This cranberry orange cake with cream cheese frosting is bursting with holiday flavors. Perfectly moist with the softest cake crumb - the combination of sweet oranges and tart canberries makes it perfect for Christmas.

Cranberry Orange Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings: 12 -15 slices
 This cranberry orange cake with cream cheese frosting is bursting with holiday flavors. Perfectly moist with the softest cake crumb - the combination of sweet oranges and tart canberries makes it perfect for Christmas.

Ingredients

For the Sugared Cranberries*

  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 oz fresh cranberries

For the Cranberry Orange Cake

  • 2 and 1/2 cups cake flour**
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg whites discard the egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk 1% or 2% work too
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups chopped cranberries fresh or frozen (if using frozen do not thaw first)
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 6 oz brick-style cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1-2 tablespoons whipping cream milk works too
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange zest for decorating

Instructions

  • !For the Sugared CranberriesIn a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar in the 1/2 cup water.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in the fresh cranberries until they're well coated in the sugar water.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a wire rack to dry.
  • After approximately 1 hour, roll the cranberries in the additional 1 cup of sugar.
  • Transfer the cranberries back to the wire rack to dry.
  • !For the Cranberry Orange CakePreheat the oven to 350F degrees.
  • Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch cake pan with parchment paper, and grease the sides of the pan. Or grease and flour the entire pan.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt ensuring there aren't lumps in the flour.
  • Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl using a stand or hand-held electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed and fluffy and no lumps remain (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Add in the egg whites and vanilla and continue beating until combined (about 30 seconds).
  • Then turn the mixer down to low speed and beat in the milk and sour cream.
  • With the mixer on low speed, carefully beat in the flour mixture. Be very careful not to over mix the batter.
  • Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • In a separate medium sized bowl (or the bowl that you used to sift together the flour mixture), toss the chopped cranberries with 2 teaspoons of flour.
  • Carefully stir the chopped cranberries, orange zest and orange juice into cake batter using your large rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top with your spatula.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the edges of the cake are pulling away from the sides of the pan.
  • Allow to cool fully before frosting.
  • !For the Cream Cheese FrostingIn a large bowl using a stand or hand-held electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until softened and no lumps remain.
  • Turn down the mixer to low speed and careful beat in the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Finally, beat in the whipping cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired sweetness level and consistency are reached. You may need to add in a little extra powdered sugar as necessary. The frosting should be smooth, and thinner than peanut butter in consistency.
  • To frost the cake,
  • invert it from the cake pan and place on a cake board. (Alternatively, you can frost it in the pan and serve it from there.)
  • Frost the top of the cake with the cream cheese frosting using a flat-edge knife.
  • Slice into 12-15 pieces, and place a few sugared cranberries on the top of each piece, and sprinkle with additional orange zest.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Bring the cake to room temperature before enjoying. *You'll likely have extra sugared cranberries. These also make a pretty centerpiece. **If you don't have cake flour, measure out 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. Then remove 1/3 cup of the flour and replace it with 1/3 cup cornstarch. Whisk the mixture together.
Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Orange Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 574 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 80mg27%
Sodium 258mg11%
Carbohydrates 88g29%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 74g82%
Protein 5g10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.