Cranberry Glazed Orange Layer Cake

  • Yield 16 servings

A brown sugar frosting and sweet cranberry glaze dress up a citrus-flavored layer cake.


Cranberry Glaze:
3 cups (12-ounce) coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
3 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
6 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt
Brown Sugar Frosting:
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup golden brown sugar (packed)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. To make the Cranberry Glaze (make 1 day ahead of time): Combine chopped cranberries and sugar in medium saucepan. Add 1 cup water and orange peel and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is reduced to about 2-1/3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill overnight or up to 2 days (mixture will thicken).
  2. To make the cake (can be made 1 day ahead of time): Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange peel, vanilla and orange extract. Whisk milk and yogurt in small bowl to blend. Add dry ingredients to yolk mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk mixture in 2 additions, beating well after each addition.
  4. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Divide batter between pans. Smooth tops.
  5. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 15 minutes. Run small knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out on to racks and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature).
  6. To make the Frosting: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup (scant) at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange juice concentrate and vanilla. Chill until firm enough to spread, about 30 minutes.
  7. To Assemble Cake:  Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread top of cake with 3/4 cup frosting. Spread 1 cup cranberry glaze over frosting, leaving 1/2 inch border all around cake. Top with second cake layer, flat side down and press slightly to adhere. Spread 2 cups frosting over sides of cake. If desired, spoon remaining frosting into pastry bag with medium size star tip. Pipe decorative border around top edge of cake. Chill until glaze is set. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover cake with dome and refrigerate.)

Recipe courtesy of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association



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