!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.
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.