Cranberry Cream Cheese Cake

This cake is so much easier than it looks! Thanks to its high-quality all-natural ingredients, the cake layers will keep in the fridge for a few days to make day-of prep easier.

120 min
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time



  • 4.5 cups flour, sifted
  • 1½ tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) Crystal unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of two oranges
  • 1½ cups Crystal whole milk, at room temperature
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) Crystal Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange juice
  • 8 cups powdered sugar

Sugared Cranberries

  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries

Products used

  • Whole Milk

  • Unsalted Butter


  • Step 1

    To make the cake: 

    Prepare four 8-inch cake pans by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Step 2

    Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Step 3

    In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until soft and pale yellow, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat on medium until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and orange zest. With the mixer on low, add the flour and Crystal Creamery milk in alternating additions, finishing with the flour. Do not overbeat. Stir in the cranberries. Divide batter into prepared cake pans and spread to level.

  • Step 4

    Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in a cake pan for 5 minutes then let cool completely on a wire rack. 

  • Step 5

    To make the cream cheese frosting:
    Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and Grand Marnier. Beat on medium until combined. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until smooth.

  • Step 6

    To make the sugared cranberries:
    Heat ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Stir in cranberries and heat on low for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to wire cooling rack. Let dry for at least one hour. Roll cranberries, a few at a time, in remaining 1½ cups sugar until coated. Let dry for at least one hour, or overnight.

  • Step 7

    To assemble the cake:
    Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread with a large dollop of cream cheese frosting. Chill for 10 minutes (optional). Repeat, alternating cake and frosting, finishing with frosting. Top with sugared cranberries. Dust with an additional layer of granulated sugar immediately before serving.

    Recipe and photos by Kelly Huibregtse of A Side of Sweet.