This Cranberry Orange Layer Cake is tender, fluffy and full of flavor! It’s a wonderful mix of sweet and tart and such a festive cake for the holidays!
Cranberry Orange Cake
- 3 cups (390g) all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted Challenge Butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups (362g) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp (86g) sour cream
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh orange juice
- 2 tbsp fresh orange zest (about 3–4 large oranges)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) buttermilk
- 2 1/2 cups (about 247g) fresh cranberries
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 oz (452g) Challenge Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (224g) unsalted Challenge Butter, room temperature
- 11 cups (1265g) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp orange zest
- Orange slices
- Cranberries, for decorating
1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
3. Add the butter, oil, and sugar to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
4. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and mix until well combined.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
7. Combine the fresh orange juice, orange zest and buttermilk then slowly add the mixture to the batter and mix until well combined.
8. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
9. Toss the cranberries with 1/2 a tablespoon of flour and gently toss to combine, then add the cranberries to the cake batter and fold to combine.
10. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a just few crumbs.
11. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
12. To make the frosting, add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined and smooth.
13. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
14. Add the vanilla extract and orange zest and mix until well combined.
15. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. Add more or less powdered sugar, as desired for consistency purposes.
16. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat, if needed.
17. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
18. Spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly on top of the cake.
19. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of frosting.
20. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the outside of the cake. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed. To make the line pattern in the side of the cake, use a 9 inch offset spatula to create the waves on the cake. Start at the bottom and move upward for each one.
21. Pipe shells of frosting on the top edge of the cake and decorate with orange slices and cranberries, if desired.
Keywords: cranberry orange layer cake