White Chocolate Cranberry Cake, with its notes of orange essence and almond – is also known as “Christmas on a Plate”. Bake a loaf for Christmas Brunch, or make a Bundt for a scrumptious show-stopping dessert!
Believe it or not, I never even tried a single cranberry until I was in my 30’s. Yep, it’s true. I’m of course referring to a real cranberry, not the canned kind I was forced asked to taste each Thanksgiving as a child. And you know what? The gelatinized cranberry whatever-it-is from the can bears absolutely no resemblance to a real cranberry. So if that’s the only cranberry you’ve tasted, you’re in for a shock with the real thing. Super tart, a little sweet, with a hint of bitter, with notes of cherry and berry flavor, cranberries are unbelievably flavorful. When cooked or dried, the bitter notes fall away and you’re left with mostly tart and sweet. The kind of food you bite into and taste some sweet, smile, taste some tart, pucker up, and think, “I’ll eat just one more.” Then another. Then another. Mmmm. So when I saw a few recipes popping up for White Chocolate Cranberry Cake, you know I was all in.
This easy recipe makes enough cake batter to bake as you want: a Bundt cake, or 2 loaves, or 6 mini-loaves. So you can make a Bundt cake and use it for a show-stopping dessert, or loaves to serve at Christmas Brunch, or some mini-loaves to give away to friends and family. I frosted the cake with my favorite White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, from the Macrina Bakery Cookbook and flavored it with almond and orange. The perfect complement to this moist and decadent cake.
Even the cranberry naysayers will love this White Chocolate Cranberry Cake, if my family is any indication. I baked a loaf plus 3 mini-loaves, and everyone who tried it gave it a big thumbs-up. I’m not sure if it’s the moistness of the cake, the delicious cranberries studding it, or the decadent White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. But really, does it matter? It all works beautifully together.
So, if you’re one of those people, (like me) who spent years never trying a real cranberry, now is your chance! White Chocolate Cranberry Cake will show you why Cranberries are a delicious holiday tradition! Enjoy!
PIN White Chocolate Cranberry Cake ->
White Chocolate Cranberry Cake
Inspired by a recipe found on Baker By Nature, I adapted a bundt cake recipe into 2 loaf cakes (or one loaf plus 3 “mini-loaves”). It not only looks spectacular, but it tastes divine! So feel free to make a Bundt, or 2 loaves, and call it a quick bread. Either way, it’s so festive and delicious, filled with flavors – white chocolate, cranberry, orange essence, almond and vanilla.
For the Frosting, I adapted my favorite Frosting recipe from Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook. I added a bit of almond extract and a spoon of Orange Juice.
This cake keeps well for close to a week when wrapped airtight and refrigerated.
- Prep Time: 30 mins.
- Cook Time: 55 min
- Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
- Yield: 20 Servings
For the Cake:
- 2 1/4 c AP Flour
- 1 1/2 t Baking Powder
- 1/2 t Kosher Salt
- 1 c (2 sticks) Butter, room temperature
- 8 oz. (1 brick, or 1 c) Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1 3/4 c Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 c Lt. Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 T finely Grated Orange Zest (from 1 med-lg Orange)
- 2 t Natural Vanilla Extract
- 1 t Natural Almond Extract
- 5 lg Eggs, room temperature
- 2 c Fresh Cranberries
- 3 T AP Flour
For the Frosting:
- 3 oz. Good-Quality White Chocolate
- 4 oz. (1/2 c) Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 t Almond Extract
- 2 oz (1/2 stick) Butter, room temperature
- 1 T Orange Juice
Make the Cake or Loaves:
- Generously Grease/Butter and Flour either 2 Loaf Pans, 6 mini-loaf pans, or 1 Bundt Pan, making sure to cover all surfaces the batter will touch. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325F (163C)
- In a Medium Mixing Bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside until Step 5.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or hand mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter and Cream Cheese for about a minute until smooth. Gradually add in the sugars and then increase the speed to Medium-high and continue 3 minutes or until the batter looks light and fluffy. Lower speed and add the zest, vanilla and almond extract. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition and scrape down bowl as needed.
- Reduce the speed to low. Add in the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Using a medium bowl, combine the cranberries and 3 T flour and toss well to coat. Fold the flour-coated berries into the batter using a rubber spatula, until just combined.
- Scrape into prepared pans. Bake 70-75 mins for Bundt Cake, 50-55 mins for Loaves, and 38-42 mins for mini-loaves. A toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Cool on wire rack and invert after 15-20 minutes. Let cake cool completely prior to frosting.
Make the Frosting:
- Melt the white chocolate either in the microwave, in 30-second increments, stirring after each increment, being careful not to burn it, or in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until just melted. (I like this method because the chocolate does not get very warm and cooling to room temperature takes just a few minutes.) Cool until it is close to room temperature.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, whip the room temperature butter until smooth, light, and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- To the whipped butter, add the cream cheese and melted chocolate, beating at Medium Speed for 5 minutes.
- Turn off mixer and add the almond extract and orange juice, and continue to mix for 2 minutes.
- Spread over cakes as desired. If you need to refrigerate the frosting prior to use, you may need to “refresh” it once it comes to room temperature. Do this by mixing at medium speed for a couple minutes. Best to use the frosting prior to refrigeration. Then refrigerate frosted cake. Garnish as desired with orange zest, sugared cranberries and/or almond slivers.
- Serving Size: 1/20 Recipe
Keywords: Bundt, quick bread, white chocolate, cranberries, Christmas, holiday,