Steam your pudding in a deep pot with a tight-fitting lid, so that the steam has room to circulate.
Keep a kettle of hot water on hand to refill the pot if necessary.
Do not allow the pudding to cool much longer than fifteen minutes, or you may have trouble removing it from the mold.
Generously butter a 7 1/2-cup steam-pudding mold, and set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, 1/4 cup kirsch, and cinnamon stick.
Set over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cranberries break down and mixture thickens.
Remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick, and cool.
Evenly spread 1/2 cup of the cooled cranberry mixture onto the bottom of the pudding mold, and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the hot-water bath: Fill a large, 11-by-5 1/4-inch pot one-third full with water.
Set over high heat, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and keep at a simmer until pudding is ready to cook.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy, about four minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla, mixing until completely blended.
In three additions, alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and blending well after each addition.
Add dried cranberries and the remaining cranberry mixture to the batter, and mix until well blended.
Pour batter into pudding mold to within 1/2 an inch of the top, and cover mold tightly with its lid (if the mold doesn't have a lid, cover with a round of parchment paper and then aluminum foil, and secure with a rubber band).
Submerge a folded dish towel or a round sack onto the bottom of the large water-bath pot.
Place the pudding mold into the water bath, resting on the towel, so that the water comes halfway up the sides of the mold.
Cover the water bath, and gently simmer the pudding for about 2 hours and 20 minutes, or until pudding has set and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove pudding mold from the water bath and cool 15 minutes on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, pour cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons kirsch and sifted confectioners sugar.
Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.