Vanilla Spice Cake with Cranberry Jam and Dairy Free Buttercream

Valentines day is almost here! I used to hate Valentines day. The day of overpriced flowers and chocolate. Well, I’m allergic to chocolate and overpriced flowers die. I know, I’m such a romantic.

Then I met Stephen, who is now my husband and we had our very first date on Valentines day. So then and forever it will always hold a special place in my heart. Every Valentines we have spent together, Stephen always makes reservations at a really nice restaurant we’ve never been to before and it’s always a surprise. Instead of buying each other overpriced gifts, we just splurge on dinner because food is my love language after all.

He surprises me with dinner and I surprise him with a new dessert I’ve made. This year, I want to create something extra special that doesn’t take all day to prepare. It’s the thought that counts and I’m sure it’s the same for your significant other.

I decided to use a cake mix and bought icing and just spice it up (pun intended) with some additional ingredients. My go to cake mix and bought icing, in fact, the only brand of cake mix and icing I buy and it is Simple Mills. I’m not affiliated with this company but every single product they sell has minimal, healthy ingredients and the cake mix and icing is no different. They are both gluten free and dairy free and taste homemade. Your better half will never know the difference!

Note: I made a two layer cake so if you do this, you will need 2 boxes of the cake mix.

Per cake layer:

Mix the cake per box instructions and add all spices. Bake per box instructions for 25 minutes.

Cranberry Jam

  • 1 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Step 1

Pour all jam ingredients into a small pot covered on high until mixture begins to boil. Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer for 8 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop.

Step 2

After cranberries have started popping, use a spoon to mash until you reach desired texture. Remove from burner and let the jam cool.

Cake assembly:

Step 1

After both cakes have been baked and removed from the oven, let them sit for 10 minutes before attempting to remove from pans. After the cakes have sweated for 10 minutes, take a knife and run around the perimeter between the cake and pan. This is to ensure the cakes come out easily. Place a plate upside down on the cake and flip until the cake falls onto the plate.

Step 2

Once the cakes have been removed from pans, transfer one of the layers to a cake plate or preferred serving dish. Use the Simple Mills vanilla buttercream and spread half of the jar of icing on the top of the first cake layer. Then spread all the cranberry jam on top of the buttercream.

Step 3

Place the second cake layer on top of the cranberry jam topped cake. Spread the remaining buttercream on top of the second layer. Enjoy with your love!

Cake will stay fresh in a sealable container for 4 days or up to one month in the freezer.

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