A beautiful layer cake full of warm spices, tart cranberries, and rich mascarpone frosting is a lovely way to end a holiday meal. A touch of rosemary adds a bright, herbaceous note and using gluten-free flour results in an incredibly moist and delicious cake.
For the cake batter:
2 cups organic sugar
1 1/2 cups organic almond oil
1 teaspoon hazelnut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix or other gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole organic cranberries
1 cup organic walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
For the frosting:
8 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
8 ounces mascarpone
2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9” nonstick springform or cake pans. Mix the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer and gradually add in oil, vanilla extract and hazelnut extract. Mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, blend the flour, spices, baking powder & soda. Add to the sugar mixture and blend until smooth. Fold in cranberries, walnuts, and rosemary. Pour batter into each pan. Bake for approximately 40 minutes then test by inserting a toothpick into the center. The toothpick should be clean when removed.
While the cake layers are baking, start the frosting. Using a stand mixer blend the butter, mascarpone, and hazelnut extract together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix again until smooth.
Once the cake layers are cool, transfer one layer to a cake stand or serving vessel of choice. Frost the top, then place the second cake layer on top. Lightly frost the top and the sides with less than half the frosting. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm. Remove from fridge and frost the cake with the remaining frosting. This process reduces the amount of cake crumbs in the frosting. Top with sugared cranberries (see recipe below).
For the sugared cranberries:
2 cups organic cranberries, raw
1 cup organic sugar + 1/2 cup for tossing
2 cups water, filtered
Place the water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat once the sugar has completely dissolved. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Place cranberries in a bowl. Pour simple syrup over cranberries and cover. Place in fridge for at least 5 hours or, if possible, overnight. Drain cranberries using a strainer or fine mesh sieve. Feel free to save the syrup for cocktails or other libations (or even to serve with French toast!). In a clean, dry bowl, add a little bit of sugar. Toss a few cranberries in the sugar at a time then place on a cookie sheet and let set for about an hour. Place the remaining sugar in a blender or spice grinder and blend until the sugar is quite fine. Re-toss about half of the cranberries in the same aforementioned fashion using the fine sugar. This creates a nice blend of sugared cranberries to top on the cake.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Image courtesy of Cassie Winslow