Monday, November 29, 2010

Lemon Cranberry Cake by K.C. Quaretti-Lee

I am honored to indroduce KC Quaretti-Lee to my blog readers, some of you already know her since she was chosen by Paula Deen and Kraft Foods as the first dessert host in the Real Women of Philadelphia casting call.   KC was picked from thousands of talented cooks and has been making videos and writing a cookbook with the other 3 hosts for Philadelpia cream cheese.  KC is a true artist when it comes to desserts so I knew you would enjoy a holiday dessert recipe from her. Thank you so much KC!  You can find more on KC and her wonderful recipes at her blog  http://www.kcinthekitchen.com/
Enjoy, Shannon

 Being chosen by Paula Deen and Kraft Foods to be the very first dessert host for the Real Women of Philadelphia was certainly a life changing event.  At the VERY TOP of the list of great changes I have experienced in the past five months is getting to know and become friends with so many amazing home cooks in the RWOP Community; friendships that will continue on forever!
Now, during this holiday season I have been given another top honor;  the opportunity to be a guest blogger on Shannon’s incredible blog.   Shannon’s tablescapes, floral arrangements and creative party planning ideas are absolute tops and to be included here with Shannon is a total delight!   When Shannon first asked me to share a holiday dessert with you I instantly thought of this Lemon Cranberry Cake!  It certainly is a family favorite here in the Quaretti-Lee household!
I’ve been making this cranberry sauce for more years than I care to admit and it just seemed natural to play the sauce forward into something really exciting to serve and share during the holiday season.  Whenever I serve this cake, it  consistently brings out oooohs and awwwes because of the surprise filling between the layers! The combination of sweet and tart from both the cranberries and lemons keep this cake from being overly sweet while the cream cheese and cranberry filling adds intense moisture that makes this cake really quite unique!

First you’ll need to start off with fresh cranberry sauce: 

2 Packages Fresh cranberries
2 Apples
2 Pears
1 Lemon
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Orange Juice
1.      Rinse and pick over the cranberries to make sure you don’t have any bad ones.
2.      Peel, core and chop the apples and pears.
3.      Finely grate the lemon peel and then juice the lemon.
4.      Place all the ingredients in a large enamel pot and cook over low/medium heat for about 45 minutes stirring every few minutes.  The berries will pop and the sauce will thicken slightly.
5.      Remove from the heat and chill.  The sauce will be very thick when chilled.
That’s it, that’s all you have to do to make a super delicious homemade cranberry sauce!
                                                 Cranberry Cake Filling

Now, let’s talk about the cake.  A while ago I was asked to re-create a lemon cake recipe that had been lost for about 40 years.  All I had to go on was the description of a cake my friend’s grandmother used to make when she was very young!  After researching old recipes and more experimenting than I care to admit; in other words my family didn’t want to see a lemon cake for many months, the final result is a moist simply yummy lemon cake.  BUT, with all that we have to do during the holiday season, feel free to use a box lemon cake.  Add the juice of ½ lemon per box (reduce the water amount by how much lemon juice you have) and ¼ cup Philadelphia Pineapple Cream Cheese (reduce the oil by ½ cup) per box.
I always make this a large four layer cake, so I double the cake recipe or use 2 box cake mixes. You certainly can make a two layer cake if you don’t have too many to feed!
Yellow Lemon Cake Ingredients:
     2 cups sifted cake flour
     3/4 teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     1/3 cup shortening
     1/3 cup butter
     1 cup sugar
    3 eggs, separated

    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

    1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
    ½ teaspoon lemon rind finely grated
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
                                             Cranberry Cake Half Filled

1.      Sift flour, baking soda and salt together.
2.      In mixing bowl, cream butter and shortening; add sugar gradually, creaming until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks; beat until very light. Add vanilla and lemon extract; blend well.
3.      Combine buttermilk and vinegar. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture. Beat until batter is smooth. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.
4.      Pour buttermilk cake batter into greased 7 x 10 x 2-inch baking pan or 2 8-inch layer cake pans.
5.      Bake single at 350°. 35 to 45 minutes; layers at 375°. 25 to 30 minutes.
Cranberry Filling Ingredients:
1.      1 (8 ounce) package Philadelphia cream Cheese
2.      ¾ cup powdered sugar
3.      ¾ cup cranberry sauce
1.      Mix all ingredients well
2.      Spread 1/3 of mixture on top of layer one
3.      Repeat for layers 2 and 3
4.      Top with layer four
5.      Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or up to 24 before frosting
6.      Frost cake with simple whipped white frosting
7.      Pipe frosting around the top of the cake to create a place for cranberry sauce
8.      Spread about ¾ cup cranberry sauce on top of cake
Frosting Ingredients:
1.      1 (8 ounce) package Philadelphia Cream Cheese softened
2.      ½ cup butter softened
3.      About 10-12 ounces marshmallow fluff
4.      About 6 cups powdered sugar
1.      Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy
2.      Add the marshmallow fluff and mix well
3.      Add about 4 cups powdered sugar and mix well; keep adding additional sugar until you get the desired consistency.

·         Thank you Shannon for taking the time to share your talents with all of us!  Again, I am honored to be featured on your blog and incredibly proud to be able to call you my RWOP Friend!


  1. Mmmm...a great combination of flavors!
    So pretty too! Lovely K.C...and thanks for sharing, Shannon.
    I'm also honored to be one of the recipents of the Bridgewater giveaway and delighted to be a part of a gift that will be feeding a hungry child! Blessings to you my friend!

  2. I'm so glad you won Lorraine:)) Enjoy your prize:))