Spiced Mascarpone Cranberry Cake

Sharing a festive cake to kick off the holiday baking season: spiced mascarpone cranberry cake. A simple spiced cake flavored with warm cinnamon & nutmeg, with flavors of orange and creamy mascarpone running throughout the batter. Topped with a tart cranberry jam and baked until golden. Dusted with lots of powdered sugar and served in slices. This cake is just the thing to have on your holiday table, whether it be for a morning breakfast with a cup of coffee or a delicious dessert.

This recipe is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.

Spiced Mascarpone Cranberry Cake

spiced mascarpone cranberry cake – the details

Earlier this year, I created a honey soaked almond cake. It’s such a popular cake and has been made & loved by so many of you! I started thinking of different holiday versions of the cake I could create. And this cranberry one was definitely the winner.

I’m using my go-to Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour, an absolute staple in my kitchen this time of year! I love having lots on hand to whip up a Christmas treat whenever the mood hits. For this cake, the flour gets mixed with lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange zest to add a hint of warm spice throughout the batter.

The dry ingredients get mixed into a mixture of eggs, sugar, creamy mascarpone cheese, and vanilla. This simple batter comes together effortlessly and results in a very lovely texture.

Spiced Mascarpone Cranberry Cake

Spiced Mascarpone Cranberry Cake

For the cranberry topping, you’ll cook cranberries over the stovetop with sugar, orange juice, and a cinnamon stick for more spice. Once the liquid evaporates, you’ll cool the mixture then spread it over the batter. After it’s all baked, the cake becomes golden around the edges with the juicy cranberries sitting over a fluffy, tender cake.

The cake itself isn’t overly sweet and the cranberries give it a subtle tartness which is really flavorful, but I definitely recommend topping it with lots of powdered sugar once cooled. It not only gives it that festive “snowy” look, but it adds the perfect amount of sweetness with every bite!

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Spiced Mascarpone Cranberry Cake

a simple spiced cake with mascarpone cheese, tart cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange 

yield: 1 (8”) cake

Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ lb whole cranberries
  • 1 ¼ cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick (4oz) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (4oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Combine the cranberries, ¼ cup + 2 tbsp of sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to combine. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated. Let the mixture cool. 
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8” cake pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, orange zest, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the softened butter and remaining 1 cup of sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, cream together for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Mix in the mascarpone cheese and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix just to combine and remove any lumps. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  5. Transfer the batter to the cake pan and spread into an even layer. Spread the cooled cranberry mixture over top. Bake on the bottom rack for 35 minutes. Cover the cake with foil and continue to bake for about 15-20 more minutes until the center of the cake is cooked through (a toothpick should come out free of batter but still appear moist).
  6. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges. Place a cutting board on top of the cake pan and flip the cake over so that it releases from the pan. Flip again so the cake is upright. Allow the cake to cool fully.
  7. Dust the cake with lots of powdered sugar and cut into slices for serving.

Spiced Mascarpone Cranberry Cake

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