Orange Cranberry Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

The first Christmas cake of the season! This is such a fun and festive holiday dessert, baked with fresh orange and cranberries! The cinnamon cream cheese frosting is the icing on the cake (ha!). The cinnamon flavor is subtle, and compliments the cake flavors so well. This cake is perfect for all of your holiday parties, so let's get baking!

The fresh cranberries baked into this cake are so pretty when it's sliced into, and are little bursts of bright flavor when you bite into them! Orange and cranberry is one of my favorite flavor combinations; last year I shared my Cranberry Orange Muffins, which are still going strong as a top recipe!

For a super easy decoration, I cut a few orange slices and covered some leftover fresh cranberries in sugar. It doesn't get more simple than that, and I love how pretty it looks!

Cake Ingredients:

 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
6 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest of 1 1/2 oranges
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped fresh cranberries

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients: 

8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degress F, and grease and line three 6" cake pans. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients, flour through salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla and sour cream. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the orange zest and juice, and mix until all ingredients are just incorporated. Stir in the chopped cranberries with a spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, and bake for 33-36 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, and then use a knife to gently loosen the edges before inverting onto a cooling rack.

For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing until it's fully incorporated. Add the cinnamon and vanilla, and beat for a few minutes on medium-high speed.

Frost when the cakes are completely cooled. (I even prefer to frost cakes that have been refrigerated at least an hour.) Top with cranberries and orange slices, and serve!

Kirsten Bell

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