Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake

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This Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake recipe 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.

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 with a few slices removed
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake slice on a plate

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 slice on a plate
Overhead view of Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake slice on a plate

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 slice on a plate
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 slice on a plate
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake slice on a plate

You might also like these recipes:

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes
White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Bundt Cake
White Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Eggnog Pancakes with Maple Cranberry Syrup

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Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Bundt Cake slice on white plate

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Servings
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake recipe is a new Christmas fav! The cake is incredibly moist & flavorful with colorful sparkling cranberries.



  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (240ml) water


  • 3 1/3 cups (433g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (336g) salted butter (336g), room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240ml) sour cream
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries


  • 12 oz white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 89 cups (920-1035g) powdered sugar
  • salt, to taste



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 1067
  • Sugar: 130.3 g
  • Sodium: 222 mg
  • Fat: 45.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 159.9 g
  • Protein: 8.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 143.9 mg

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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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  1. Tricia Pacione-Tholborn

    My family loves it and so I wanted to make it for my son’s 1st birthday but with strawberries instead of cranberries. Would that work?

  2. Ann McKenna

    I made this cake twice a couple of Christmases ago and both times was a big hit! I loved it, too! It’s also fun to make. I would make it every year but my husband likes me to serve different desserts every year. Thank you for the recipe!!!

  3. Libby Charlton

    This is my favorite cake! We love it so much, and have made it several times. Question though, I want to make it for a dessert auction but cranberries are out of season, any substitute suggestions (I can’t find frozen either)? Or can I just make it without berries like a vanilla cake or add sprinkles like funfetti?

  4. Lorie

    Mine didn’t raise much. Cake layers are about a half n inch. My baking powder was fresh. So will frost it tomorrow and hope for the best. Batter tasted really good

  5. Naomi Wallace

    I bake birthday cakes for my co-workers as a tribute to my husband. This was a hands down favorite ! It was absolutely delicious, and a number of people asked for the recipe. The only changes I made were to bake 2 9″ layers instead of the 3 8″ for ease of transportation, and I used oat milk because that is what I keep in the house. Fantastic tasting and lovely looking cake ! Thank you for the recipe

  6. Amy

    Saying 1/2 cup sugar is all that’s needed to coat cranberries is misleading. I had to toss the sugar out 3 times and restart because it gets clumpy coating the cranberries. I would use cake flour instead of all purpose.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure that you did anything wrong. It’s a very dense cake. I’ve considered adjusting the recipe, but people love it so much that I’ve left it alone. If you’d like cake layers that are lighter, consider my the layers of my cranberry fudge layer cake. You could use those cake layers and then the frosting and decor from this cake.

  7. Naomi Wallace

    I am looking forward to baking this and want to know the adjustment in time/temp for 2 9″ cake pan. Thank you

  8. Jennifer

    Hi, I’m looking forward to baking this for thanksgiving. Do I need to add all of the cranberries to the syrup mixture?

    1. Lindsay

      The ones for the cake layers don’t need to be added to the syrup. The ones added to the syrup are just for decorating, so you can use less if you like. Depends on how many you want to use to decorate.

      1. Amy

        Your recipe doesn’t say that! I coated all my cranberries in sugar. Is my cake going to be too sweet now?

      2. Lindsay

        I don’t know where you’re seeing an issue. There are 2 cups of cranberries listed for the sparkling cranberries and a SEPARATE 3 cups of cranberries listed for the cake. They are separate, so that should be clear.

    1. Lindsay

      So glad you’re happy with it! Buttercream should be refrigerated after about 24 hours at room temperature, so yes, you’d likely need to refrigerate it.

    1. Lindsay

      Buttercream should be refrigerated after about 24 hours at room temperature, so yes, you’d likely need to refrigerate it.

  9. Jay

    Hi I was wondering if frozen cranberries could be used? I’m in Australia and haven’t ever seen them fresh. Thank you

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t made it that size before. You shouldn’t need to adjust any ingredients, I don’t think. I often reduce baking temperature for a 9×13 to 325, but I haven’t tested that with this.

  10. Lisa Lima Andrade

    Hello Thank you for this recipe!
    It looks like a wonderful recipe to try this Christmas.
    Can I replace the fresh cranberries with the dry ones?
    Where I live is not available the fresh ones.

    1. Lindsay

      I have never tried dried cranberries in something other than cookies. I imagine they would be a little firm and chewy. Do you have access to frozen cranberries?

  11. Weida Ann Borkowski

    Great recipe. However, I added vanilla (1 1/2 tea) to the icing. I take this cake to Christmas parties and get great reviews. It looks like a cake out of the Southern Living magazine.

    1. Lindsay

      I think dried cranberries would be a little chewy and sweeter than fresh berries. I don’t think I’d recommend it, but you could certainly try it.

  12. Denise

    Hi Lindsay,
    Thank you for answering my questions, will let you know how cake turns out, hopefully it will be a success in June for my future daughter in laws baby shower, thank you again Denise

  13. Denise

    Hi I’m just making my ingredient list for this cake but substituting cranberries for raspberries can you give me a rough idea of quantity of raspberries as it says 3 cups and not quite sure what amount this is? Also the salted butter for cake gives 2 amounts is it both or 336grms or 340grms at room temp? many thanks Denise

    1. Lindsay

      3 cups of raspberries would weigh about 337 grams. A pint of raspberries is about 170g, so you’d need two for the cake batter. And it’s 336 grams for the butter. I hope you enjoy it!

  14. Denise Boyes

    Hi was going to use this recipe but replacing cranberries with fresh raspberries or dried raspberries which do you think will work best, thanks Denise

  15. Steph

    I have been making this cake for my daughter’s birthday for several years now! I just want to say it is the most-requested cake I have made! I have even made it as a vanilla cake without the berries a few times because we love the velvety texture so much! A winner, for sure, Lindsey! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Tonia

    I posted earlier and forgot to mention, I should have given this a 5. It was everything it was told it would be. Delicious.
    Do you think you can tell me what the calories would be without the icing?

  17. Tonia

    I made this cake for the first time and, without a trial run, brought it to Christmas dinner. It was amazing!
    I didn’t use cranberries, but I did have blue berries and rasperries. Frozen.
    It was a bit heavier in a couple spots because of what was said, that it might make it that way d/t water, but it was a hit none the less.
    Icing was really sweat, so to feel better about the calories, I’m sorry, I scrapped it off.
    I would make this cake again, even without the icing. It’s not very sweet, but I prefer it that way.
    I will make it again, and would also want to try a healthier version, keto maybe? Only because it was so good!!

  18. Sandra

    I have three 9″ cake pans and want to use all three. Do you think it will be enough batter? I saw the other comment about using two 9′ pans.

    1. Lindsay

      It depends on how tall you want your layers to be. They will be thinner than what you see in the photos, but I think it’d be fine.

  19. Nickie

    I started the batter last night, but it got late and I had to refrigerate the batter. Do you think it will still work now ??

  20. Holly

    Making this for Christmas Eve tomorrow! Should I leave it out or put it in the fridge overnight? Also, is it salted butter for the frosting portion? Thanks!!

    1. Lindsay

      You can leave it out for up to 24 hours, then I’d refrigerate it. I’d use unsalted butter and add salt to taste for the frosting.

  21. Megan

    Just making sure, you throw the whole sticks of butter in? No need to cream the butter and mix other well ingredients before mixing with dry ingredients?

  22. Briana

    I’m so hoping you will see this question as I would love to make this cake for Christmas. Question is: are you using “white chocolate chips” that actually have cocoa in them? All the “White chocolate chips” I find are technically White Baking chips as they don’t actually have cocoa in them. Will those work? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      I don’t think any white chocolate or white chocolate chips really have cocoa in them or they wouldn’t be white. The ones you are seeing are probably all fine.

    1. Lindsay

      That should be fine. I might let them thaw first and drain the excess liquid. The cake is already fairly dense so I wouldn’t want to add additional moisture to it, which would make it more dense.

  23. Jessica

    If I want to do just 2 layers should I cut the recipe by 1/3 or make the whole recipe and use just the amount I need?

    1. Lindsay

      I think it depends. If you feel like you can accurately cut it by 1/3, then do that. Otherwise, maybe make the full amount and use what you need.

    1. Lindsay

      Are you wanting to freeze just the layers or the fully frosted cake? Freezing the layers before decorating should be fine. It could change the texture of the cranberries a bit and make them a little more mushy but otherwise be fine. I don’t typically recommend freezing full cakes, but you could certainly try it.

  24. Sandy

    My daughter in law and I have made this cake twice and it is excellent. I want to make it for a Christmas gathering, but as a Bundt cake. Just worried it may overflow the Bundt pan. Has anyone made this cake in a Bundt pan?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoy it! I believe people have made it as a Bundt cake because I have gotten questions about it. But I can’t remember if anyone has actually come back to share their results.

      1. Sandy

        Thanks for your speedy reply. Just worried that it may be too much batter for the Bundt pan, but I’m gonna try it. Will let you know how it goes.

      2. Sandy

        Hello again, so…I made this recipe as a Bundt cake and it turned out just as good as the 3 layer version, however, it took a little longer to cook. I just tested it frequently, using the toothpick method. Also, there was way more frosting than I needed, so I would half the frosting recipe for the Bundt cake in the future.
        I hope you can open the pics!

  25. Joan

    Very dramatic presentation, and delicious!
    I am making it again, for a holiday dinner.
    Is it ok to freeze the cake prior to frosting it?
    I typically do this for my cakes, but have not tried one with fruit in the recipe.

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried it either be able to say for sure. It might be fine. I’m not sure if the fruit will end up kind of soggy or not.

    1. Lindsay

      That is a very subjective thing. It would probably depend on who you ask. The cranberries in the cake do add plenty of tartness. The frosting does have a good bit of powdered sugar – feel free to reduce it if you like.

    1. Lindsay

      So glad everyone enjoyed it! I don’t know much about high altitude baking, so it’s hard for me to say. I’m sorry!

  26. Andrea

    Is this a light and fluffy cake or a dense and heavy one? I prefer my cake to be as heavy and dense as possible (“like a brick” is what my cakes have been compared to… no complaints on either end). So If it is a light and fluffy cake how would I make it heavier? Would I need to make any modifications to the recipe?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure I’d call it “like a brick”, lol. But it’s definitely dense and heavy. Not light and fluffy.

  27. Anna

    Hi I would like to make this cake for Christmas. Is it possible to make it 1 or 2 days before and frost it with the cranberries? Then refrigerate it. If so how long before the dinner should I remove from the refigerator? I am very excited to make it! It looks delicious! Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, I’d recommend one day ahead over 2. I’d let it sit at room temperature for an hour or so before serving.

  28. Melanie Z

    I am making this for a Christmas fundraiser. Can I make it in advance and freeze it? I was also thinking of making it into mini-bundts for individual portions because I am not sure how cleanly I can cut slices.

    1. Lindsay

      I don’t typically recommend freezing fully frosted cakes. You can certainly try it though. Just be sure to wrap it well and thaw it in the fridge. And I haven’t tried this cake is Bundt cakes, but that sounds like a really cute idea.

  29. Kelly

    Can I make this with fresh frozen cranberries? I can’t find fresh cranberries, but I’d really like to make this cake for an upcoming family gathering. If I can use fresh frozen cranberries, do I need to do anything differently? Thank you!

  30. Jennifer

    I’ve been making this cake for at least 5 years now. It has become the most requested Christmas dessert. We look forward to it every year!!

  31. Allison

    This was delicious! I’m not much of a baker, but this cake made me look like a pro! It is surprisingly easy to make. Guests raved! I’m making it again today for a different party!

  32. Kathryn

    I’ve made this recipe every Christmas Eve for my family for the last four years and it’s everyone’s favorite!!! You cannot get a better cake! It’s now a tradition in my family!

  33. Julia

    This looks amazing! Could I bake and freeze the cake layers a few days in advance and then ice the day before? I make notoriously sloppy cakes, and am hoping that freezing it will help with smoother icing, and give me more time for final touches the day before/of! Thank you!!

      1. Fatema Kermalli

        This is going to be the cake I make for my daughter’s birthday! It’s an outside party in December so will the frosted cranberries be okay and not melt or soften?

      2. Lindsay

        What part of the world are you in? Where I am, it’s cold. I would not expect them to melt or anything. If it’s warm outside, it could create condensation which could make the cranberries use lose of that sugary sparkle.

  34. Sarah Elledge

    I made this cake for the first time several years ago and now every Christmas my family begs me to do it again. It is an amazing cake and a staple for our family. I do not need as many cranberries for the top but that’s just the way I decorate it.

  35. Beth

    This turned out fabulous!! Thank you for making your recipe so clear snd easy to follow by breaking it up into segments. I used super fine bakers sugar in the cranberries. When the moisture from the syrup mixed with the sugar it created snowy looking granules that I decorated the bottom edge with. Simply gorgeous.

  36. CK

    I don’t like white chocolate at all not even a little. I’m a pretty decent baker so I’m going to make a vanilla buttercream with a tad of orange. Orange cranberry muffins are my fave this time of year so I think it will be great 🙂 Excited to try this. I’m sort of obsessed with cranberries lately 🙂 Thanks for the recipe. Looking forward to it.

  37. Sarah M

    My batter is lumpy from not creaming butter with sugar…  I had it at room temperature.  I’m not sure what to do now? Ugh!

  38. DeDe

    Mine turned a bit densed & raw in the middle too. I did cream the butter, next time thinking of creaming the butter & sugar. The cake was a hit with my friends. Love it.

  39. Kayleigh

    I’m planning on making this cake tomorrow. I live in the UK, I’ve bought some fresh cranberries but on the packet it says not to be eaten raw. Obviously in the cake it’s not a problem but I’m just worried about the ones on top? It looks delicious and beautiful, I hope it turns out okay. Thank you, kayleigh. 

    1. Lindsay

      Since I’m not from the UK, I’m not sure if there are differences between fresh cranberries here and there. I don’t think that it’s an issue eating them raw in the US. If they do need to be cooked, you could try simmering them on the stove with the water and sugar mixture. But having not tried that before I don’t know if that’s going to turn out well or not.

  40. Laura

    Do you cover this in plastic and store overnight in the fridge?  I am soaking the cranberries overnight in the syrup as suggested, not sure what to do with the  frosted cake.

  41. Vanessa

    The most beautiful Holiday cake! So I attempted to make the cake for a holiday bake off, I realized I used unsalted butter, that made a difference! So I attempted a second try and it was a success! But than realized I added the sugar to the butter first! Your recipe calls for adding all dry into wet ingredients, anyhow it was just fine maybe a little more lumpy 
    I decided to add a vanilla Godiva mousse filling in between the layers of the cake but still first adding the frosting first  than the mousse 
    The cake was fabulous, beautiful AND I won the super bake off for overall Christmas dessert! Our judge of panels were so incredible! Michelle Bomarrito was one of the judges! 
    Thanks so much! The Sparkilng cranberries were a hit!!!!

  42. Annalise

    This looks amazing, do you think it would alter the cake in a bad way if I added orange zest to either the batter or the icing?

  43. Stephanie

    Just made this cake yesterday and it was fantastic!  I was a little nervous because of some of the earlier reviews, but followed the recipe exactly as written and was very happy with the results.  My batter was definitely a little lumpy (probably because I did as the recipe said and didn’t cream the butter first), but it baked fine.  While it was denser than a lot of the other cakes that I’ve made, I found that it really didn’t bother me (and to be honest, I hardly noticed).  I ended up using 3 9″ pans as I didn’t have 8″ and they needed just under 35 minutes to bake in my oven (for those who were asking earlier).  Thank you for the recipe!  I will definitely be making it again!

    1. Lindsay

      The cake would be fine at room temperature for several hours, but if letting it sit overnight, you might want to refrigerate it.

    1. Lindsay

      Thank you so much for letting me know Linda. That is so disheartening. They certainly didn’t contact me at all and I don’t imagine they gave me credit anywhere. Sadly, because they took their own photos of the recipe and recipes themselves can’t be copyrighted, there’s nothing I can do. It’s a question of ethics, not law. Unfortunately this kind of thing happens a lot. Thanks again for looking out! I really do appreciate it!

  44. Sonja

    Is there any way to make this cake more Keto?  Will stevia or swerve work in place of sugar. And is there a flour that is keto that will rise?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m sorry, I haven’t tried any of those substitutions to know how it will affect the recipe and I’m not very familiar with Keto options.

  45. Kailey Rhone

    I really loved this cake. I was just wondering: have you tried using cake flour for this recipe instead of all-purpose? I wanted to experiment with a lighter texture. Do you think this conversion would work?

  46. Jennifer

    Hi Lindsay 

    My daughter made your cake and everyone at work raved about it!!  She wants to use your frosting on another cake but it needs to be purple. Have you ever colored it? If so what did you use and at what point did you add the color?


    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the cake! I typically use a gel icing color and add at the end so I can get the color to my liking. I hope that is helpful.

  47. Lisa

    I love, love, love this recipe! I have been making it for several years and it always turns out perfectly! For an upcoming event I would like to make it as individual cupcakes. You mentioned the recipe was developed from a cupcake recipe. Can you suggest any changes I need to make? How long and a what tempature would you bake them?
    Thank you!

  48. ritianne bondin

    Hi, is the temperature of the oven Celsius or Fahrenheit, ( am guessing F right ?), also what can i use instead of sour cream ?

    Thanks cant wait to try it

  49. Jan Ward

    I saw this gorgeous cake recipe 3 years ago and requested it for my birthday cake (January 3rd). My daughter abliged and it was every bit as good as it looks in the pictures!!  So, now I an blessed with her making this for my birthday cake ever since!!!  Just had it again 2 days ago – and we all LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake!!!!!

      1. Megan Massey

        I made the cake using dried cranberries. I put the dried cranberries in a bowl, coved them with boiling water and let them soak for 20 minutes. Then I drained the water out. It turned out great!

  50. SCC

    Hi Lindsay, can I add dried cranberries instead? I’m trying to keep the cost low bcs fresh/frozen cranberries are expensive here and difficult to come by. Thanks!

  51. Elon Hawkins

    The best chocolate cake I have ever made – I couldn’t find espresso powder so I used fresh-brewed coffee for the boiling water. I didn’t love the cake right out of the oven (made a cupcake for sampling) but it was fabulous when frosted. Wow! Keeping this recipe

  52. Meg

    I made this today for our Christmas eve lunch with family tomorrow. The recipe turned out great – the perfect amount of sweetness and stores well at room temp. I followed it to a T, but I added 2 Tbs orange zest and substituted 2 Tbs orange juice for 2 Tbs of the milk. It was the perfect amount of citrus flavor. Thanks for such a well-documented recipe. This one is definitely a keeper.

    1. Lindsay

      Sure! They’ll be thinner cakes, so I recommend cooking for a little less time. I’m not sure exactly what it’d be…maybe 25-30 minutes?

  53. Zoe Hearnsberger

    Hi, I made this about two years ago and really liked it! This year I’m considering making it as cupcakes. Can you suggest a baking time? 

  54. Jessica H.

    I made this as a 3 layer stacked 8″ cake and it was wonderful. Beautiful, and such a hit for our family’s Christmas. I have a work party coming up, do you think this recipe would work for mini cupcakes? I’m worried the cranberries in the batter might not work well in such a small cup. I thought about slicing them smaller but I don’t want to ruin the batter. Thanks for the awesome recipe. 🙂

      1. Jessica H.

        p.s.- I made it work! the mini cupcakes were a huge hit at my work party! the recipe makes a lot, so I made one little 6″ cake and over 50 mini cupcakes!
        I diced up the cranberries and they baked beautifully. I also sprayed a little cooking spray in the baking cups bc from experience baked berries like to stick to liners. the baking time was 10-15mins. I topped each mini cupcake with a pretty sparkling cranberry 🙂
        Thanks again for the recipe!

  55. Lindsay

    How did you get the frosting so smooth? I ended up adding 7 cups of powdered sugar and I still think that was on the edge of too much because it made the frosting super stiff, still delicious, but I ended up with a more rustic look than the polished one in your photo!

    1. Lindsay

      I usually use fairly stiff frosting, but you can definitely reduce the powdered sugar if you prefer. When you ask how I got it so smooth do you mean that your frosting was lumpy, or are you referring to the smooth sides of the cake. If referring to the smooth sides of the cake, check out my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake here. I hope that helps!

  56. Karen

    Made this for our office Christmas party and it was not only stunning but so delicious! I just had a sliver with my morning coffee and I realize I will need to give the rest of this cake away so I personally don’t eat it all! The icing is addictive and the cake was more like a pound cake, so moist. I had quite a few left over sparkling cranberries but we put a few in a glass of Prosecco! Thanks for the recipe!

  57. Latha Sudhakar

    I haven’t made this….but will in the next few weeks. 5-stars are for the simple elegant look of the cake. I think when I make it, i will go with the “naked cake” look.

  58. Cait

    Hey Lindsay,

    I want to first say thank you for this recipe! I have made this cake two years in a row, for both sides of my family, and it is a huge hit! This year we are going to a larger party so I was thinking of making it into a sheet cake rather than the double layer. Do you think it will hold the moistness as well if it doesn’t have a middle layer of frosting?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad it’s been a hit! Do you mean a 9×13 sheet cake? I would think it would stay moist just fine. You probably won’t need to use as much frosting though.

  59. Annie B

    Thanks for this lovely recipe! I just made it for my mother’s 58th birthday and it was a total knockout! A few commented that it was the best cake they’ve ever had, thank you Linsday! I would love to share a pic but I don’t see the option to do that. <3

  60. Jenna

    I was searching for something different for Vday this year….. this is the one. Love it. Thank you for sharing.

  61. Nean

    I have made this cake twice and each time it doesn’t rise. what am I doing wrong? I follow the recipe exactly as written. HELP!

    the cake is still delicious.

  62. Lora Wiley

    I made this cake for my sit down Christmas dinner party. It was fantastic! I especially loved the white chocolate frosting. My guests were gaga over the presentation and the taste. Spectacular recipe! Thank you.

  63. Brandi

    how do you possibly get the mix smooth if you are not mixing the butter and sugar together first? I followed your direction and ended up with a liquid mixture with chunks of butter – after cutting butter into pats first. 

  64. Angie

    I thought this cake looked beautiful for our Christmas family party, so I made it. Unfortunately, this cake was extremely heavy and the icing very sweet. I followed the recipe to the tee, and was even hesitant about the amount of confectioner’s sugar to use, but followed the directions as posted. It looked elegant but I wouldn’t make it again. No one finished their slice.

    1. Laurie

      And for the cake, are the 2 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries whole and right from the bag, assuming they cook during baking? Thanks 

  65. Corrie

    Hi,  I have decided to make this for Christmas and was wondering if starting the cranberries today would be okay.?

  66. Taylor Weber

    Hello, I plan to make this cake for Christmas. We will be out of town until Decemeber 24th and I want it on the 25th. I tried to read the comments to see if you’ve answered this but I couldn’t find it. I am wondering if I can make the cake and bake it beforehand (today the 19th or tomorrow the 20th) and freeze the layers. Then on Christmas Eve pull out the layers to let them thaw- make the berries and icing and finish it up and let it sit overnight for Christmas. How do you think this would turn out? Has anyone tried to freeze the cake layers just for a few days?!

  67. Yessina

    Oh snap! That made us all drool here at work, lol. We are looking for a dessert for our holiday potluck & this is “SO IT! ” – Yumm – the ladies are all super excited to try this!

  68. Nicole

    I made this for my daughter’s 16th birthday a few years ago and, at her request, have made it every year since (including today!)
    I always make extra cranberries. She and her friends eat them like candy!

  69. Kathy

    I want to try making this next week for my daughter’s birthday, but I’ll be traveling and can only get my hands on 9-inch pans (similar to the comment above). Do you think I could just use the recipe “as is” in the 9-inch pans? The layers would be slightly thinner and I’m guessing it might cook faster, but do you think it would still be ok?

    1. Lindsay

      You are spot on that the cakes will be thinner and bake less time, but otherwise it should bake up and be fine.

    1. Lindsay

      I don’t know a ton about gluten free baking. Gluten free flour should be fine. I’m not really sure what else would need to be substituted.

  70. Lauren

    After reading all the comments this cake seems to be hit or miss with no real middle ground. I arrogantly thought the negative reviews were simply errors in execution. After baking it myself, I fall into the failed execution category. This cake was a total bust for me. I consider myself a pretty competent baker and very precise, but this just did not turn out well for me. Even with weighing all of my ingredients and trying to be careful to avoid over mixing I still came away with an extremely dense, doughy, and odd cake. This was to be a birthday cake for two people but I will have to figure something else out. The icing however is absolutely delicious. I wouldn’t hesitate to make the icing again in the future but I won’t revisit this cake recipe. I’ve not lost faith in this blog for delicious cakes! I just think there is a fine touch or sense of when to stop mixing with this unusual all wet into dry ingredient method that I am unaccustomed to.

  71. Lauren Thomas

    Hey Lindsay!

    I am going to make this for my aunt’s birthday and I had a question that I didn’t see answered in the other comments. I don’t have 8 inch pans so I was going to double the recipe and make it in 9 inch pans and use the extra batter to make cupcakes. Could you tell me approximately how many inches deep the batter should be in the pans? Can’t wait to eat this!

    1. Lindsay

      It’s really been quite a while since I made this cake, so I’m not sure just how much batter was in each pan. You wouldn’t really need much more though for 9 inch pans.

  72. julie h

    hello, i hope you dont mind me asking but is there a link for the cranberry cake in grams please? ive scrolled down hoping to find someone else may have asked but i cant see it. id love to make this cake for xmas but we only use use in uk 🙁 thank you for any help/advice
    this cake is a real stunner 🙂

  73. Pamela

    I see this is to make an 8 inch cake but how many servings should this cake provide? This is what is really important to me when I see a yield, I want to know how many I can comfortably feed with this. thanks!

  74. Robin Alexander

     Thanks for the recipe. Your photos are beautiful and I was excited to make the cake. I had several problems. The first was that the cake batter was very thick and did not fill the cake pans  I cooked the better anyway and the result was a heavy cake with an irregular dome. The second was that the icing was very hard and dance. I was unable to eat my first attempt but would like to try it again before the holidays. Thank you


    Hi Lindsay!
    We don´t have fresh cranberries here in Brazil. Do you think it will work with dried cranberries? I was thinking of soaking them in a water and sugar mixture first to rehydrate them.

  76. Christine T

    I made this cake (twice) this Christmas and it was AMAZING! Definitely the most involved recipe I’ve ever done and although it was a little time consuming it was not hard. It was 100% worth the effort. It does taste as good as it looks. The icing is sweet but is balanced with the tartness of the cranberries. I am already thinking how I can modify it and use the cake and icing as a base for another cake. Everyone was impressed when they saw it and enjoyed it, it has already been requested by my brother for his upcoming birthday. Thank you!

  77. Tracy

    I made this for Christmas and what a perfect holiday cake! It is dense as others say but we didn’t have any problem eating it! When I made the frosting I did not use anywhere near the 8 cups of powdered sugar but my frosting still had a nice consistency. No way could I get it smooth like the picture but it’s still pretty with the white and red contrast. It was an unusual cake and people would say what is this – it’s so different, but it’s good! I made it just like the directions said (outside of the frosting and sugar) so no problems following the recipe. It’s strange to me to not cream butter before putting in the dry ingredients but it worked out. Will definitely make this again!

  78. Nyla Munk

    Made this cake for Christmas, 2016, not once, but twice.  The first time I had my doubts when I saw the sugar listed with the dry ingredients.  Almost every cake I’ve ever baked suggests mixing the butter and the sugar together, but I moved on with the process.  The second time, I mixed the sugar with the butter, as I have always done in the past, and then added the rest of the wet ingredients, before adding the dry, with much better results. Both times it resulted in a heavy, dense, cake I feed to the squirrels.  The third time I used a recipe of my own for the white cake, then added the cranberries, as you suggested, with excellent results.  I had problems with the icing recipe as well.  Nine cups of 10X sugar was just too much sweet for me, and it was difficult to pipe.  So I cut it back to 3 cups with much better results.  I won’t use this recipe again, because I’ve baked cakes for more than 50 years, and just couldn’t find a way to make it work.  But what I will take away from the experience if the combination of white cake with fresh cranberries…just lovely.  

  79. Kriti

    This is a beautiful cake! I couldn’t find fresh cranberries at the store, so would you recommend using blueberries? Would it work with the frosting and cake flavors in your opinion? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      I think it’d still taste good. Blueberries may not work as well with the “sparkling” part though. They aren’t quite as firm.

  80. Deb Horoshok

    I made this cake last year and it turned out great. I made it again twice this year and have had trouble. It was dense and raw in the middle. I can not figure out what I did wrong. You suggested melting the butter. Do you think I should melt the butter totally and then add it. If that is the trick I will try a third time. Any help would be appreciated. 

    1. Lindsay

      Hi Deb, I’m sorry you’re having trouble this time. I’m not sure what the issue is, it’s so hard to say without being there and seeing it. It shouldn’t be the butter though.

  81. Charlotte

    Hi Lindsay! I want to make a cranberry white chocolate roll cake/buche de noel for Christmas. Since this recipe is a layer cake, do you think it would be possible for me to use this recipe for a roll cake? Would the cake be too dense? Would it crack a lot since the recipe is not supposed to be made into a roll cake?

  82. Julie

    Do I need to adjust baking times when using 9 inch pans? Also how should this be stored when made a day in advance? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, they’ll be thinner cakes, so a little less time. I’m not sure exactly what it’d be. Maybe 25-30 minutes?

  83. Sophie

    Hi Lindsay! Absolutely beautiful cake, I’m going to give it a try for Christmas day this year. Just a quick question – how long would the sparking cranberries last once made? I’m caught for time this year so I was hoping to prepare them on the 22nd, would they last until the 25th? I’m planning to ice it Christmas Eve, I completely agree with you that cakes need the 24 hours to set, it really enhances the flavours!

    1. Lindsay

      The sparkling cranberries will really last as long as the cranberries. They’ll definitely last for a few days to be added to the cake later. Enjoy it!

  84. Norma

    First of all this cake is gorgeous so decided to make it but I needed a 6in cake so I did half the recipe, it looked fine to me, soft and bouncy. I wrapped it and refrigerated it, the next day it was really hard i was hoping it would get softer if it was room tempeture but it didn’t, the feedback I got is that it was dry. 🙁 and the icing was too sweet.
    So i guess I am trying to figure out what was my mistake, the only thing that I could not do exactly half was the eggs, I used 2 instead of 11/2.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m sorry you had that result. I haven’t made it as a 6inch cake before, so I don’t know if that had something to do with it or not. Another possibility is using a little too much flour. Did you use cups or grams? Sometimes people scoop cups differently – be sure not to pack the flour into the scoop. I typically loosen up the flour, then scoop and level.

  85. Juli

    How in the world do you get your frosting so smooth that it looks like fondant? Looking at making the Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake….

  86. Bonnie Gustafson

    The Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake is amazing! Took it to a Christmas luncheon and was a HUGE success. Will be making it again! Merry Christmas!

  87. Laura

    I made this cake last Christmas and it was a show stopper! Wonderful recipe and I think I may just have to make it again this year due to so many requests 🙂

  88. Natalie

    Hi Lindsay! I made this cake for our department’s Christmas party the other night. I am a little annoyed with myself though since I think I over-mixed the batter as the cake turned out a little rubbery. That being said, it still got rave reviews by everyone at the party! By the time the night was done, people had gone back for seconds and were asking me to make their wedding cake! Thank you so much for sharing your delicious cake recipes with us! Have a Merry Christmas!

  89. en

    I made the cake and it was very good! the taste of the cake itself I loved especially with the tartness of the cranberries. However, it was very crumbly. Im not sure what I did wrong. Also, I only used 2 cups of sugar for the frosting and even that seemed a bit much and overall it was slightly heavy. 
    I really enjoy the flavor of the cake and a bit of sweetness from the icing is a must but I mainly avoid the icing when eating it.

  90. Sara reed

    You just say to mix the dries then go on to mixing wets. Should I put wet ingredients in the dries one by one, or mix them seperately and combine them?

    1. Lindsay

      Honestly, either way would work fine. This isn’t a super fussy recipe. The way the recipe is written though is to just add it all to the dry ingredients and use one bowl.

  91. nurani

    Lovely looking cake, will try it this weekend. My sister is coming over. One question, doesn’t the butter, sour cream and milk/egg mixture curdle once you add them together. Not everything will be the same temperature.

    I have tried a cake recipe similar to this before, following your same method here it always turns out a big curdled mess. Please give tips! Thanks.

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t had that problem, but you can definitely make sure the ingredients are all at room temperature to help avoid that.

  92. Jo

    It is very hard to get fresh cranberries here in New Zealand. Do you think I could replace them with fresh raspberries?

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, they’d be fine in the cake. I’m not sure they’d work if you “spark” them, but they’d still look great on top of the cake. 🙂

  93. Roni Alex

    Dear Lindsay,
    Hope you are doing well.
    I wanted to try your sparkling cranberry white chocolate cake recipe. But unfortunately I couldn’t find any fresh cranberries here. Could you please recommend another fruit for the same recipe.
    Appreciate your advice. Thanks in advance.
    Roni Alex

    1. Lindsay

      I would imagine another type of berry would work fine as a replacement. If you have a specific one you are thinking, feel free to ask about it.

  94. Eden Passante

    I love sugared cranberries! Not only are they beautiful, but I love the pop of flavor they give you! This cake sounds amazing!

    1. Amanda

      Hi you can purchase dried cranberries and rehydrate them. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of fresh you should measure 3/4 cup of dried cranberries and place them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them until they are covered and cover them so the steam is contained so that the cranberries can absorb the water. You can also use hot fruit juice to enhance the flavour of the dried berries and can also add back some of the nutritious value into the berries. After they plump up a bit you can let them sit for a while then add them to the cake.

  95. Alex

    Help! I’m from the Netherlands and my oven doesnt bake that high! (350 degrees) is it diffrent for European messures?

  96. Joan wise

    I would like to make yours beautiful Christmas white chocolate cranberry cake.but, my problem right now is that I can’t find fresh cranberries ,I guess is out of season now since this is almost you think I could use a frozen cranberries on this cake ricepes ? Thanks.


      Frozen cranberries should be fine inside the cake, but if they are softer when thawed they may not hold up as well as a decoration on top of the cake.

  97. Sheryl

    Hi, I was invited to a Christmas dinner for 30 persons and made this cake. The cake was amazing! Everyone not only oooohhh’ed and aaahhhhhh’ed over the look of it, which I must add, looked similar to your photographs, but it was a savor-in-your-mouth experience! 🙂 I loved the burst of sweet, tangy flavor when you popped the sugared cranberries into your mouth. This was truly a lovely Pintrest find! Thank you. Sheryl

  98. Ali B.

    I made this for Christmas & it was really tasty. There were no “domes” for me to cut. I think the fact that the butter doesn’t incorporate completely prevented it from rising much? The cake is dense, but still tastes great. I was nervous about the frosting having 7-9 cups of powered sugar (in addition to the white chocolate), but made it as stated because I didn’t want it too tart. Most of my frosting recipes call for 3-4 cups powdered sugar, & I’ll do that next time. For me (& about 1/2 my guests), it was just too sweet & that was even without using about 1 1/2 cups of the icing. I think it was also harder to taste the white chocolate with so much sugar as well (I kept tasting it as I added sugar).

    Overall this was beautiful & perfect for winter. Solid & easy to make & cut ( it holds together well even for travel). I love sugared cranberries but have never used them on a cake. They are tart, but addictive. People were surprised at first, but kept coming back for more!!

  99. Frances Carrillo

    Your cake looks so pretty and delicious! Im just wondering did you also have to soak the 3 cups of cranberries that are going into the cake batter?

  100. Jessica

    When I added the butter in with the wet ingredients it got lumpy from the cold milk and eggs. Would it be better to cream the butter with the sugar first?


      The butter can be a little lumpy and usually bakes just fine. However, you could lightly melt the butter first so that’s less of an issue. I don’t recommend creaming the butter and sugar first, but some people have said they’ve had success doing it. I haven’t done it myself.

  101. Kat

    Hi! Ive never baked with cranberries. I’m going to try to bake this for christmas. I bought a bag of ocean spray fresh cranberries. This may be a silly question but do i need to do anything to them before using in the cake. a friend told me I need to boil cranberries or they would be really hard. But i can’t find anything about boiling them. What do you recommend?


      I didn’t boil them before adding them to the cake. Just wash them and probably check for stems. Like with blueberries they can sometimes have little stems.

  102. Erika W

    Any idea how this would bake in a bundt pan? I’m thinking of attempting that as I don’t have 3 cake pans on hand and it’s too late in the game to head out to buy more.


      I really am not sure, as I haven’t tried it in a bundt pan. I’m thinking it might be ok, but I’m not sure if it’s a little too much batter or not.

      1. Erika Williams

        I tried it in the bundt pan and it worked well as far as space. I only oiled the pan, but probably should have floured it, too, because it broke in 2 while trying to get it out of the pan. Completely salvageable though! It was a hit and looked so beautiful! I wish I could share a pic!

  103. Laura Jeffers

    I’m making this now for christmas. Will the cranberries stay frosted so beautifully if I refrigerate until Christmas?


      They should. You might consider putting the sparkling cranberries in a separate container and then add them on top later, if you just wanted to be safe. I don’t think it’d be an issue, but it’s possible that the moisture from sitting on the cake could effect them.

  104. Judie

    Does the cake need to be refrigerated after completion, when sitting (as you suggested) 12-24 hours? My cranberries are “sparkled” today, drying overnight, and making the cake tomorrow for Christmas Eve.


      It’d be safe to refrigerate it with the fruit in it. But I’d let it sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes or so before serving so it’s not too firm. Cake is usually best eaten closer to room temperature.

      1. Judie

        Not sure what I did wrong, cake looked beautiful but it was way too dense and wet. And I actually baked it longer than suggested. Anyone else have this issue?

      2. Amy walker

        My cake was also very dense. People liked it but I would have preferred a bit fluffier. Saw a comment about blending the butter and sugar first,more traditionally, think that would help? Otherwise, would probably make a good white cake and add cranberries. It was pretty however! Want to try it again.

  105. Desirae Nichole

    I just made this cake this weekend for a December birthday. The cake seriously was so delicious and the cranberries are so perfect with this cake. Everyone loved how beautiful it turned out and I did follow the advice of letting the cake sit for a few hours before serving and it definitely made the flavors blend together and the cake was very easy to cut into. Thank you for such a great recipe!!

  106. Becky Moore

    I saw this cake online earlier this week, I love cranberries, and the beautiful photos compelled me to make it for my husbands office Christmas party. I found out the day before that there would be a best dessert award, and so the challenge to win was an additional motivation. I followed the directions exactly and made the cake and iced it the night before. I made the sparkling cranberries the day of the party, and just boiled the simple syrup until most of the water was evaporated. From that point it was very easy to cover the cranberries in the syrup and add the sugar coating. They dried on a sheet of waxed paper within an hour or so. The cake turned out beautiful, and I won the first place award! I had so many kind compliments from friends and coworkers. I forgot to take even one photo, so my husband says that means I’ll have to make it again! Thank you Life Love and Sugar!

    1. Lily Rose

      How did you cut the cake? I’m going to make it for Christmas, but I think it’s going to be difficult to serve such pretty slices like the photos here. I’m thinking each piece may look like a squashed mess.


        I don’t recall squashing to be a big problem when I cut this. 🙂 I just used a good sharp knife. The cranberries soften a good bit while baking, so while slices might not be perfectly smooth, they should be fine. If it’s a big concern, you could consider refrigerating the cake since that would firm it up and make slicing easier. Keep in mind though that a cold cake tends to be less moist and it’s best to let it sit out for 30 minutes or so before cutting.

      2. Hannah Marie

        I made this as cupcakes last year and they were just as gorgeous. Very easy to serve and keep them looking nice.


      That’s awesome Becky! I’m so glad! Thanks so much for letting me know how much you loved it! Merry Christmas!

  107. Karen

    Can the cake be made and frozen for a couple of days? I’m hoping to bake it several days before Christmas, freeze it, then defrost and bake on the 25th. Thanks!

  108. Weida Borkowski

    I cooked the Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake (added vanilla to the icing and only used 7 cups of powdered sugar) for a Christmas Party. It was a hit. This is one recipe I will keep. Thank you for sharing it.




      It is specified in the ingredients above. The sugar/syrup mixture doesn’t go into the cake, it’s only for soaking the 2 cups of cranberries that go on top of the cake. An additional 3 cups of cranberries go into the cake itself.

  110. Beth

    I made this, as written, from beginning to end other than adding Lindt white chocolate truffles on top…it was probably the best non chocolate (dark) dessert I’ve ever made. It was the hit of the Christmas party I took it to, not only because it was gorgeous, but excellent. Dense yes, but so moist. The tartness of the cranberries in the cake perfectly offset the sweetness of the icing, and the sugared cranberries, just yum! I’m making this again for Christmas. Thank you for the inspiration with your gorgeous photography, and a top notch recipe to go with it!

      1. Beth

        2019 update. I have made this into cupcakes, a sheetcake and a bundt and it is the hit of the party every single time. It is the BEST cake EVER

      2. Lindsay

        I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks for sharing that update – good to know it works well!

  111. Paola

    I want to make his cake for Christmas this year, you mention to let it settle for at least 24 hours does that mean inside the refrigerator correct? Sorry if that’s a dumb question but I’m knew to baking and is thought I’d give it a shot with this recipe!