Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake

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 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!

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. 🙂

HOW TO MAKE THIS WHITE CHOCOLATE 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!

DECORATING YOUR WHITE CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH SPARKLING 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

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Bundt Cake slice on white plate
Recipe

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

Description

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


Ingredients

SPARKLING CRANBERRIES 

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

CRANBERRY CAKE

  • 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 (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 (180ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup (168g) butter, room temperature
  • 89 cups (920-1035g) 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.

Notes

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.

Keywords: white chocolate cake, white chocolate dessert, sparkling cranberry dessert, christmas cake, christmas dessert, holiday dessert

Enjoy!

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

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Share a Comment

Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

Recipe rating

281 Comments
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!!!!

  5. 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?

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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?

    Thanks!
    Jennifer

    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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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

  15. 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?

  16. 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? 

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. Jenna

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12