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Cranberry Cake with Tangerine Frosting

Sugary cranberries and candied citrus dress up to this smartly elegant cake. It’s my favorite Christmas dessert for its sheer wow factor. &mdashSandy Gaulitz, Spring, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tangerine or orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated tangerine or orange zest
  • Optional toppings: sugared cranberries, candied tangerine or orange slices and red sprinkles


  • Line the bottoms of 2 greased 8-in. square or 9-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease paper. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
  • In another bowl, mix 4 cups flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. In a large bowl, toss cranberries with remaining flour; fold into batter.
  • Transfer to prepared pans. Bake at 400° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks; remove parchment. Cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar, tangerine juice and zest. Spread between cake layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate, covered, until serving.
  • If desired, top with sugared cranberries, candied tangerines and sprinkles.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 572 calories, 22g fat (13g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 524mg sodium, 89g carbohydrate (58g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein.

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  • Shellyadear
    Dec 18, 2013

    my daughter made this for my birthday! It is fantastic... sweet and tart!!!!

  • 1579
    May 25, 2013

    I made this for a family gathering and it was just melt in your mouth fabulous. this was is a keeper

  • Jangirl
    Jan 31, 2013

    I followed the directions but I added 2 eggs to the cake recipe. I served it for Christmas Desert and everyone loved it!

  • crclk14
    Jan 22, 2013

    Maybe it was the sugar content, but my cakes were burning on the bottom and jiggly in the middle. I used parchment paper and prepared as indicated. It was good but the cake was a little dense for my taste.

  • bearsmother
    Dec 28, 2012

    Was hit of Christmas Day party. several people asked for recipe. My daughter is already planning on using it.

  • MBenton1223
    Nov 30, 2012

    I cut the recipe in half and made cupcakes (400 degrees for 15 minutes). They were a huge hit!

  • Logbolu
    Nov 19, 2012

    This was a waste of good ingredients. The cake tastes like raw heavy dough. Would have been good with eggs in it...why no eggs?

  • Beth0541
    Nov 12, 2012

    I made this cake for our church Thanksgiving diner and it was a BIG hit! People were asking me for the recipe all night. Thanks for sharing this recipe I loved it. I didn't use Tangerine in the frosting because I couldn't find tangerines or tangerine juice so I used orange juice. I didn't use the orange peel either and it was still very, very good! Yummy!!!!

  • Hot.Cooker
    Oct 15, 2012

    No comment left