Cranberries don’t grow here in NZ so we’ve never had the luxury of eating them fresh. They have only been available as dried cranberries until recently when I noticed them in the frozen section. You’ll find them in the same section as your other frozen berries. So far the only brand that does them is SUJON. When I saw them, I couldn’t pass them up and that’s how this cake came about. (If you can’t find these frozen berries you can used the dried cranberries or even raspberries instead. Basically any berry with a sharp taste will work. )
This cake is super buttery, much like pound cake. We’re talking tight crumb that melts in the mouth. To take things up a notch it’s also lightly spiced. The spice is optional, but definitely recommended. You can easily skip the frosting in this cake as eat the cake as it. It would make a great tea loaf if that’s what you’re in to. I made this cake to give away, so frosting seemed appropriate. I used my go-to cream cheese ganache frosting that you will have seen in many of my other recipes. This recipe makes two 8 inch cakes. You can easily turn this into a layer cake if you wish. You’ll need to double the frosting recipe if you do make a layer cake though.
Orange Cranberry Cake (Adapted from SBA)
Makes 2 x 8" cakes, serves 14-16
375g standard flour
2 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 & 1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
345g butter, softened
200g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
zest from 1 orange (about 2 Tbsp)
2 tsp vanilla extract/essence/paste
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, at room temperature (use Greek Yogurt as a substitute)
1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh orange juice
1 and 3/4 cups (220g) frozen cranberries (do not thaw if frozen)
Cream Cheese Frosting
200g white chocolate
250g cream cheese
Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Grease and line 2x8 inch cake tins. You can also make one large bundt cake if you prefer.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt, cinnamon and cardamom together. Set aside.
In another large bowl, using a handheld mixer, Using a handheld or stand mixer beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, orange zest and vanilla together until creamed. Add the eggs and sour cream and beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit lumpy, it will come together in the end.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, add the milk and fresh orange juice, and beat on medium speed it all until the batter is completely combined. Lastly, beat or stir in cranberries. Pour batter into tins and bake for 30 minutes. Cake is done when a skewer inserted comes out clean. If making a large bundt cake, bake time will likely 60-70 minutes. Keep and eye on it. If it starts to brown, cover the tin with foil. Do the usual skewer test to see if it’s done. Once it’s done, remove from oven and allow to cool.
While the cake is baking you can start on the frosting. Pour your cream and white chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Heat it in 30 seconds bursts until the chocolate and cream have combined. Pop it into the fridge to cool. You don’t want this to be warm as it will melt your cream cheese! The mixture will probably be cool by the time the cake is done baking. At this point, in another bowl, beat your cream cheese until smooth. You can use a handheld mixer for this, or elbow grease. This quantity is not enough for a stand mixer though. Once the cheese is smooth add half your cooled chocolate mixture. Beat to combine. It will be lumpy at first, but keep going. Add the other half of the mixture and give it a final beat. You should end up with a smooth yet stiff frosting that is perfect for piping! You can put this back int he fridge until you’re ready to frost the cake.
Once you’re ready to frost the cake, you can either smear the frosting on generously and get a bit creative and pipe random designs like I did. I then sprinkled over some orange zest and grated some frozen cranberries on top too. Let your creative juices flow here!