A soft, fluffy and tender orange cake that’s bursting with fresh orange flavor and filled with a tart cranberry sauce. Coated with my tangy cream cheese frosting.
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease or butter & flour two round cake pans (either 9 x 9 inch pans or 8 x 8 inch pans for taller cakes) and set aside.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a handheld mixer, whisk together eggs and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On low speed and with the mixer running, add oil slowly until combined. Add orange juice, zest, and vanilla extract and keep whisking slowly until combined. Add flour mixture and whisk just until combined. Don’t overmix.
Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top is browning quickly while baking, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes and then flip upside down to finish cooling completely on a wire rack. Cakes are best made a day in advance from assembly.
Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For the best moist texture, the cake is best served at room temperature. This cake freezes well before it is assembled so if you cover the cake rounds well, you can freeze for up to 2 months, then thaw overnight in the fridge before you need them.
Make the cranberry filling while the cakes are baking. Cook 1 cup of cranberries over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Cranberries will pop and mixture will start boiling. Using a potato masher, crush cranberries.
Reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes while stirring frequently. Remove from heat, stir in butter and remaining half cup of chopped cranberries.
Place cranberry sauce in a bowl. Cover mixture with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of one hour to set. Mine set in the fridge overnight. (Note: If using frozen cranberries, use more time to cook the cranberry sauce.)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a handheld mixer), beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then on high speed for 1-2 minutes until smooth and fluffy (Note: If you want a thicker frosting, feel free to add more powdered sugar).