Cranberry-Vanilla Bean Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Cranberry-Vanilla Bean Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Enlarge Image
17 users rated this recipe an average rating of 4.0
14 servings
35 mins
30 mins
25 mins 350°F
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Cranberry-Vanilla Bean Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

egg whites, lightly beaten
cup buttermilk
2 1/4
1 3/4
cups sugar
teaspoons baking powder
teaspoon salt
vanilla bean, split lengthwise
ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
cup sugar
tablespoons orange juice
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon ground cloves
recipe Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Sugared lemon peel strips and/or sugared cranberries (optional)


  1. In a small bowl combine egg whites and buttermilk. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour two 9x1 1/2-inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl stir together cake flour, 1 3/4 cups sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using the tip of a small sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean. Stir seeds into buttermilk mixture.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in half of the buttermilk mixture until moistened. Add the remaining buttermilk mixture. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared cake pans, spreading evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove layers from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
  5. For cranberry filing, in a medium saucepan combine cranberries, 1/2 cup sugar, orange peel, orange juice, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture starts to thicken. Mash cranberries slightly with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Transfer filling to a medium bowl; cool.
  6. To assemble, cut each cake layer in half horizontally. Place one layer, cut side up, on a serving plate; spread with one-third of the cranberry filling. Top with a second cake layer; spread with 3/4 cup of the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. Spread one-third of the cranberry filling over frosting. Top with a third cake layer; spread with the remaining cranberry filling. Top with the fourth cake layer, cut side down.
  7. Frost top and sides of cake with the remaining frosting. If desired, garnish with sugared lemon peel strips and/or sugared cranberries.

From the Test Kitchen

To Store:

Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature before serving.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting


ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3 1/2
tablespoon lemon juice
Milk (optional)


  1. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Beat in lemon peel and lemon juice. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar. If necessary, beat in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach spreading consistency.

Nutrition Facts

(Cranberry-Vanilla Bean Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting)
    Per serving:
  • 638 kcal cal.,
  • 31 g fat
  • (19 g sat. fat,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 8 g monounsatured fat),
  • 89 mg chol.,
  • 591 mg sodium,
  • 86 g carb.,
  • 2 g fiber,
  • 65 g sugar,
  • 6 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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