- 1 (12-oz.) jar cherry preserves
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 1/2 cups fresh cranberries*
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 (32-oz.) package powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons milk (optional)
- Basic White Cake layers
- Prepare Filling: Bring first 3 ingredients and 3 cups cranberries to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Boil, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop.
- Transfer 1 cup cranberry mixture to a small bowl, and stir in remaining 1/2 cup whole cranberries. (This will be the Cranberry Topping.)
- Transfer remaining hot Cranberry Filling mixture to another small bowl.
- Cool both mixtures completely (1 hour).
- Cover; chill 8 hours.
- Prepare Buttercream: Beat butter and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy.
- Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with orange juice. Beat at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.
- Stir in vanilla. If desired, add 1 to 2 Tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating until frosting reaches desired consistency.
- Assemble Cake Place 1 Basic White Cake layer on a serving platter.
- Spoon 1 1/2 cups buttercream into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe a ring of frosting around cake layer just inside the top edge.
- Spread cake layer with half of chilled Cranberry Filling (without whole berries), spreading to edge of piped frosting.
- Top with second cake layer.
- Repeat procedure with frosting and remaining Cranberry Filling (without whole berries).
- Top with third layer.
- Spread remaining buttercream over top and sides of cake.
- Pipe a ring of frosting around top cake layer just inside the top edge.
- Spread Cranberry Topping (with whole berries) over top cake layer, spreading to edge of piped frosting.
*Frozen cranberries, thawed, may be substituted.