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Dessert & Baking|Fresh Fruit

Spiced Layer Cake with Cranberry Filling

Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time45 minutes


Spice Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • zest of one orange
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature

Cranberry Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries for decorating



  • Butter an 8 x 3 inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and move a rack to the lower third of the oven.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a flexible spatula halfway through the mixing time.
  • Turn the mixer down to low and add eggs one at a time, scraping and mixing for 30 seconds after each addition until emulsified. Turn off the mixer and combine oil and buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup. Scoop the flour mixture into the stand mixer bowl and mix on low until mostly incorporated. Pour in buttermilk and oil mixture and continue mixing on low to incorporate. Scrape the bowl and stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Check for doneness by sticking a wooden skewer through the top of the cake and ensure it comes out clean. Also, the cake will be golden brown on top and spring back when touched and will have pulled away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Run an offset spatula around the edges and turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely, about an hour. Wash and dry mixer bowl and paddle attachment.


  • While the cake is baking, make the cranberry filling. Add the cranberries and sugar to a small pot and add 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer cranberries until they have released their juices and slumped, about 3 minutes. Transfer the cranberry filling to a small bowl and stir in vanilla extract. The filling will thicken as it cools. Make sure to cool completely before using. Refrigerate filling to speed up cooling time.


  • While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Beat the unsalted butter and cream cheese on medium in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl. Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and add powdered sugar. Press the powdered sugar through the sifter and into the bowl. Add kosher salt, and vanilla extract and mix on low until powdered sugar is incorporated. Scrape the bowl with a flexible spatula and then raise the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.


  • Once the cake has cooled, use a serrated knife to slice the cake into two even rounds.
  • Set the bottom layer on a plate. Spread the cooled cranberry filling on top in an even layer. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over the cranberry filling. Turn the second round upside down so that the top of the cake is the flat, sliced side. Press down gently and check that the assembled cake is even and level.
  • Crumb coat the cake by spreading a thin layer of frosting on the sides and the top of the cake. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill until the frosting is dry to the touch, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator and use remaining frosting to spread another layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh cranberries.
  • Slice the cake into 12 equal slices and serve. Cover leftover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate.


The cake can be fully assembled 1 day in advance and leftovers will last 3 to 4 days.
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