You are currently viewing Cranberry Orange Layer Cake Recipe
  • Post last modified:October 5, 2020
  • Post category:Insurance

It’s crazy to think that Thanksgiving is almost here. Not only is it a time to give thanks for what we have and enjoy the company of our loved ones, but it is also a time to share the amazing dishes passed down through generations.

The night of Thanksgiving, guests go straight for the mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and of course the turkey; often neglecting that poor pile of cranberry goodness that sits on the table. Some folks really love cranberry sauce during Thanksgiving because it adds a nice sweetness to the turkey, but many others aren’t a big fan of it. Some folks even express their disgust for cranberry sauce through social media or at family gatherings every time Thanksgiving rolls around.

With that being said, we wanted to share how you can turn that neglected can of cranberries into something your guests will enjoy! First off, skip the traditional cranberry sauce and go straight to baking a cake.

Now, when you think of cake you might think of a wedding, a birthday, or even an anniversary. Well, why can’t we think of Thanksgiving too when we hear the word “cake?” We wanted to share how to make the Cranberry Orange Layer Cake this holiday, and this recipe was taken from and was provided by author Kelly Egan. It serves 20 people and takes 35 minutes to make.

What you’ll need for the cake:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Zest of one orange

To make the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 18 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange juice
  • 3 1/4 cup powdered sugar

To make the Sugared Cranberries:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries (1 bag)


  • Take three 8-inch cake pans and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper, then preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat the butter until soft and pale yellow for about 1-2 minutes (you can use a hand or stand mixer). Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour and milk in alternating additions. Be careful not to overbeat.
  • Chop the cranberries by hand or a few times in a food processor. Stir into the cake batter along with the orange zest.
  • Divide the batter into cake pans and place them into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let them cool for 5 minutes then remove from pan and transfer to wire rack. Remove parchment paper round and let cool completely.

Do you have a creative recipe that you like to bring out during the Thanksgiving holiday? Let us know by telling us in the comments section below!