Need a festive, holiday season dessert? This tasty white chocolate cranberry cake features moist sponge cake alternated with cake cream & cranberry sauce.
There’s nothing quite like the flavor combination of creamy white chocolate and puckery cranberries. This cake not only combines the two but also features a light and fluffy sponge cake. If you’re on the fence about what to bring to your holiday party, look no further.
Kitchen Tool Recommendations
While not completely necessary, there are a couple of kitchen tools we like to use to put this tasty cake together.
- KitchenAid Stand Mixer – A stand mixer makes whipping up the batter and frosting super simple. If you’ve ever tried making whipped cream by hand, you know exactly what we’re talking about!
- Round Cake Pans – These 9-inch round cake pans are perfect for creating proportional cake layers.
- Medium Saucepan – A sturdy, heavy-bottomed saucepan is just what you need to make the cranberry filling.
- Cake Frosting Spatula – To get a perfectly smooth finish on your frosting, nothing compares to a cake spatula. You can use a standard butter knife, but it will not get anywhere near as smooth.
How to Prepare White Chocolate Cranberry Cake
Preparing this Christmas-worthy white chocolate cranberry cake requires you to make two sponge cake layers, a quick cranberry sauce, and some creamy white chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Baking the Sponge Cake
- Prepare Sponge Cake: This recipe will need two 9 inch sponge cakes. Prepare according to sponge cake instructions.
Whipping Up the Cranberry Filling
- Simmer the Sauce: Simmer the fresh cranberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan for 10 minutes. Remove it from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Spread the Sauce: Spread the cranberry sauce onto each cake layer.
Making the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- Prepare the Frosting Ingredients: Soften the butter and cream cheese at room temperature. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave and stir them until smooth in consistency. Cool the chocolate to room temperature.
- Whip the Butter & Cream Cheese: Whip the unsalted butter and cream cheese together, followed by the white chocolate. In a separate bowl, beat the cold heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. In small portions, add it to the butter and cream cheese mixture.
Assembling the Cake
- Frost the Cake: Place the first layer of cake on a plate. Spread the cream cheese frosting on each layer of the cake, stacking them one on top of the other as you go. Frost the remainder of the cream all over the outside of the cake.
- Decorate the Cake: Decorate the cake with sugared cranberries and pine needles if you wish. Slice, serve, and dig in!
Tips & Tricks for the Tastiest White Chocolate Cranberry Cake
Use the following tips and tricks to take your cake to the next level.
- Use the toothpick test to gauge doneness. If you’re unsure if your sponge cake is fully-cooked, stick a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, the sponge cake is ready!
- Soak your cake layers to make them extra moist. If you like moist cakes, soak the cake layers with some cranberry juice before adding the cranberry sauce. This will give them that extra “oomph” you’re looking for.
- Allow the cake to sit overnight. To lock in the flavors and moisture, let the cake refrigerate overnight before serving it. This will also make it more sturdy.
Storage Best Practices
To keep your cake fresh for up to a week to a week and a half, keep it stored in an airtight cake container in the fridge. As it sits, it will continue to develop and deepen its flavors, making for some pretty incredible leftovers. Avoid leaving the cake out at room temperature too long, as it’s prone to melting.
What ingredient keeps white chocolate cranberry cake moist?
The cranberry filling is what keeps white chocolate cranberry cake so moist. As it sits, the filling seeps into the cake layers, keeping them perfectly hydrated and making for one incredible slice of cake.
Can you use frozen cranberries in white chocolate cranberry cake?
Yes, you can use frozen cranberries to make the cranberry filling for white chocolate cranberry cake. To prevent the sauce from turning out too watery, allow the frozen cranberries to thaw completely at room temperature. Then, drain them of any excess moisture before cooking them down in the saucepan.
Can you freeze white chocolate cranberry cake?
It’s not a good idea to freeze white chocolate cranberry cake. Upon thawing, the cream cheese frosting gets gritty and loses its fluffiness. If you want to, you can freeze the sponge cake to speed up the assembling process.
Can you omit the butter in the frosting for white chocolate cranberry cake?
Yes, you can omit the butter in the frosting for white chocolate cranberry cake if you don’t like that white chocolate buttercream frosting flavor. Instead, replace it with equal parts cream cheese for a more tangy frosting.
Where can you find pine needles for white chocolate cranberry cake?
You can find pine needles for decorating white chocolate cranberry cake outside from a tree itself! If there aren’t any pine trees in your area, you can typically find pine tree stalks in crafting stores and grocery stores during the holiday season.
What kind of flour should you use for white chocolate cranberry cake?
Regular, old-fashioned all-purpose flour is all you need to make the sponge cake for white chocolate cranberry cake. Avoid using cake flour, as it will affect the texture of the sponge cake and make it less fluffy.
More Festive Holiday Cake Recipes to Try
- Hazelnut Log Cake – Ferrero Rocher-inspired cake roll
- Raffaello Cake Roll– Almond coconut cake
- Amazing Orange Almond Cake – Citrusy, nutty cake
- Drunken Cherry Cake – Vodka-soaked pitted cherry cake
- 12 oz cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
White Chocolate Cranberry Cake Cream
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 cups white chocolate
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream extra cold
- Bake two sponge cake in a 9 inch pan.
- Once cooled, slice each cake piece horizontally into 2 pieces, creating a total of 4 layers.
- Combine the cranberries with sugar and lemon juice in a sauce pan. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Spread the cranberry sauce onto each cake layer.
White Chocolate Cranberry Cake Cream
- Allow the butter and cream cheese to soften at room temperature. Melt the white chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave until it's smooth and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Whip the butter and cream cheese together. Add in the white chocolate and whip to combine. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until you get stiff peaks. In small portions, add the whipped cream into the butter and cream cheese mixture.
Assemble the Cake
- Spread an equal amount of cream on each layer of the cake and frost the remainder of the cream all over the outside of the cake.
- To decorate the cake, dip pine needles and a few whole cranberries into water. Shake off the excess water and immediately sprinkle them with a generous amount of sugar. Let them dry for a few minutes and add a bit more sugar. Assemble them on top of the cake. Slice and enjoy!
Can I use strawberries instead of cranberries?
Hey Marina, yes, I would cut them into smaller pieces and cook them down same way as I would cranberries. This will be whole other recipe but I think it will be delish! Enjoy
I love your recipe - it turned out so beautiful and was a hit it my Christmas party last week.
Hi Melissa, I am thrilled to hear this recipe was a success! Thank you for your feedback! Enjoy!
Wow your recipe was a hit! Beautiful & so delicious!
I sent this recipe to my mom and she absolutely loved it! Thank you for the easy to follow directions!
Hi Allyson, I am delighted to hear the recipe was a hit!
Wow! This is beautiful but it tastes even better. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!
Hi Shana, I am glad to hear you love it! Enjoy!
Hi there Natalya!
Beautiful cake!can I freeze it?
Hi Anastasija, It’s not a good idea to freeze white chocolate cranberry cake. When the cake thaws, the cream cheese frosting gets gritty and loses its fluffiness. If you want to, you can freeze the sponge cake to speed up the assembling process. I hope this helps. Happy holidays!
Wow, does this cake ever look lovely? I’m definitely not a good cake maker. This cake is definitely delicious and perfect for Christmas... Definitely can see it making an appearance on my table. Thanks for the recipe!
I hope you love the recipe and that it turns out perfect. Please let me know how it goes when you make it!
Is it really just eggs, flour, and sugar in the cake? Seems too simple to be true! Is it moist and flavorful?
This is how I make a sponge cake in all of my cake recipes. We love them and I have been receiving great feedback. This cake is great because it has cranberry sauce and white chocolate, it really is incredible.
Did you find the pine needles outside or did you buy them?
I used some from the tree outside 🙂
Would this recipe work with white bark coating instead of white chocolate?
Yes, it would work great!
Is there any way to either omit the butter or use a different cream without butter? I'd still like to incorporate the white chocolate but I do not enjoy cream with that much butter in it.
Yes, you add more cream cheese and whipping cream, it's all up to you on how much of each you want to add
This is my version of the cake 🙂
I omitted the butter & it came out fine.
That's awesome! Thanks for sharing a photo.
The cake was delicious. Everyone loved it. The sour cranberries offset the sweetness of the cream really well. I moistened the cake with cranberry juice & it was so good. Great cake for the winter.
Thank you for sharing the feedback 🙂
So pretty! I love the sugared cranberries on top. Good job 🙂
Thank you Dear!!
Where do you incorporate 2 cups of sugar and where do you incorporate the 1 cup of sugar?
Ops!!! Two cups in cake sponge and one cup in a cranberry sauce 😉
Thank you 🙂