I was looking for a “wow-factor” cake for my birthday party.  For me, cranberries during winter just works, so being in the middle of winter season here in Norway this was a “have to try” recipe.  It turned out to be as delicious as it looks and a real show stopper!  I just love the new naked trend on cakes, not only does it look good, you don´t have the stress of getting that frosting on the side 100% perfect, winner! I came across this recipe in Supergolden Bakes.


You’ll need

  • Dry ingredients
  • 330g plain flour
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 60g walnuts, ground to a powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ––––––––
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 200ml whole milk + 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 140g fresh cranberries, halved if big + 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • ––––––––
  • For the frosting
  • 300g full fat mascarpone
  • 300g whipping cream
  • 200g icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • about ½ jar cranberry sauce to fill
  • handful fresh cranberries to decorate
  • 1 tbsp egg white 1tsp sugar
  • granulated sugar to frost the cranberries


  1. For the cake. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line 3 x 15cm cake tins. Dust with flour.
  2. Grind the walnuts to a fine powder in a food processor or blender.
  3. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to combine.
  4. Add the cubed butter and mix for a couple of minutes until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  5. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. Gradually add the milk, orange juice, vanilla extract and orange zest and beat together on low speed. Once the milk has been incorporated, increase the speed and mix together for a few minutes, stopping the mixer and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Toss the cranberries in the flour to coat, then fold into the batter.
  8. Divide the batter between the prepared tins and level. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean and the tops are firm and springy. Cool completely before frosting. You may need to level the layers before assembling the cake.
  9. Frosting and decorating. Whip the mascarpone, vanilla and icing sugar on low speed until combined. Increase the speed and beat together until smooth. Gradually add the cream and whip until the frosting is smooth and you have firm peaks. Take care not to over whip. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip.
  10. Pipe a ring of frosting around the rim of the bottom layer and fill the centre with cranberry sauce. Top with the second layer and repeat. Add the final layer.
  11. Smooth some frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Leave some of the cake showing through to achieve the 'naked' cake look, then add another layer of frosting and smooth over the cake.
  12. Use a fork to whisk 1 tbsp egg white with 1 tsp of sugar until frothy. Brush over the fresh cranberries and leave to dry slightly. Sprinkle with granulated sugar to achieve the 'frosted' look.

Note : You don´t have to spend a lot of money on center pieces. For this cake I had a dig through old Christmas decorations and found some glitzy white and red ribbon paper. I stuck it to a bamboo skewer and it turned out to be the perfect fascinator.

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