Can I just tell you how much I love this cake? We've had this cake in mind for weeks, and couldn't wait to finally make it and share it with you! It's a bonus that I'm getting to write about it, because no words are really needed... Just look at how beautiful it is! At our house, by the time Thanksgiving comes, we've already eaten at least two fall pumpkin pies- one each for my husband's and son's birthdays. I can barely stand the thought of making another pie, when there are so many more interesting things to choose.
And this cake is definitely interesting. And amazingly delicious. Moist layers of pumpkin cake are contrasted with tart cranberry filling, brought together with a lightly sweet maple frosting. It can't get more Thanksgiving than that! (Though it would suit Christmas just as well).
The unexpected thing about this cake are the sugared cranberries we used as garnish. If you can't handle making this whole cake (it's not hard, promise), then just make the sugared cranberries. They're so good. Sweet on the outside, then they burst in your mouth, and you get a hit of sour. You'll eat one out of curiosity, and then suddenly realize the whole bowl of berries are gone.
We pretty much had to ban my daughter from the kitchen because she couldn't/wouldn't stop eating them. Plan ahead though, because they soak overnight before rolling them in sugar the next day.
But the best plan of all is to make the entire cake- it can even be made several days ahead and kept refrigerated until the big day. We think it tastes better at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge before you sit down for turkey dinner. It's a show-stopper, and we hope you're the one bringing dessert this Thanksgiving!
Cranberry filled Pumpkin cake with Maple Frosting
3 tablespoons gluten free flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
6 large eggs (flax eggs can be used but the cake will more dense and moist)
1 ½ (15-ounce) cans unsweetened pumpkin
3 cups gluten free flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
¾ teaspoon salt
12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter (or coconut oil)
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons milk (or soy milk)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup sugar + extra for rolling
1 cup cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 350°. To prepare cake, coat 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with oil. Dust pans evenly with 3 tablespoons flour.
2. Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs and beat until well blended. Add pumpkin, mix until blended.
3. Combine flour, baking powder through salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, beating just until blended. Spoon batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cake from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.
1. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries through cloves. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until just thickened. Transfer filling to a medium bowl. Cover and chill.
1. Place butter in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer for 30-40 seconds until whipped. Scrape sides of bowl.
2. Add the half of the powdered sugar and maple syrup. Beat with mixer for 30-40 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl.
3. Add the remaining powdered sugar and milk. Beat for 2-3 minutes or until mixture is fluffy; scraping sides of bowl as needed.
1. Combine water and sugar over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add cranberries.
2. Place cranberries in sugar water into the fridge for 8 hours or over night.
3. Strain cranberries and then roll in sugar. Let them sit while you frost your cake and then use all you don't eat to decorate your beautiful cake.