cranberry pecan sheet cake

This past Thanksgiving weekend I was down for the count.

Knee brace. Crutches. Kitty.


I did something dumb to my knee on Wednesday night and I didn’t leave the apartment again until this morning. That’s 4.5 days. I was losing my mind. Even the cats were like okay, enough, get out of here!

I’m feeling much better now, though. Forced rest will do that to you.

Despite the pain, Moose and I were able to throw together a nice Thanksgiving dinner. He did most of the work and I did most of the eating. I needed the extra calories to heal my knee, you see. Sebastian told me that sweet potato casserole has secret healing properties.

My stomach is full from all those leftovers, but I’m still thinking about cake. What else is new?

Last month my friend and I went on a work adventure to a magical land called Illinois.

That’s Kelly. She’s pretty awesome.

I stumbled upon an old issue of Midwest Living in our hotel and flipped through it as we watched The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills prepared for the next day’s meeting.

Inside I discovered a recipe for a Cranberry Layer Cake that had won an award and, more importantly, the key to my heart. I combined the ingredients from that recipe with the ingredients from Amy Sedaris’ vanilla cupcake recipe, veganized the whole thing and ta-da! A sheet cake was born.

Cranberry Pecan Sheet Cake
Cake recipe adapted from Amy Sedaris via Epicurious
and Midwest Living

Printable recipe

Cake ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
  • 1 1/2 cups refined sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cups vanilla almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen, chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest

Frosting ingredients:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free cream cheese, softened (I used Trader Joe’s This is Not a Tub of Cream Cheese)
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix together the Earth Balance and refined sugar on low-medium speed until combined.

Stir in the applesauce, almond milk and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and flour.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on low-medium speed until fully combined.

Stir in the vinegar and then gently fold in the cranberries


and orange zest.

Pour the batter into a 9×13″ pan

and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.

Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the frosting. To make the frosting, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix on low-medium speed until combined. Spread the frosting on the cake

and take a big bite!

Then take another big bite. And another. Now another.

16 thoughts on “cranberry pecan sheet cake

  1. GIANT ROCKET MAN! I feel like breaking out in Elton John…..

    Sorry your knee is fubar’d, but great excuse not to cook and snuggle a cat or three for 4 days. How’s it feeling today ?

    This cake by the way, looks amazing. I love the Amy Sedaris cupcake recipe, it’s my go to vanilla recipe. I love the way the chopped cranberries look.

    • It’s much better, thanks for asking! I walked up and down stairs three times today. But now I have no more excuses for not doing the dishes.

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  3. I know it has been almost a month since your hurt your knee, but I hope you are feeling better! I love finding fun magazines, and especially love finding fun delicious recipes! This recipe seriously looks amazing!!! Hugs, Terra

    • I think it must be the pecans, without the pecans to balance out the berries and citrus it probably tastes like a big tart explosion in your mouth. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you :(

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