CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS CAKE — This beautiful holiday cake features fresh cranberries, chopped pecans, and a delicious cream cheese frosting.
I’m not sure why, but I always feel like a cake is too “everyday” to serve as a Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert. But this Cranberry Christmas Cake has changed my opinion in a big way!
Not only is this cake beautiful enough to serve at a holiday dinner, it tastes like something fit for a special occasion.
The best part is, it starts with a white cake mix, so it’s pretty easy to put together.
And I don’t think anyone will notice the cake mix shortcut, thanks to the addition of pecans, fresh cranberries and orange zest. The homemade cream cheese frosting is literally the icing on the cake.
If you don’t have three round cake pans, two will work just fine–you’ll just have to bake your cake a little bit longer, and you’ll probably have some extra frosting–but extra frosting is never a bad thing!
I’ve already made this cake twice and my family is still looking forward to having it again this holiday season.
EQUIPMENT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
Check out more of my essential kitchen tools.
Cranberry Christmas Cake
This beautiful holiday cake features fresh cranberries, chopped pecans, and a delicious cream cheese frosting.
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 cup milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups confectioner' s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
For the cake
For the frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans.
- In a large bowl combine the cake mix, milk, eggs, oil, sour cream and orange zest. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.
- Carefully fold in cranberries and pecans.
- Dived batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt until smooth. Stir in the orange zest.
- Gradually add the confectioner 's sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency. Stir in the pecans.
- Frost between the cake layers as well as the top and sides. Garnish with fresh cranberries or additional chopped nuts, if desired.
Never miss a Let’s Dish Recipe:
If you love this recipe, you might also like:
Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Taste of Home.