Saturday, November 26, 2022
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Cranberry Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cranberry Spice Layer Cake has all of the flavors of the vacation wrapped up into one cream cheese-frosted confection.

Cranberry Spice Layer Cake

I’m internet hosting Thanksgiving this 12 months, which places me proper in my factor. I simply love planning a giant vacation feast for my household and associates. That is the primary time I’ve hosted in years, because it’s normally held at my dad or mum’s dwelling. However since my dad had a stroke final July, my of us have already got loads on their plates. (He’s in rehab, on the mend, and we couldn’t be extra grateful!)

So, with the 2022 Turkey Day baton handed to me, I’m planning the menu nicely prematurely. This cake is the newest from the check kitchen, and it’s a winner! Really. Each chew is full of flavors of fall and winter holidays. I consider this cake recipe could possibly be your go-to for each Thanksgiving and Christmas Day dinners – maybe past!

Cranberry Spice Layer Cake

The cake batter.

Overlook any preconceived notions about what a spice cake must be (similar to darkish, molasses-rich, and hotly spiced). This batter is gentle – each in colour and taste. Buttermilk provides this fluffy batter tang whereas suspending floor cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg all through.

The cranberry filling.

Begin with 2 cups of cranberries – recent or frozen (I used the latter) and stir them up with sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and a cornstarch slurry. Cook dinner the combination till the cranberries begin to pop and a thick, shiny, barely translucent filling is fashioned. Take away from the warmth, and to the cooked combination add extra chopped cranberries. This addition provides the filling a contact extra tart taste. End it by stirring 2 tablespoons of butter into the new combination.

The butter provides richness and silky texture – don’t skip this step!

Switch the filling to a bowl and let it cool, then place plastic wrap on the floor of the cranberry filling, wrap, and refrigerate till nicely chilled.

Construct the cake.

Start with a spice cake layer, then pipe a hoop of cream cheese frosting across the periphery. (This is similar frosting from my household’s favourite Italian Cream Cake). Place half of the filling contained in the ring and unfold evenly.

Apply extra cream cheese frosting the cake’s exterior and unfold evenly. Chill the cake nicely – the frosting must be agency for the following steps.

A little bit sparkle, and a few piping too!

Okay – so, this may be an elective step, however it’s so fairly – particularly for Christmas. Coarse crystal sugar provides the cake’s exterior a glittering, virtually snowy look. Spray the set frosting with a bit of sugar syrup after which pat on the sugar along with your arms. Make sure you watch the video on the finish of this publish to see the way it’s achieved. You too can roll the cake within the sugar, which will be seen in motion within the video right here in my Peach Ring Cake publish.

Pipe some easy scroll work on prime utilizing the remaining frosting and a small closed star piping tip (similar to Wilton #32). It doesn’t need to be elaborate. Simply do just a few cursive-inspired swirls.

Cranberry Spice Layer Cake

I opted for easy, natural-looking decors. Recent cranberries, candied orange peel, and recent rosemary sprigs all are simple to position across the prime fringe of the cake with out a variety of fuss. And it provides the cake a great deal of vacation attraction!

Cranberry Spice Layer Cake
Cranberry Spice Layer Cake

The cranberry filling provides steadiness to the candy cream cheese frosting. And there’s simply sufficient heat spices within the cake batter to make this confection really feel good and comfy.

Cranberry Spice Layer Cake

I’m simply so excited to share this Cranberry Spice Layer Cake with all of you – I solely want I might hand out slices personally!

Cranberry Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Heather Baird

Say hi there to your new favourite vacation cake! Gentle buttermilk spice cake layers are full of tart cranberry filling and coated with cream cheese frosting. The coarse sugar coating will be elective. It provides a wintry contact to the cake, and sugar crunch. Recent or frozen cranberries can be utilized for this recipe. If utilizing frozen, thaw them earlier than utilizing on this recipe.

Prep Time 1 hr 15 minutes

Cook dinner Time 55 minutes

4 hours chilling 4 hrs

Complete Time 6 hrs 10 minutes

Course Dessert

Delicacies American

Cranberry filling

  • 2 1/2 cups recent or frozen complete cranberries divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest from 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice from 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon chilly water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cake layers

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 massive eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nice grain sea salt or desk salt
  • 1 teaspoon floor cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon floor ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon floor nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream cheese frosting

  • 16 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 cups confectioners’ sugar 2 lbs.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 2 tablespoons clear corn syrup
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup coarse crystal sugar
  • 1/2 cup complete recent cranberries
  • 12 items candied orange peel about 1/4 cup
  • 2 massive stems recent rosemary

Cranberry filling

  • Chop 1/2 cup of the entire cranberries and put aside.

  • Place the remaining 2 cups of cranberries, the sugar, orange zest, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. In a separate small bowl stir collectively the cornstarch and water. Add the cornstarch combination to the pan and stir.

  • Cook dinner over medium warmth till the cranberries start to pop and the combination bubbles (about 5-6 minutes). When the combination is thick, shiny, and translucent, add the 1/2 cup chopped cranberries and the butter to the pan. Stir till the butter is melted. Let cool about half-hour, then switch to a bowl. Cowl the submitting with plastic wrap touching the floor (see video) and refrigerate till set, 4 hours or in a single day.

Cake layers

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat three 8-inch spherical cake pans with flour-based baking spray (or grease and flour pans).

  • Within the bowl of an electrical mixer, beat the butter till creamy. Slowly add within the 2 cups of sugar whereas the mixer runs. When the combination is gentle and fluffy, add the eggs 1 at a time.

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk collectively the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add this combination to the creamed combination alternately with the buttermilk, beating on low pace. Start and finish with flour. Lastly, combine within the vanilla extract.

  • Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or till a toothpick tester inserted close to the middle comes out clear. Flip the desserts out onto wire racks and funky utterly earlier than frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

  • Cream collectively the cream cheese and butter within the bowl of an electrical mixer. Add the powdered sugar in two additions. Beat till easy. Add vanilla extract. Scrape down the perimeters and backside of the bowl and beat once more till mixed.

  • Take away about 1/2 cup of the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small star tip. Fill a second piping bag with frosting, fitted with a 1/2-inch spherical piping tip (or simply snip a 1/2 inch gap within the bag with scissors). Cowl any remaining frosting within the bowl with a moist towel to maintain it from drying out whilst you work.

  • Place a cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Pipe a hoop of frosting across the prime fringe of the cake. Fill the circle with half of the cranberry submitting. Stack one other cake layer on prime and repeat the method, utilizing the second half of the cranberry filling. Prime with the third cake layer. Apply a skinny crumb coat of frosting to the skin of the cake. Refrigerate till set, about quarter-hour. Cowl the cake with the remaining frosting. Easy prime and sides utilizing a cake smoother or bench scraper. Chill till set, about 1 hour.


  • Add the corn syrup and water to a small kitchen-dedicated spray bottle, screw on the highest and shake to combine. Spray set frosting floor throughout with the sugar syrup. Let stand 2 minutes to get sticky. Gently pat the coarse sugar onto the cake on all sides and the highest. Evenly brush away extra sugar from the highest of the cake.

  • Utilizing the reserved piping bag fitted with the star tip, pipe a looping scroll of frosting on the highest fringe of the cake. (I can greatest describe as free-hand cursive-inspired loops, see video.) Sprinkle the scroll work with leftover coarse sugar.

  • Prepare recent cranberries, orange peel, and little tufts of recent rosemary across the scroll work on prime of the cake.

  • Retailer the cake within the fridge. Carry the cake to room temperature earlier than serving.

  • The cake layers will be made prematurely and frozen. Wrap the layers nicely in plastic wrap and place them in freezer baggage with the air eliminated.
  • Should you don’t have a sprig bottle useful to use the sugar syrup, combine the syrup and water in a bowl and apply it to the set frosting with a pastry brush.
  • The candied orange peel I bought got here in chunky strips, so I minimize them down with a paring knife to finer ribbons. I like to recommend doing this in case your candied peel can be fairly thick.


Key phrase buttermilk cake layers, christmas cake, cranberry filling, cream cheese frosting, spice cake, thanksgiving cake



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