Espresso Pound Cake with Cranberries and Pecans

Espresso Pound Cake with Cranberries and Pecans is the best way to start your day! This moist and flavorful pound cake is loaded with cranberries and pecans and a hint of coffee. There is something so immensely comforting about pound cake. If it is baked correctly, it is tremendously moist, dense and buttery. Just take a look at those toasted pecans and tart cranberries piled on top of this pound cake…and don’t get me started on that amazing drizzled coffee glaze sliding down the side of the pound cake. Doesn’t it just make you want to run into the kitchen right now?

What drew me to this version of a pound cake was the espresso powder. Everything is better with a little espresso powder! Would you be surprised to know that I hate coffee? I know, as much as I bake with it, I actually find it revolting! But espresso powder on the other hand, is amazing! My husband has to have at least one cup of coffee every morning or he is horrible to be around. He stumbles out of bed grumbling incoherently until that magical plain black coffee lifts his spirits. I don’t get it…does it really make that much of a difference? I enjoy a cup of tea every morning, but I do not by any means need it to function! I would hate to see what would happen if he was stranded on a deserted island with no coffee…let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be there!  So what about you, are you addicted to coffee too? Do you have to have your morning cup of joe before you can function?

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Espresso Pound Cake with Cranberries and Pecans

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  • 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee
  • 1 cup dried sweetened cranberries, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. Spread the pecans onto a baking sheet and place in preheated oven 7-10 minutes until fragrant. Shake the baking sheet halfway through baking so the nuts will toast evenly. Remove nuts from oven and set aside to cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla to blend; set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon espresso powder until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add egg mixture. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, beating on low speed just to blend after each addition. Beat batter 30 seconds on medium speed. Stir in 3/4 cup pecans and 3/4 cup cranberries. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth surface with a rubber spatula.
  6. Bake until top is golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.  Cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely before serving, at least 1 hour.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 2 teaspoons espresso powder. Spread glaze over top of cake, allowing some to drip down sides. Sprinkle 1/4 cup nuts and 1/4 cup cranberries over. Let stand until glaze sets, about 20 minutes.

Source: Bon Appetit, March 2011

30 Responses to “Espresso Pound Cake with Cranberries and Pecans”

  1. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — March 11, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    This looks wonderful. It would definitely add some nice variety to the typical banana breads at a brunch.

  2. #
    katshealthcorner — March 11, 2011 @ 8:32 am

    Your cake is GORGEOUS!!! 😀 I love all of the different add-ins! 😀 So much better than plain ole’ bread! 😀


  3. #
    happywhennothungry — March 11, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    This espresso pound cake looks delicious! I’ve never thought to put espresso powder in pound cake, but such a great idea. Yum!

  4. #
    Angela@RecipesFromMyMom — March 11, 2011 @ 8:52 am

    I love pound cakes and this one would be great for a brunch or great after dinner with coffee. The cornstarch is an interesting ingredient and I’ve used it in baked goods.

  5. #
    beth — March 11, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    im with you, i love the smell of coffee and i love it in baked goods and whatnot, but i cant stand the taste of plain coffee! crazy! oh well, maybe some day… the cake looks delicious, i like when a baked good has a lot to offer like this one!

  6. #
    Tiffany — March 11, 2011 @ 10:18 am

    This flavor combination is intriguing me!

  7. #
    Susi — March 11, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    I’m another one of these grumpy people that need their coffee in the morning or I can’t function correctly :o) I love anything coffee flavored and agree that a little bit of espresso powder in baked goods makes a big difference. This pound cake looks fantastic with all of its goodness. That coffee glaze alone makes me drool :o)

  8. #
    Molly @ Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips — March 11, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    Everything is better with espresso powder! Can’t wait to try this!

  9. #
    Jenny — March 11, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    I’ve never added coffee to anything! This makes me feel like I’m missing out

  10. #
    Michelle — March 11, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

    This looks great. I love the sauce drizzled over the top and all the cranberries. I could eat dried cranberries by the bowlful! Your pictures are always so nice. What type of camera do you use and where do you take your pictures?

  11. #
    Sandra — March 11, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    I love my tea, but I think if the Tea Police took it all away I’d be OK. However, if they scooped up all the pound cake, we’d have a problem. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. #
    Cookie — March 11, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

    OMG this looks SO good!

  13. #
    mywanderingspoon — March 11, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

    Great loaf of sweetbread, love the combination of ingredients:)

  14. #
    Toby — March 11, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

    I’m always on the lookout for a new pound cake. I love the use of espresso powder!

  15. #
    Nina — March 11, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

    Christina, your pound cake looks wonderful. I love the glaze you used…great combo of ingredients!

  16. #
    Sara — March 12, 2011 @ 12:35 am

    I love this unique spin on a classic. And about the coffee, I certainly don’t need it to function, but it definitely doesn’t hurt! 🙂

  17. #
    Geet — March 12, 2011 @ 1:33 am

    This looks so scrumptious. I am going to do this tomorrow for my guests.

  18. #
    Honey @ Honey, What's Cooking? — March 12, 2011 @ 2:06 am

    oh my, this looks gorgeous! i love the sound of this cake. it would go so well with a cup of tea… totally looks like a morning breakfast! 🙂

  19. #
    fooddreamer — March 12, 2011 @ 8:05 am

    Wow, now that is a pound cake. It’s just stuffed with goodies!

  20. #
    simplynutritiouskate — March 12, 2011 @ 8:36 am

    Wow that cake looks amazing , so rich! I love pound cake.

  21. #
    kita — March 12, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

    Hello slathered in glaze and cranberries! This looks awesome.

  22. #
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos — March 13, 2011 @ 12:48 am

    seriously, sweet pea – either you own a bakery… or your family has magical stomachs to devour all of your baked goodness daily!! this looks fabulous! love love the drizzles….~~

  23. #
    Hester aka The Chef Doc — March 13, 2011 @ 1:02 am

    Mmm, just beautiful! I don’t get the whole addicted-to-coffee thing, either. But I do agree that it adds lovely flavor in baking 🙂 The pound cake looks so tasty!

  24. #
    Liz — March 13, 2011 @ 8:26 am

    What a gorgeous cake! I love everything about it~espresso, cranberries, pecans and that fabulous drizzle…

  25. #
    Cahide — March 13, 2011 @ 11:23 am

    Kardeş bunu bende beğendim…

  26. #
    The Food Hound — March 13, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    LOVE IT! You and I are on the same page about coffee- I love the flavor but hate actual coffee, but the Booze Hound needs to be hooked up to an IV every morning! I love your addition of espresso to everything- lets me experience the flavor without actually drinking the nasty stuff!

  27. #
    Felice — March 14, 2011 @ 1:56 am

    I love coffee and cranberries so this is a match made in heaven for me. Thanks!

  28. #
    Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley — March 18, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    Hi Sweat Pea – great recipe!
    We made this to celebrate our one year anniversary together. We had it with coffee in the morning. Lovely! My husband said he didn’t quite get it right. He used real espresso rather than the dried version and it made it a little too wet in the middle. He will try it again with the instant. But I have to say, it is still delicious! Thanks!

    • Christina replied: — March 18th, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

      Isn’t this pound cake great? I am so glad you enjoyed it! Happy anniversary! 🙂

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