Go Back
+ servings

Cranberry Cake

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 55 minutes
Servings 12 -16 servings



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups milk at room temperature**
  • 9 large egg whites at room temperature**
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 18 tablespoons butter, softened, cubed small (2 1/4 sticks)


  • 1 12 oz. jar cherry preserves
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 1/2 cups fresh cranberries


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 32 oz pkg. Powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk (optional)



  • Add all of the Cranberry Filling ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Continue to boil for 5-6 minutes, while stirring, or until cranberries pop. Transfer Cranberry Filling to a bowl and let cool completely (about one hour) then cover and refrigerate for 8 hours up to 2 days.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans by spraying with nonstick cooking spray WITH FLOUR (or grease and flour pans) then covering the pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.
  • Add milk, egg whites, and extracts to a medium bowl and mix with fork until blended. Mix flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at low speed. Add butter, and beat on medium-low for about 2-3 minutes or until the mixture resembles moist crumbs. (You may have to break up some of the butter cubes with your fingertips)
  • Add all but 3/4 cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining milk mixture and beat for 1 minute.
  • Divide batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes then invert onto a plate then reinvert onto racks. Let cakes cool completely (about 1 ½ hours).****


  • Beat butter, cream cheese and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer until very creamy, 1-2 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with orange juice. Beat at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Beat in vanilla. To thin if needed, beat in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time to reach desired consistency.


  • Place four strips of parchment paper around the edges of platter or cake stand to create a square with an open space in the middle (to keep cake stand clean). Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of the cake stand to keep the cake from moving and top with one leveled cake.
  • Spoon 1 1/2 cups buttercream into pastry or plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of freezer bag to make a small hole. Set aside. Spoon 1 cup frosting into a small bowl to use first to create a crumb coat ("Crumb Coat Frosting").
  • Top cake with a thin layer of Crumb Coat Frosting and spread evenly. Pipe a ring of frosting just inside the top edge of cake then spread 1/3 of chilled Cranberry Filling on top of thin layer of frosting, spreading to edges of piped frosting. Top with second leveled White Cake Layer. Repeat procedure with frosting/piping and 1/3 of Cranberry Filling. Top with third layer.
  • Create a crumb coat by frosting the cake using reserved Crumb Coat Frosting starting with the top and working down until the cake is evenly frosted, removing any excess frosting. Refrigerate Cake 30 minutes or until crumb layer has set. If remaining frosting gets too soft, refrigerate as well then whip a few times before using.
  • Frost the outside of cake as you desire with the remaining frosting. Pipe a ring of frosting around top cake layer just inside the top edge. Spread remaining Cranberry Filling (now Topping) over top cake layer, spreading to edge of piped frosting. Remove parchment paper then pipe a ring of frosting around the bottom of the cake.


  • If not serving immediately, assembled and frosted cake should be covered with an inverted bowl or cake cover and refrigerated. It will stay fresh for up to 2 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.


*May substitute the all purpose flour and cornstarch with 3 1/3 cups cake flour.
**These ingredients MUST be at room temperature in order for the cake to be a success.
***Frozen cranberries, thawed, may be substituted.
****The Cake layers can prepared one day in advance. Let the layers cool completely then wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.