Cranberry Poundcake Bread Pudding

One of my favorite desserts that Sean makes is pound cake. It’s a simple cake that tastes just like childhood to me as I ate Entenmann’s pound cake by the pound whenever my parents bought it. This twist on bread pudding using home made pound cake as the “bread,” though really labor intensive, is a winner. Especially for holiday parties.

There are three main steps:

1- make a pound cake

2- make a cranberry compote

3- make the poundcake bread pudding

I’ll walk you through these three steps.

Pound Cake


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a six cup loaf pan.

In a KitchenAid stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on a high speed. Add eggs one at a time, vanilla, and salt and mix until well combined. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the flour until it’s all combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for an hour or so until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool on a wire rack.

Cranberry Compote

The next step is to make a cranberry compote. Sean added a couple bags of frozen cranberries to a pan on medium heat like you’d start to make a cranberry sauce. He then added a little water, approximately 1/2 cup of sugar,  a handful of frozen strawberries, a handful of frozen blueberries, and some frozen raspberries. This will turn into a sauce if you let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. He added some orange zest at the end.

This part of the recipe can be adjusted to your likes. The addition of sweeter berries allows for a little less sugar and still makes the cranberry sauce really sweet.

The final step is to assemble the bread pudding.

Cut the poundcake up into cubes and let it sit out at room temperature over night to get a little dry.

Cranberry Poundcake Bread Pudding


  • 1 loaf poundcake cut into cubes
  • 2 TB melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups cranberry compote

Preheat oven to 350.

Put the pound cake cubes in a square pyrex baking dish and drizzle melted butter over the top.

In your KitchenAid stand mixer, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and cranberry compote and mix until well combined. Pour over the pound cake and lightly push down on it with a fork to be sure the bread is covered and soaking it all up. Let this sit on the counter for 45 minutes or so to be sure it has soaked up the mixture before baking for 45 minutes and has cooked through.

Chef Sean served food to Opera on Tap Colorado at Upslope Brewing Company, and he served this dessert paired with their Christmas Ale. Smear a little extra compote on the plate and a dollop on top and shove a fork in it!


Rhubarb Pie

Chef Sean Smith is a fan of Martha Stewart’s recipes because they are easily multiplied. That essentially means she nails the ingredient ratios so if you’re making a double or triple batch of cookies, you can be confident that doubling or tripling her recipe will end up with something delicious. So, when I was tasked with making a pie for our clients, I went right to Martha.

The recipe starts by suggesting you make this pie the day before you plan to serve it, which is exactly what I did. I suggest you make your pie crust first and keep it cold in the refrigerator. Make your crumble topping second and keep it cold in the fridge as well until you’re ready to sprinkle it on top of the filling. Below you’ll find three sections: dough, filling, and crumble topping.

Ingredients for the Pie Dough:

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 (or a little more if needed) ice water

The easiest way to make dough is to add the flour, sugar, salt, and butter to a food processor and give it a whirl. Then slowly add the ice water until it’s dough. Finish by forming it into a ball, wrap it in parchment paper, and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

Ingredients for the Pie Filling:

  • All- purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 3/4 pounds (approximately 6 cups) rhubarb with the ends trimmed and cut crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt

Ingredients for Crumble:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter

And now to make the pie! Here’s my pie before baking, just for reference.

  1. Place the pie dough on parchment paper and roll it out to fit in a 9 in pie pan. Fit the dough into the pan, trim/crimp your edges, and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 with the rack at the lowest level.
  3. Add the crumble ingredients to a bowl and mix until the butter is somewhat evenly distributed. Chill in the fridge until you reach step 5.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  5. Pour filling into the pie crust, distribute it evenly, and sprinkle the crumble topping on top.
  6. Place pie pan on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. This is important as it will help clean up be a synch!
  7. Place your pie in the oven and lower it to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 1.5 hours and cool completely before serving.

Boulder’s Best Root Beer Float

Oak at Fourteenth isn’t just serving some of the best lunch and dinner in town– Their dessert menu is pretty tempting and well worth a glance.  I’m a new-found fan of their root beer float that my esteemed tour guide Heather and I split after enjoying a fantastically delicious meal at OAK for her birthday.

Neither Heather nor I felt like ordering dessert, but our waitress brought us a root beer float with a candle to say Happy Birthday, so how could we resist…  Now, here’s the cool part- they serve the ice cream, brownies, and pretzel bites in a glass and bring the root beer in a small caraffe on the side to pour your float at the table. I like that detail very much.





















Everything is made in-house except the pretzel bites, which add a nice crunch to the vanilla ice cream, brownie bites, and root beer. Sip it with a straw, dig into it with a spoon- The last sip is slurp-worthy, so if the restaurant is bustling and loud, you just might get away with some impolite slurping.

OAK at Fourteenth

1400 Pearl Street, Boulder CO

Taste 7: Cherry Almond Orange Chocolove Biscotti

I love baking biscotti, and since he’s been talking about biscotti lately, I thought I’d make one of my biscotti recipes for my seventh taste of how much I care.  But, I better stop snacking on these to be sure he actually gets a taste…

When baking with butter, I like to whip fresh cream into butter rather than use a pre-made stick, so that was the first step of this recipe. If you choose not to do that, start with softened butter. Also, I love chopping up Chocolove chocolate bars for recipes that call for chocolate chips or chocolate chunks. They are a local favorite of mine. For this recipe I used an Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate Chocolove bar.

  • 1/4 cup whipped, fresh butter
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp lemon, orange, or clementine zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 Chocolove bar, chopped (I used Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate for this recipe)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder (1 tsp if at altitude)
  • a little nutmeg
  • a little sea salt

Preheat oven to 350.

I like to toast my almonds while the oven is pre-heating, but be careful. One minute too long in that oven and they could easily burn! I usually put a big handful of raw, whole almonds on a baking sheet and put them in the oven right when I turn it on. I check them every few minutes and give them shake or stir. After 7-10 minutes, they should be fragrant and golden brown. Remove them from the oven and pour them onto another tray, or into a bowl. Let them cool before giving them a coarse chop.

Sift the flours, baking powder, nutmeg, and sea salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine your chocolate chunks, chopped almonds, and dried cherries (cherries are definitely optional).

Next, start to cream together the butter and sugar in your mixer. Add the eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and lemon or orange zest. When the wet ingredients are well combined, add the chocolate, almonds, and cherries and mix for a few seconds. Finally, slowly add the flour mixture while mixing on slow speed.

When the dough holds together well, remove it from the mixer bowl and form it into an oval-shaped ball with your hands. Then, press it down onto a parchment paper lined baking tray until it is rectangular in shape and 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 15 minutes or so until it is golden brown on the edges and cooked in the center.

Remove it from the oven and let it cool to the touch. Then, transfer it to a cutting board and slice it into 1/2 inch thick pieces.

Turn these on their sides so the inner section faces up and bake another 5 minutes. Remove and flip each piece to double-bake the other side for another 5 minutes. Allow them to cool on wire racks before serving.

Store for one week or more in an airtight container, or eat them all within the first few days as I usually do!  Either way, share with someone you love.

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