Cranberry Orange Sponge Cake

  • Orange Sponge Cake:
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • Cranberry Filling;
  • 1 bag (about a pound) of cranberries
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
  • Frosting:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 lb confectioner’s sugar
  • zest of an orange, and a little juice
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center. Grease and line the bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then beat in milk, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the orange zest and mix until just combined. Mix in flour mixture until combined, then scrape into prepared cake pans, smoothing the top.
  4. Bake cakes until golden brown and springy, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then flip them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Add to a saucepan the cranberries, about half to three-quarters a cup of sugar, and a good squeeze of orange zest. Bring to a bubble, then simmer about 20 minutes, until it has reduced and is still shiny. Cool completely.
  6. Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer, gradually adding in the confectioner’s sugar. Add the zest of an orange and use orange juice to loosen the texture, as needed. This frosting can be a stiffer consistency than usual, so be careful when adding liquid.
  7. Transfer one cake (the less attractive one) to a serving platter, and spread slightly more than half of the cream cheese frosting evenly on top. Add slightly more than half of the cranberry mixture, spreading almost to the edge of the frosting. Stack the other cake on top, then add the frosting and jam in the same order as before.

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