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. 🙂


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 (340g), 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) butter, room temperature
  • 89 cups (920-1035g) powdered sugar



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: 1066
  • Sugar: 130.3 g
  • Sodium: 221.2 mg
  • Fat: 45.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 159.5 g
  • Protein: 8.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 143.9 mg

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


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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Recipe rating




      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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!


      Yes, you’ll want to refrigerate this cake with the cranberries on it. And the 24 hours is certainly not a requirement. I just find that often after frosting a cake, the moisture from the frosting settles into the cake over time and makes it even better.

  4. Anna

    I’m going to try to figure out a dairy free way to make this. I want o make it on Christmas Eve but my mom is allergic to dairy. I’ll keep you posted!

  5. Pam

    First let me say the cake pictured is beautiful but…..the cake I made from the recipe was not the same and I don’t know why. I made the cake for a work event but was so disappointed with the extreme density that I decided not to serve it to anyone. It seemed almost undercooked but I know it was not. I plan, though, to try it again with a few modifications of the recipe.

    1. Lisa

      Did you try it with the gluten-free flour? If so, what type/brand did you use? I’d love to make it for Christmas, but my father-in-law is gluten-free. Thanks!

  6. Diane

    Have you thought of using agave nectar and water for the sparkling cranberries then dusting them with sugar? I did that for another recipe I made and they only needed 3 hours chill time instead of an over night because it was a thicker liquid. Then I used that agave nectar blend for making cranberry sauce, nothing wasted. Just a suggestion.


      I hadn’t thought of that, but what a great suggestion! I’ll have to try that next time.

  7. Amy

    Hello, i have just baked this cake, however i am feeling so insecure about it.
    rather than diving it into 3 different tin, i had all the batter in one….. so after about 3 hours of it in the oven, im still feeling its not completely cooked in the middle….wheni shake it, it wobbles a bit like hard jelly.
    also i think all the cranberries raise to the top during baking, now the top layer looks a bit too burn, and it has an arch with cracks..
    im just wondering did you have to trim it so its flat? also by the way im describing it, its a fail right..?? 🙁


      I’m sorry Amy, but I don’t think it’d bake very well all in one pan, which is probably what you noticed. The batter ends up quite thick and by the time the inside bakes, I’d guess the outside is overcooked. I’d try again with it in 3 pans. And yes, I do cut the domes off the top of the cakes so they are flat.

  8. Annie

    This looks amazing, and I’m hoping to make it this year for my family, for Christmas!
    My mum is allergic to cranberries unfortunately, so I was wondering if the recipe would work the same if I added Raspberries instead?

    Beautiful blog!

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