1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups orange juice
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
3/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup unsalted sunflower seed kernels
Trail Mix Buttercream, recipe follows
8 ounces butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried pineapple
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seed kernels
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
Place the cranberries in a medium saucepan and add the orange juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat on the stove top. Cover and remove from the heat. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a medium bowl. Add the salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the almond extract. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, beginning with the dry ingredients and ending with the buttermilk. Mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips, coconut flakes, almonds and sunflower seeds. Drain the cranberries well and gently fold into the cake batter.
Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove from the pans and cool the cake layers completely.
Top one of the layers with some Trail Mix Buttercream, then place the second layer on top and decorate the outside of the cake with more of the buttercream and serve.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the confectioner's sugar and mix thoroughly. Fold in the almonds, cranberries, pineapple and sunflower seeds.
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