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This vanilla cake features layers of spiced cranberry-apricot filling and vanilla-infused whipped cream frosting. Sugar-coated cranberries make a festive seasonal garnish.

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Cake

  • 3 c. cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • salt
  • 1 c. butter or margarine
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c. low-fat buttermilk

Filling

  • 1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • c. apricot jam
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Garnish

  • 1/4 c. water
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen cranberries

Frosting

  • 2 c. heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • c. crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

    1. Step 1Prepare Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottoms of 3 (8-inch) cake pans with parchment paper. Grease sides of pans and parchment. Into large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
    2. Step 2In large mixer bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; alternately add buttermilk and flour mixture, beating well after each addition.
    3. Step 3Divide batter evenly among pans; smooth tops. Tap pans firmly against counter. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; remove pans and peel off parchment. Cool completely. Cakes may be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature up to 1 day.
    4. Step 4Prepare Filling: In 3-quart saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, apricot jam, and cinnamon. Cook on medium 8 to 10 minutes or until most berries burst, stirring often. Transfer to bowl; refrigerate until cold.
    5. Step 5Prepare Garnish: In 1-quart saucepan, combine water and 1/4 cup sugar. Heat to boiling on high. Stir in cranberries. Cool completely, then drain. Place remaining 1/2 cup sugar on plate. Toss berries in sugar to coat. Place on wire rack; let dry 1 hour.
    6. Step 6To assemble: Place 1 cake layer on cake stand; spread half of filling on top. Repeat with another layer and remaining filling. Top with third layer.
    7. Step 7Prepare Frosting: With mixer on medium speed, whisk cream until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low; add confectioners’ sugar, crème fraîche, and vanilla. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Spread frosting all over cake. Garnish with sugared berries. Cake can be covered and refrigerated up to 1 day. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Cranberry-Vanilla Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting

Kate Mathis

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