a large saucepan over low heat, stir the honey and granulated sugar together. Add the butter and stir until melted. Remove saucepan from the heat.  Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to the honey mixture. Stir in the almonds, cranberries, and spices, mixing well to combine. The mixture will be sticky.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan; level and smooth the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick or tester inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack.

Icing Method

If desired, decorate the top of the cake with almonds in a star pattern (this is optional). In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners sugar, lemon juice, and butter with a wooden spoon until blended and smooth. Ice the cake while it is still slightly warm.

This cake can be cut into bars, if preferred. If cutting into bars, use a square pan and you may want to cut the the cake before icing it, so icing will drizzle down sides of bars.

Store the cooled cake in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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