Cranberry & Pear Cake (Made with Olive Oil & Kefir)

My Cranberry & Pear Cake is tender, fluffy, made with olive oil and kefir for a healthy twist, and paired with an Swiss Meringue Buttercream for an irresistible Thanksgiving dessert!

Ingredients

Servings: 8-10

For the cake:

  • 2 small Bartlett Pears, about 1 1/2 cups, shredded or finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Fresh Cranberries, pulsed to fine pieces
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Cane Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Lifeway Plain Kefir
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt

For the frosting:

  • 6 large Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Cane Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Unsalted Butter, softened but still cold, cut into tbsp. pieces
  • 1/2 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt

Instructions

For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and line the bottoms with parchment paper of three 6" cake pans.
  • Pulse the cranberries in a high speed blender until very finely chopped. Using a large cheese grater, shred the pears.
  • Beat the eggs, brown sugar, granulated cane sugar, and olive oil until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in kefir and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Gradually sift the flour into the egg mixture until well-combined. Fold in the pears and cranberries.
  • Evenly distribute the cake batter among the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • Add two inches of water to a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a simmering water point.
  • In the meantime, add the egg whites and granulated cane sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  • Place the bowl over the saucepan, then begin whisking immediately until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is frothy and thinned out, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Carefully transfer the mixing bowl to a stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to beat for 10-15 minutes, or until stuff peaks are formed. Place uncovered in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  • Using the paddle attachment, gradually add the butter into the frosting one tablespoon at a time. The frosting should be thick, silk smooth, and fluffy.
  • Frost the cake and enjoy!