This Cranberry Orange Cake is made of 4 fluffy orange cake layers, a homemade cranberry filling, and a super creamy white chocolate frosting.
This Cranberry Orange Cake with White Chocolate Frosting is a beautiful and super delicious No. 5. I realize now that 4 out 5 recipes contain chocolate. Mmmm.
So what's about this Cranberry Orange Cake?
- fluffy orange cake layers
- sweet and sour cranberry filling
- silky white chocolate frosting
Isn’t this cake literally screaming Christmas? I can hear it clearly!
The cake is fairly easy to make. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
I don’t know if I've ever said this before, but please make sure that you always spoon and level the flour if you don’t have a kitchen scale.
For the most accurate measuring and best results, I recommend using a kitchen scale. This investment pays off itself. You save so much headache, and maybe time and resources when using a kitchen scale. A cup is not a cup. Cups differ in size. Grams or ounces are always grams or ounces.
And it makes a huge difference if you add more or less wet or dry ingredients to a cake. It can turn your cake from fluffy and light to crumbly or mushy.
Thanks to ½ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, the orange cake has a lovely orange taste. The cake is fluffy, soft and moist.
Oh, my word. The filling, guys! That is a true game changer. It takes the cake to the next level. Cranberry and orange are two wonderful flavors which complement each other so lovely.
First, I was thinking about making an orange cake with cranberries in it. So if you don’t have the time to cook the filling, I suggest following. Toss 1+½ cups of fresh or thawed cranberries in 1 tbsp flour and fold them into the batter before transferring to the pans.
BUT. I really encourage you to make the filling instead. It is so, so good! It’s not hard to make and these 20 minutes including cooking time are worth the time. Trust me.
The frosting is very easy to make. And it’s so silky. Oh, I said that already.
To get super silky frosting mix butter until super creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
Then add powdered sugar and salt and mix until creamy and sugar is dissolved. Stir in melted chocolate. The chocolate needs to be cooled down before you add it to the butter mixture. Add salt and mix until light and fluffy.
I recommend cutting off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. It makes it so much easier to frost and fill the cake.
Then cut the cake twice horizontally. The easiest way to frost the cake is with a cake turner. Place a cake board on top of the turner to make the transport of the cake after frosting to a cake stand or serving plate easy.
Spread the buttercream on top of the first cake layer that it is higher around the edges and lower in the center that it holds the cranberry filling inside the cake. Watch the video for better understanding.
Then fill the cranberry filling on top of the buttercream where it is lower. Place next cake layer on top and repeat one more time. Place last cake layer on top and frost the top and the outsides lightly with the remaining buttercream.
Don’t make the same mistake as me the first time. I thought, okay, 4 layers, so I divide the buttercream AND the filling by 4. But no. Divide the buttercream by 4 but the filling by 3 because the filling is between the 4 layers and not on top of the last cake layer like the buttercream.
This Orange Cranberry Cake is
- so Christmassy
- a dream of a cake
- a combination of orange, cranberries, and white chocolate
- ho-ho-ho delicious
Can’t wait to see you next time. Don’t miss Christmas recipes 6-8. A cheesecake and cookies are waiting for you!
If you make this Orange Cranberry Cake recipe leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #alsothecrumbsplease on Instagram! Would love to see your snap!
Cranberry Orange Cake with White Chocolate Frosting
- 5 cups cranberries, fresh or thawed (628g)
- ¼ cup water (60ml)
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (60ml)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch (16g)
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar (150g)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (360g)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup butter (113g)
- ½ cup vegetable oil (120ml)
- 1+½ cups granulated white sugar (300g)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 vanilla beans* (or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 cup milk (240ml)
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (120ml)
white chocolate frosting
- 1 cup butter, room temperature (226g)
- 2 cups powdered sugar (240g)
- 1 cup white chocolate, melted and cooled (170g - 6oz)
- 1-2 tbsp orange juice (15ml-30ml)
- pinch of salt (if needed)
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line the bottom and the sides of two 8" (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the cranberry filling: Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring over medium heat to a boil. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until the cranberries get soft. Stir constantly. Blend cranberries with an immersion blender or mash with a potato masher to your preference (if you don't like the skin of the cranberries in the filling then the blender is the better choice). Cook another 5-6 minutes or until the filling has thickened and reduced by about ⅓. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. It will thicken as it cools.
- Make the orange cake: In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt and stir to combine. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl with a stand or handheld mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat butter, oil, and sugar until creamy for about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 egg at the time and mix until fully incorporated. Add vanilla* and orange zest and stir to combine. Alternately add dry ingredients, milk, dry ingredients, orange juice, and end with dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. If you don’t want to have a cranberry filling but cranberries in the cake, then fold in 1+½ cups cranberries (fresh or thawed) tossed in 1 tbsp flour, at this point. Divide batter into the two prepared baking pans equally. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake or the cake will be dry. Let cool to room temperature.
- Make the white chocolate frosting: Beat butter on medium-high speed until soft and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and beat on medium-low speed until fully combined and smooth. Add chocolate and mix on medium speed until combined and creamy. Stir in 1-2 tbsp of orange juice depending on the consistency of the buttercream. It should be smooth and creamy. Add salt to your taste.
- Assemble the cake: Cut a thin layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface. Then cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread ¼ of the buttercream over the cake. The buttercream should be higher around the edges that it holds the cranberry filling inside the cake (watch the video for better understanding). Layer with ⅓ of the cranberry filling (where the buttercream is lower). Repeat two more times. Place last cake layer on top and lightly frost the outside and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Chill 4 hours in the fridge. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.