Cranberry Butter Cakes

These mini loaves of butter cake are studded with bright red cranberries. With a white icing they make delightful holiday gifts, or nibbles for a buffet. 

3 mini loaves
Prep Time
20 min
1 hour
Recipe by
Tara Teaspoon


2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
⅓ cup sour cream
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
¾ cups unsalted Plugrà butter, softened
1¼ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped


1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
6 tsp milk
Heat oven to 350ºF. Butter and line 3 mini loaf pans with parchment.
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Combine sour cream, milk, and extracts in a bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and beat until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With mixer running add eggs, one at a time, letting each incorporate into the batter.
Alternately mix in the flour and sour cream mixtures in 3 additions, starting and ending with flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat the batter for 20 to 30 seconds after the last addition of flour.
Fold the cranberries into the batter by hand. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pans and place the pans on a baking sheet spaced evenly apart.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
Let cakes cool in the pans a few minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
When cakes are cooled, make the icing. Mix together the confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Icing will be thick.
Spoon icing onto each cake, gently spreading it over the top. Let the icing set about 30 minutes before topping with garnish. Use a drop of water to soften icing if needed to attach the garnish.
Serve, or pack in cellophane bags for gifting. Cakes will keep, airtight, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.