Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake

This sparkling cranberry white chocolate cake is a jewel on a plate~beautiful, festive, and perfect for a stunning Christmas dessert!

sparkling cranberry white chocolate cakeZane’s mom (whom we all call Mimi), served this sparkling cranberry white chocolate cake to the family over Thanksgiving weekend. It was the group birthday cake for several of us whose birth dates fell in the fall.

Not only is this cake moist and delicious, but it is also gorgeous. The layers look so lovely on dessert plates, and the colors are perfectly suited for holiday entertaining.

The recipe from Life, Love & Sugar takes a bit effort to make but is totally worth it if you need a stunning cake for a special occasion. The sparkling sugary cranberry garnish, moist bites of berry laced cake, and rich smooth white chocolate ganache make this one spectacular dessert. This cake looks like Christmas on a plate!

sparkling cranberry white chocolate cake

Make ahead: This cake should be started a few days before the day you’ll be serving it. The cranberries require an overnight soaking, so that is one day. The cake gets more moist after a day or two, so it can be fully made and kept in the fridge for 3-4 days ahead. (Bring to room temp before serving for best flavor).

Cake pans: I use and love Nordic Ware Naturals non-stick cake pans. These won top billing in Cook’s Illustrated round cake pan reviews and were the single brand labeled “highly recommended.”  The Cook’s Illustrated review states that “this pan produced tall, fluffy, level cakes. Layers shaped up perfectly, no matter how the pan was greased.”

I use Baker’s Joy exclusively and never had trouble with my cake sticking to these pans. If your pans are not non-stick, I suggest using parchment rounds cut to fit the pan bottoms along with liberal use of Baker’s Joy.

I hope to make this cake at some point during the holidays. If you make it, please let us all hear how it turns out (and send pics)! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake
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  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 12 oz white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 8-9 cups powdered sugar


  • Bring 1 cup sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Pour simple syrup into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Add cranberries and stir to coat.
  • Refrigerate cranberries in syrup overnight, stirred a couple times to coat with syrup.
  • Remove cranberries from syrup and roll in remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, rolling until coated in several layers.
  • Set cranberries aside to dry for a hour or so.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with baking spray and parchment paper in the bottom of the pans.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add butter, eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream and milk and mix on medium speed just until smooth. Do not over mix.
  • Gently stir in cranberries.
  • Spread batter evenly between the three cake pan.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
  • Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Place white chocolate chips in a metal bowl.
  • Microwave heavy cream until it starts to boil. Remove from microwave and pour over chocolate chips.
  • Cover bowl with saran wrap for 5-7 minutes.
  • Whisk chocolate and cream until smooth.
  • Allow ganache to sit until mostly cool. It should be thick.
  • Beat the ganache with a mixer for about 2-3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add butter and beat until it is fully combined.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until it is fluffy and the right consistency. Add more cream if needed.
  • Remove any irregular cake domes with a large serrated knife.
  • Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about icing on top in an even layer.
  • Add second layer of cake and add more icing on top in an even layer.
  • Add final layer of cake on top and ice the outside of the cake.
  • Top the cake with sparkling cranberries and add some around the edge, if desired.