Cranberry Biscuit Layer Cake

Cranberry Biscuit Layer Cake

For our November/December 2021 cover, this Cranberry Biscuit Layer Cake is a cookie-turned-cake. We added some of our favorite holiday flavors. Warm spices and orange zest give the cake a nice spike of flavor while a brush of Simple Syrup after baking ensures perfectly sweet and moist cake layersCranberry Filling ties together all of the classic holiday flavors, and a topping of Pink Glaze and Sugared Cranberries gives this cake a splendidly sweet finish.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cranberry Biscuit Layer Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1¼ cups (284 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2½ cups (500 grams) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs (250 grams), room temperature
  • 3¾ cups (469 grams) unbleached cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon (6 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 2½ teaspoons (12.5 grams) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) packed orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cloves
  • 1¼ cups (300 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
  • Cranberry Filling (recipe follows)
  • Pink Glaze (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: Sugared Cranberries (recipe follows), assorted nonpareils
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, cardamom, orange zest, salt, ginger, and cloves. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Divide batter between prepared pans, smoothing tops with an of set spatula.
  4. Bake until edges are dry and golden brown, center is slightly shiny, and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  5. Trim cooled cake layers, if necessary; discard parchment. Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate. Brush top with half of Simple Syrup. Spoon Cranberry Filling on cake top; using an of set spatula, spread into a smooth layer. Top with remaining cake layer, and brush top with remaining Simple Syrup. Spread Pink Glaze on top of cake, letting glaze drip down sides slightly. Garnish with Sugared Cranberries and nonpareils, if desired.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Syrup
Makes about ⅓ cup
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar and ¼ cup (60 grams) water over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until sugar dissolves. Let cool completely.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cranberry Filling
Makes 1½ cups
  • 3 cups (330 grams) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water
  1. In a medium saucepan, cook cranberries, sugar, and salt over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until cranberries begin to burst and mixture is boiling. Reduce heat to low; stir in 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until filling holds its shape when a spatula is dragged through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof medium bowl, and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pink Glaze
Makes about 1 cup
  • 1½ cups (180 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pink liquid food coloring
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, cream, mascarpone, and salt just until smooth and well combined. Stir in food coloring until desired color is reached. Use immediately.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sugared Cranberries
Makes about 1 cup
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup (120 grams) water
  • 1 cup (110 grams) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat ½ cup (100 grams) sugar and ½ cup (120 grams) water over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until sugar dissolves. Let cool slightly.
  2. Stir cranberries into syrup. Remove cranberries using a slotted spoon, letting excess drip off. Place on a sheet of parchment paper, and let dry for 1 hour.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss together cranberries and remaining ½ cup (100 grams) sugar.


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  1. Congratulations on explaining the recipe and ingredient so well. From Sugared cranberries to all other ingredients you created the blog perfectly. The best part of the blog is detailed explaination of the all the steps. I am also part of a home kitchen in Chennai ( and love to explore such recepies. This recipe is definitely worth try. Thanks a lot !

    • Tried CRANBERRY BISCUIT LAYER CAKE its amazing!!!!!
      Yes. Loved it! recently ordered birthday cake from Moonbakes bakery in chennai. It’s a great place for unique, adorable birthday cakes in Chennai!

    • Hi Nicole,

      Thank you for your question! For this cake, you can bake and trim your cake layers, then wrap them in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by a sheet or two of foil. If they can fit, slip each layer in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag for an additional barrier. The layers will store in the freezer for up to 2 months. The night before you assemble your cake, thaw your frozen cakes by placing them flat and in a single layer in the refrigerator overnight. From there, you can follow the recipe as written, brushing the cake layers with simple syrup, filling the cake, and decorating it.

      You can also let your cake layers thaw at room temperature in a pinch, but the refrigerator route is the most ideal.

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!


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