The College Housewife » Recipes » sweets » Cranberry Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

Cranberry Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

I am taking a few days to spend with my grandmother and her home is like a little sanctuary and surprisingly my all-too-often writers block is diminished in her house. I suppose staring at a pool and sipping on green tea on the patio could clear anyones mind?! You know what else is a sanctuary…white chocolate buttercream. Literally probably the creamiest buttercream my mixer ever did mix. It is so perfect for the holidays. What I love about this

cranberry cake with white chocolate buttercream

is it’s ability to satisfy a sweet tooth but it’s also a holiday decoration! Look at it! Rich red and green garnish and it’s got


After creating this cake I am like a firm believer that every holiday recipe should have some kind of glittered cranberry garnish, am I right or am I right?! 

I always like to make smaller cakes than larger ones because I love the ‘wow’ effect when it becomes so tall! I almost always use 6 inch cake tins but feel free to use whatever size you have on hand! Be patient with yourself when it comes to the garnish / buttercream. I never decorate a cake in a hurry because it almost always comes out like crap. This is a naked cake so it’s rather easy to frost. Just slather on enough frosting to coat and fill the cake seems. Then I take my cake knife and heat it up over some hot water and that creates a nice smooth effect with buttercream, this is also great if you’re doing a regular frosting look and not a ‘naked’ look. I piled up those cranberries a few times before they stayed in place but eventually then did 🙂 Rosemary sprigs were the perfect extra touch for this beaut. Above all else have fun making this because it’s going to be beautiful regardless!

Cranberry Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream


3 Cups of all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon of baking powder

1 Teaspoon of salt

1 Cup / 2 Sticks of unsalted butter at room temp

2 Cups of granulated sugar

3 Eggs

1 Cup of whole milk

2 Teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon of orange zest

1 ½ Cups of chopped fresh cranberries

½ Cup of white chocolate chips


1 Cup / 2 Sticks of unsalted butter at room temp

1 Teaspoon of salt

1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract

3 Cups of powdered sugar

4 Oz of white chocolate melted

5 Tablespoons of heavy cream

Glittered cranberries

2 Cups of whole fresh cranberries

1 Cup of water

1 Cup of brown sugar

1 Cup of granulated sugar

For cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Line 3 6-inch cake tins (8- inch is fine too) with parchment paper, spray with non stick spray and dust with flour. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients (flour + baking powder + salt) and set aside. In a large mixing bowl with a stand or hand mixer beat butter until light and fluffy for about 3-5 minutes. Add in sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until pale in color for about 5 minutes. Slowly add in one egg at a time mixing after each addition and continuously scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in flour and milk in three increments alternating between milk and flour mixtures until just beaten. Remove beaters and fold in cranberries, orange zest, and white chocolate chips. Pour evenly into 3- 6-inch cake tins or 2 – 9 inch cake tins and bake for 30-40 mins until a toothpick comes out clean. About 15 minutes after baking run a knife around the side of cake tin and remove. Allow cooling for another 45 mins on a cooling rack.

For buttercream

In a large mixing bowl beat butter, vanilla extract and salt until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar in three increments; be sure to scrape down sides of bowl after each addition. Slowly beat in melted white chocolate and heavy cream. *Note you may need more or less heavy cream depending on white type of climate you live in.

The frosting consistency should be spreadable but not runny.

For glittered cranberries

In a large saucepan melt brown sugar and water until brown sugar has dissolved. Pour mixture over cranberries in a glass bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain cranberries and toss in granulated sugar twice to create an even glitter coating. Garnish with fresh rosemary springs + glittered cranberries.


1 Comment

  1. S.paroli
    February 6, 2018 / 8:24 pm

    QuestionDoes the flavor of rosemary transfer to the cake from the garnish?

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