Orange Spice Cake with Cran-Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Bean Frosting – the taste of the holidays come together in this cake with flavors that will awaken all of your senses. It’s sure to be a showstopper on your party dessert table.
Just like most other people in America, I absolutely love the collection of holidays in the Fall and Winter. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are just one right after the other, and I think it is so fun. Part of the fun, for me, is all the awesome food! Pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, orange, and cranberry are just some of foods that are typical for this time of year.
This cake is perfect for these holidays. The cake is an Orange Spice cake. It has orange juice and zest, and is warmed with a hint of cloves and cinnamon.
The filling inside the cake is a combination of fresh cranberries and raspberries. It is pretty tart, because of the cranberries, but it balances nicely with the sweetness of the frosting. And speaking of the frosting, it’s a vanilla bean frosting. I just love those specks of vanilla.
Like any cake, or frosting, this is pretty decadent. I made this in 3, 6 inch round pans, but you could do 2, 8 inch pans as well.
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 Tbs orange zest
- 3 eggs- at room temperature
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 cup raspberries- fresh or frozen
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1 cup butter- at room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 vanilla beans
- pinch of salt
- 12 Tbs milk- plus more if needed
- Optional: sugared cranberries and orange zest as garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3, 6 inch round cake pans (or 2, 8 inch round pans) with parchment paper, and then grease and flour the pans.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cloves, and cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl mix the remaining cake ingredients. Slowly add them to the mixer, and mix until evenly combined, about 20-40 seconds.
- Divide the cake batter evenly among the cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, on a lower oven rack, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (Bake the 8 inch pans for about 30 minutes.)
- When the cakes are baked, invert them onto a cooling rack, so they cool upside down. Let them cool like that for about 15 minutes, before removing them from the pan. Then cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the filling.
- Start with the cranberries in a pot over medium heat, with the 1/3 cup water, and 1/2 cup sugar.
- Let the liquid boil, and the berries pop. Once the berries have burst use a potato masher to mash the berries.
- Then pass the mashed berries through a sieve, with the liquid in the pan. Use a spoon to help push all the liquid through the sieve. Discard everything remaining in the sieve, all the berry skins.
- Return the cranberry liquid to the pot and add the raspberries, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Stir, and mash the raspberries. Let the mixture come to a low boil, then remove from heat and let cool.
- To make the frosting, add butter and shortening to the bowl a stand mixer. Cream them together on medium speed.
- Add half of the powdered sugar and beat again, add some milk- 2 Tbs at a time- then the remaining powdered sugar, vanilla, the insides of the vanilla beans, salt, and milk as needed. Turn the mixer on again and add more milk as necessary.
- Beat until the frosting is the consistency you want.
- Before assembling the cake, level the cake tops if necessary.
- To assemble the cake, start with one of the cake layers, pipe a ring of frosting around the top edge and fill the inside with the cran-raspberry filling.
- Top with another layer of cake and repeat with the ring of frosting and fill with the filling.
- Top with the last layer of cake.
- Frost the whole cake with a thin layer of frosting, crumb coat, then let it chill in the fridge or freezer to firm the frosting. Then spread the finish layer of frosting over the whole cake. If you want the rustic look, like in the pictures, use your offset spatula to make gentle 'C' shaped brush strokes over the frosting, lifting at the ends of the stoke.
- Optional- top the cake with sugared cranberries and orange zest. Line the bottom edge of the cake with more sugared cranberries.
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