This cake came about because I had some extra cranberries on hand after the holidays. Baking them into cake was the obvious choice, right?? I chose to start with a cake mix because EASY. I prepared the cake mix according to the directions on the box and folded in some toasted pecans, cranberries, and orange zest. Only 3 additional ingredients, but trust me they make a “plain old box cake” taste extra special! Especially when it’s smothered in an orange cream cheese frosting…YUM! Hurry and make this cake while you can still find fresh cranberries at your grocery store (but if you can’t find fresh, frozen will work too!). Enjoy!
Cranberry Orange Pecan Cake
for the cake:
1 box (15.25 oz) white cake mix (I used Pillsbury)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup water
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
zest of 1 orange
for the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, cold
1/4 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange zest
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 (9 inch) cake pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
2. In large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil, water, and orange zest. Beat with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Add cranberries and pecans and stir to combine.
3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
4. While cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add orange zest and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth, about a minute. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Spread onto cooled cake.