Cranberry Spice Cake

Cranberries are in season during the fall and are the perfect fruit for the filling in this spice cake. With warm spices like cloves, nutmeg, and ginger, and a decadent cream cheese icing, this golden cake is sure to please. It is also a great time to use leftover cranberry sauce in a new and exciting way.

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2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch crushed chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup 2% milk
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
3 eggs, room temperature

Ingredients – Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk
1 cup cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8” pans or three 6” pans. Set aside.

Sift the flour with the spices into a large bowl and whisk in the sugar. Set aside. Mix together the milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla and set aside. Place the butter and shortening in a mixer and beat on medium for 1 to 2 minutes until fluffy. Start adding the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated, cleaning the sides with a spatula as needed. Once you have added 1/3 of the dry ingredients, add one egg into the mixture. Repeat with more flour, another egg, more flour, and the final egg. Once the mixture is blended, slowly add the milk mixture. Mix on low speed until fully incorporated.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by beating together the butter and cream cheese on high until fluffy. Turn down the speed to low and add the confectioners sugar. Add milk as needed to reach desired consistency.

Place the cake on a serving plate and frost the top of the first layer. Add cranberries on top of the frosting. Repeat with additional layer(s). Note: if you are doing a three-tiered cake, insert wooden skewers to hold the cake into position. Coat the sides and top with a thin layer of frosting to crumb coat. Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to solidify the coating. After firm, add additional frosting on the sides, starting from the bottom and using strokes that go upwards. You want a rustic look to the cake, so don’t worry if it is not completely frosted all around. To finish frost the top of the cake with icing topped with more cranberries. Decorate with rosemary sprigs.

Makes one cake that serves 8 to 10.

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