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Cranberry cardamom cake with cream cheese frosting and sugared cranberries
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5 from 1 vote

Cranberry cardamom cake with cream cheese frosting

Poppy seed cake layers are topped with cranberry filling and the best cream cheese frosting
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cranberry cardamom cake with cream cheese frosting
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 697kcal
Author Janice


6in cake pans
Artisan mixer
Mini offset
Ateco turntable


For the sugared cranberries

  • 250 grams water 1 cup
  • 200 grams granulated sugar 1 cup
  • 150 grams fresh cranberries 1 ½ cups
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar for dusting the cranberries

For the cranberry filling

For the cake

  • 250 grams all-purpose flour 2 cups
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 173 grams unsalted butter ¾ cup, room temperature
  • 250 grams granulated sugar 1 ¼ cups
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 188 mL whole milk (3.25 % fat) ¾ cup

For the frosting

  • 173 grams unsalted butter ¾ cup, room temperature
  • 218 grams icing sugar 1 ¾ cup, sifted
  • 500 grams Philadelphia cream cheese (full fat, regular) 2 blocks, stick to Philadelphia brand because it's the best!, fridge cold


To make the sugared cranberries

  • Heat together the water and the cup of granulated sugar on medium–low to dissolve the sugar.
  • Transfer the syrup to a heat proof bowl and let cool 15 minutes.
  • Add the cranberries, cover the bowl, and chill in the fridge overnight, stirring every few hours.
  • The next day, transfer the cranberries to a wire rack.
  • Sprinkle with half the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Toss the cranberries in the rest of the sugar to coat all sides. Let dry on rack before assembling the cake.

To make the cranberry filling

  • In a small saucepan, heat the cranberries, sugar, water, and salt on low to dissolve the sugar (5–8 minutes).
  • Increase the heat to medium, and boil to thicken the filling (another 5–8 minutes). The filling is thickened enough when you can run a spatula through the centre of the pan and it takes a few seconds before the filling flows back.
  • Transfer the filling to a container and refrigerate overnight.
  • Just before assembling the cake, stir in the vanilla extract.

To make the cake layers

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease, flour, and line the bottoms of three 6-inch cake pans (I like these pans from Wilton available on Amazon) pans. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Mix the vanilla with the milk in a spouted cup.
  • Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Finish stirring the last bit of flour into the batter by hand.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans (~330 grams per pan). Tap pans on the counter and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake the layers for 28 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Let cool on a wire rack completely, then wrap in cling film to store.

To make the cream cheese frosting

  • Cream together the butter and the icing sugar first until they are fluffy and creamy. When these two ingredients are well mixed, then you can add the cream cheese, all at once. Beat for several minutes until you have a thick, smooth frosting.

To assemble the cake

  • Unwrap the three cakes, removing the parchment paper. Level the tops of the cakes so they are flat.
  • Fill a piping bag fitted with an 8–10 mm round tip) with frosting.
  • Place one layer of cake on the cake stand, pipe a rim of frosting, and fill with half the cranberry filling, smoothing with a spatula.
  • Pipe frosting over top to completely cover the rim and filling, smoothing with a spatula again.
  • Top with a second layer of cake and repeat the rim, filling, and frosting step.
  • Top with the third layer of cake. Dirty ice (crumb coat) the outside of the cake.
  • Chill the cake 30 minutes to set the layers before proceeding to frost the outside with the rest of the frosting.
  • Use your spatula to smooth and add texture to the sides of the cake, and top the cake with sugared cranberries just before serving.


  • Makes one 6-inch layer cake
  • Calories calculated based on one-twelfth of the cake+frosting+filling
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakesomethingawesome or tag #bakesomethingawesome!


Calories: 697kcal