1cupwhole cranberries (tossed in a teaspoon of flour)
Cream Cheese Frosting
½cupunsalted butter(room temperature)
18 ounce packagecream cheese(room temperature)
2tablespoonsfresh orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line bottom of pans with parchment; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl or stand up mixer, mix together the butter and sugar for two minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, milk, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Mix to combine. Pour in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again.
Toss the cranberries with one teaspoon of flour then fold into the cake batter.
Divide the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans, using a kitchen scale if possible. Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire cooling rack until completely cool. Prepare the frosting and sugared cranberries while the cakes cool.
To make the frosting, in a large bowl cream together the butter and cream cheese using a handheld mixer on medium speed for two minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, orange juice, and zest, and continue mixing on low speed until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl and mix again.
To make the sugared cranberry topping, in a small saucepan combine ¼ cup of sugar and water. Bring to a low simmer just until sugar dissolves. Turn off heat and stir in the cranberries. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries to a wire rack. In a small bowl combine the remaining ¼ cup sugar and orange zest. Working in small batches, toss the cranberries in the sugar. Shake off excess sugar and set aside.
To frost, place one layer of the cooled cake on pedestal or cake plate and spread on about a cup of frosting. Place on the top layer of the cake and spread the remaining frosting all over the cake. Decorate with sugared cranberries.
Before adding the cranberries to the batter, it's a good idea to toss them in about a teaspoon of flour so they don't sink to the bottom of the pans.
This recipe calls for orange zest and/or juice in every step. In total, you will need two large oranges to make this recipe. I like to start by zesting both oranges and then juicing them. That way, they are ready to go when I need them.
You can make the cake layers up to a month in advance and freeze them in an airtight container. First, wrap the cake rounds in parchment, then again in plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container, like a ziplock bag, and keep in a place in the freezer will they will be undisturbed.