Cranberry Orange Cake Recipe from Scratch.
The thing I love the most about this cake is the hint of tartness. The combination of cranberry and orange gives this cake a refreshing well-balanced flavor between the sweet and tart.
I know cranberries are more for fall, but since this cake has orange flavor and not the warm spices it is perfect for any time of the year.
Ingredients to make a cranberry orange cake.
- Orange Juice
- Baking powder
- Vanilla Extract
How to make a cranberry cake from scratch.
This cake was based on a vanilla cake. I love to make cakes from scratch and play with the amounts of each ingredient, even the method of mixing.
Even though cake mixes give you a super soft spongy cake I truly love cakes from scratch. The flavor that real butter, vanilla paste or extract, and the milk give to the cake can not compare to anything.
Normally the vanilla cakes I make uses milk as a wet ingredient, but for this cake, I used OJ and some milk ( that sounds weird I know…). Trust me, even though I thought I was gonna end up with curdled milk the cake turned out really, really good. Also, I added orange zest to add more of the orange flavor.
To add the cranberries, and for them not to go all the way down the batter, I tossed them in some flour. Nothing fancy, I just placed them in a plate and added about a tablespoon of all-purpose flour and moved them around.
Once the cake batter was done I just added the floured cranberries. I used fresh cranberries but I am sure you can use frozen cranberries. You can even use dried cranberries ( I would just re hydrate them in water for 30 min) I have not tried that but that is what I would do in case I can not find fresh cranberries.
Bake the cake at 350°F for about 40 min.
The Icing on the cake
Pretty simple, Swiss Meringue Buttercream was the way to go for me and this cake.
The cranberry compote reminded me of my strawberry reduction since I used the same method except instead of using lemon I used some orange juice.
Started by putting cranberries, sugar and orange juice in a saucepan. Mixing it all together and letting the heat reduce my sauce. I added dome orange peel too and removed it when the sauce was done.
I like to chill my cakes after decorating them and leave them out of the fridge about 20 minutes before serving.
Hope you enjoy this recipe and of course the cake.
Cranberry Orange Cake
- 3 cups Flour + 1tbsp for cranberries
- 2 cups Sugar
- 8 oz Unsalted Butter
- 5 Eggs
- 3/4 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Orange Juice
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 2.5 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 cup Cranberries
On a bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder, set aside.
Place the cranberries and 1tbs of flour in a clean plastic bag, close it and shake it. Get rid of the excess of flour.
In a mixing bowl cream the sugar and butter. Mix for about 5 min at medium speed.
Add the eggs one by one and keep mixing for 3 more minutes.
Add in the flour mix and the liquids (milk, orange juice, and vanilla) in three parts interleaving between dry and wet ingredients until well combined.
Combine the cranberries with the batter by folding them with a spatula.
Pour the batter in three 8 inch round cake pans previously sprayed with nonstick oil and flour.
Bake at 350 F for about 40 min.
Let cool and decorate.
Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 12 oz egg whites
- 18 oz Granulated Sugar
- 2 pinch Cream of Tartar optional
- 2 lb unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs Vanilla extract
- On a clean mixing bowl combine the sugar, egg whites and cream of tartar.
- Place the mixing bowl over a double boiler (simmering water). Water should not touch the mixing bowl.
- Stir the mixture constantly. Check for granules and keep on stirring until no granules are present and the mixture temperature reaches 155 F.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the heat and place it in the mixer. Using the whip attachment, whip up the meringue until it is close to stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to the touch.
- With the mixer at medium speed, add the cubed butter and keep on mixing until the buttercream becomes thick.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix together. Buttercream is ready to use.
Butter and Egg Whites should be at room temperature.