Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake

This Sparkiling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake is no doubt a new favorite – especially for Christmas! The cake is incredibly moist and flavorful and the cranberries add the prefect burst of fruity flavor. The white chocolate icing compliments the cake wonderfully. And the sparkling cranberries on top are beautiful and make it look like is just snowed. If I can’t get a white Christmas down here in the South, I’ll have a sparkling white cake. 🙂

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!

This weekend was crazy busy, but so fun! We finally started turning our “formal living room” into my office. We’d already cleared the room, so this weekend we steam cleaned the carpets and got the main pieces of furniture. I still want to get a few other things and some decorative pieces, but the big stuff is there and I’m ready to get organized!

We got the furniture at IKEA and I love it! It took us forever to get through the store though. I got three pieces of furniture – a desk, shelves for all my props, and a table to use for taking photos on. It took awhile to pick everything out since IKEA has all these things in different rooms. I was taking a lot of pictures and trying to picture them all in a room together.

The hubs didn’t really realize IKEA was so big and had so much stuff, so he was pretty excited to realize they had so many decorative things and stuff beyond just furniture. I think we’ll be making another trip soon.

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!

If you’ve been before, you know you collect the boxes at the end of the trek through the store. One of our items – the table – was back where only IKEA employees could get to it so after we checked out, we had to wait at the pick up area for it. It took longer than we expected though, so the hubs started wondering around near the food. Next thing I knew, he came back with ICEEs and cinnamon rolls. ICEEs are one of his all-time faves.

“The cinnamon rolls had just come out of the oven and were only $1,” he said.

Oh, how well he knows me. Besides, it’d been so long it was dinner time and we were hungry. Those cinnamon rolls didn’t last 30 seconds. And they were good too. So fluffy!

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!

Kind of like this cake. 🙂

The cake itself is a little modification of my vanilla cupcakes, doubled. Dang is it good. It is so moist and the flavor is to die for. I love that it’s one bowl and everything just gets mixed together. One note about the mixing – you don’t want to over mix the batter. Once everything is combined, you only want to mix until it’s smooth. No longer.

The cranberries get stirred in after the mixing. This was my first time ever baking, or even tasting, fresh cranberries. I didn’t realize they were so tart! But baked into the lightly dense cake, they are sweeter and delicious! I love the pop of fruit in the cake.

The icing is full of white chocolate. It’s made basically by making white chocolate ganache, then adding butter and powdered sugar. Delicious.

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!

And I was totally in love with the sparkling cranberries. They are just so festive! Because of them though, the cake takes a little planning. The cranberries sit in a simple syrup overnight so they get nice and sticky. Then they’re covered in sugar. I waited until the cake was all made and iced before moving onto the cranberries and that was silly of me. It was whole other day before I could finish off the cake with the cranberries and dig in.

It was worth the wait though.

I used some of the remaining sugar that had clumped together on top of the cake. It felt so snowy and wintery.

Growing up, my younger brother and I always wished for a white Christmas. I don’t think we’ve ever had one, but this cake would definitely make up for it. 🙂

This Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake was a hit with everyone! I’m so glad too, because I needed help eating it. I knew if I didn’t get it out of the house soon enough, I’d devour the whole thing. Yummy!

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake

Yield: 8 inch cake

Ingredients

Sparkling Cranberries
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup water

Cranberry Cake
3 1/3 cups (480g) all purpose flour
2 cups (400g) sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups salted butter (340g), room temperature
3 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup (240ml) sour cream
1 cup (240ml) milk
3 cups fresh cranberries

White Chocolate Icing
12 oz white chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
8-9 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Sparkling Cranberries
1. Bring 1 cup sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Pour simple syrup into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Add cranberries and stir to coat.
4. Refrigerate cranberries in syrup overnight, stirred a couple times to coat with syrup.
5. Remove cranberries from syrup and roll in remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. You'll need to roll them a few times to get a couple layers of sugar on them.
6. Set cranberries aside to dry for a hour or so.

Cranberry Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with baking spray and parchment paper in the bottom of the pans.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add butter, eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream and milk and mix on medium speed just until smooth. Do not over mix.
4. Gently stir in cranberries.
5. Spread batter evenly between the three cake pan.
6. Bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
7. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.

White Chocolate Icing
1. Place white chocolate chips in a metal bowl.
2. Microwave heavy cream until it starts to boil. Remove from microwave and pour over chocolate chips.
3. Cover bowl with saran wrap for 5-7 minutes.
4. Whisk chocolate and cream until smooth.
5. Allow ganache to sit until mostly cool. It should be thick.
6. Beat the ganache with a mixer for about 2-3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.
7. Add butter and beat until it is fully combined.
8. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until it is fluffy and the right consistency. Add more cream if needed.

To put the cake together:
1. Remove cake domes from cakes with a large serrated knife.
2. Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about icing on top in an even layer.
3. Add second layer of cake and add more icing on top in an even layer.
4. Add final layer of cake on top and ice the outside of the cake.
5. Top the cake with sparkling cranberries and add some around the edge, if desired.

NOTE: I think most cakes are best if they are allowed to settle for at least 12-24 hours after icing. It allows to flavors to settle. This cake will stay moist for several days after being iced.
http://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/2014/12/08/sparkling-cranberry-white-chocolate-cake/

Enjoy!

signature Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake - super moist vanilla cake full of fresh cranberries, iced with white chocolate icing and topped with sparking cranberries!

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Recipes from friends:
Pistachio Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies from Joyful Healthy Eats
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