Servings: 8to 10 servings (mMakes one 8x4 or 9x5" loaf).
4ouncesunsalted butter, at room temperature(1 stick, 1/2 cup)
3ouncescream cheese, at room temperature(1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1 1/4cupssugar (preferably organic cane sugar)
zest of 3 clementines (or other medium tangerines)
3eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
2cupsfresh cranberries, halved (if frozen, probably no need to defrost first)
1/2cuppowdered sugar (sifted if clumpy)
4tablespoonsCointreau (or other orange liqueur), or enough to make a thin glaze
Make the cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325º. Line an 8x4 or 9x5" loaf pan with a sling of parchment paper (or just shove a piece of paper in there, creasing the folds flat). (Lacking parchment, you can generously grease the pan and dust it with flour.)
Combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until light and fluffy, 3 - 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle as needed. (The mixture may break, and that's ok.) Stir in the vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then add it to the batter, stirring on low speed until just combined. Fold the batter a few times with a rubber spatula, scraping the paddle and bottom of the bowl, to make sure the batter is thoroughly combined, and that any zest clumps are distributed throughout the batter. Gently fold in the cranberries. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake the cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached, 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours. Let the cake cool for 10 or 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan, and peel away the parchment. Poke it all over the top and sides with a toothpick or skewer.
Make the glaze:
While the cake is cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar and cointreau until you have a glaze that's about as thin as half and half. Brush the glaze all over the top and sides of the warm cake. Let the cake cool completely, at least one hour.
The cake keeps well, wrapped, at room temperature or in the fridge, for up to a week.
Adapted this Lemon Huckleberry Tea Cake, which I originally adapted from a pound cake recipe in Fine Cooking.Clementines come into season as cranberries are on their way out. You could certainly substitute other citrus zest for the clementines, or use frozen cranberries (probably no need to thaw first). And I'm eager to try this with rhubarb in place of cranberries in the spring.An 8x4" pan will yield a tall loaf, like the one pictured here, but if a 9x5 incher is what you've got, that will work just fine.Enjoy this cake with breakfast, brunch, or, as the name implies, afternoon tea.Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings.