Delicious White Chocolate Cranberry Cake

Delicious White Chocolate Cranberry Cake – white chocolate pound cake with cranberry compote and white chocolate frosting.

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Holiday Cake Flavors

One of the many reasons I love the holidays is all the seasonal flavors I get to bake with! Pumpkin, apple, butternut squash, gingerbread, hazelnut, cranberry… there’s just so much to choose from! I’ve already shared a couple of these flavors with you (Pumpkin Pie Cake, Gingerbread Lemon Cake, and my White Chocolate Peppermint Cake – to name a few). And I just love them all!

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White Chocolate Cranberry Cake

One of my favorites is an oldie but goodie. I came up with this recipe a few years ago. I think cranberries are the essence of Christmastime and an obvious but delightful choice for any cake. For this cake, I paired a tart cranberry compote with a sweet, white chocolate vanilla bean pound cake. This cake texture is a little different from my norm. It’s a much more dense cake than you’re probably used to. In fact, this cake actually reminds me of the Starbucks White Chocolate Cranberry Blondie Bar.White Chocolate Cranberry Cake #whitechocolatecranberrycake #whitechocolatecake #cranberry #poundcake #wintercake #christmascake #easychristmascake #cake

While the texture is a bit heavier than most cakes, I think it balances so well with the jelly-like compote and the silky white chocolate buttercream. The flavor and texture combination in this cake always gets a thumbs up from my taste testers. I have no doubt you’ll love it too!

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Stacking Tips

For this cake, it’s important to note that you add some buttercream on the cake layer, as well as pipe some of the frosting around the cake layer before you add the compote. You want to make sure the compote doesn’t seep into the cake layers or come out the sides while you frost.

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I then did a semi-naked coat of frosting on this cake. To achieve this look, I actually did a very thin crumb coat first, then froze the cake per usual for about 10 minutes.

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After this initial crumb coat was frozen, I then did another thin layer of frosting – almost like another crumb coat. (You can find the video tutorial at the end of this post).

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I’ve also included the recipe for the candied cranberries, which I think makes the look of the cake. Such a sophisticated, classy look, don’t you think?

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Video Tutorial


White Chocolate Cranberry Cake

5 from 8 votes
Vanilla bean pound cake with cranberry compote and white chocolate frosting.



  • 2 cups (200 g) fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (236.6 g) water


  • 2 cups (200 g) fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (118.3 g) water
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (8.12 g) cornstarch, sifted


  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (10 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (339 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean (split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out all the vanilla bean seeds)
  • 1 cup (240 g) plain greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, room temperature


  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold and cut into cubes
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla
  • 8 oz white chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy whipping cream
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.


For the Candied Cranberries

  • Bring the 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a simmer in a saucepan. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Pour the simple syrup into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Add cranberries and stir to coat.
  • Refrigerate cranberries during the day or overnight, stirring occasionally to coat with syrup.
  • Remove cranberries from syrup and roll in remaining ½ cup sugar. You’ll need to roll them a few times to get a couple of layers of sugar on them.
  • Set cranberries aside to dry for an hour or so.

For the Cranberry Compote

  • In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar and water over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then cover to allow the cranberries to cook and soften.
  • When the cranberries have softened and begin to pop, slowly add the sifted corn starch and stir until it is incorporated. (If you don’t sift the cornstarch, you’ll likely get white clumps in the compote that are hard to dissolve.)
  • Allow the cranberries to simmer for another 5-10 minutes. The mixture will become thick and somewhat jelly-like. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature or store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 8-inch or four 6-inch cake pans with spray, parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and the sugar on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for one minute. 
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the greek yogurt and mix until incorporated.
  • With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and finishing with the flour. Combine until incorporated.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract and vanilla bean and mix for 30 seconds.
  • Evenly distribute the batter among the three cake pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pans 5-10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, you can cover with plastic wrap and store in your refrigerator overnight or freezer for longer.

For the Buttercream

  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream and then pour it over the white chocolate to melt. Stir until the mixture is smooth and silky. If needed heat the mixture for another 20 to 30 seconds and stir until the chips are melted. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for about two minutes.
  • With the mixer on medium speed, add the melted white chocolate and stir until well mixed and there are no clumps of butter or white chocolate left.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another minute.
  • Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high and beat the frosting for five minutes. It should get lighter in texture and color.


  • Level cake layers if needed. Place the first cake layer, right-side up, on a cake board or plate.
  • Spread about ¾ cup frosting on the cake. Then, using a pastry bag, pipe a barrier around the edge of the cake. This is done to ensure the cranberry compote won’t ooze out the side of your cake as your stack.
  • Spread about 1/2-¾ cup cranberry compote around the open space.
  • Place second cake layer on top of the compote and repeat step 2.
  • Place third cake layer, bottom-side up, on top and give the cake an even crumb coat. Chill it in the freezer for 10 minutes and then continue frosting. (While cake is chilling, I like to cover my frosting with plastic wrap so it doesn’t have a chance to dry out).
  • Top with sugared cranberries.
Cuisine Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword Cranberry Compote, white chocolate buttercream, white chocolate cake

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Bake the cake frosting and sugared cranberry were delicious. I found the cake to be very dense, was wondering if I did something incorrect
    Any assistance with the cake would be appreciate

    1. You could really try anything, just be careful when pouring the simple syrup over the other fruit since it doesn’t have a “shell” like the cranberries.

  2. Do you think this would work well with your regular vanilla cake? I’m thinking vanilla cake, compote and white chocolate buttercream filling, vanilla buttercream exterior…?

  3. I’m planning to put sugared cranberries on a wedding cake. How long can I leave them on the cake before worrying about them “bleeding” onto the buttercream? I’m assuming that I need to refrigerate the entire cake until serving? It is going to be transported up to the mountains (about 2 hours) then refrigerated until the next day. Help! 🙂

    1. I would wait till the last minute to put them on. I would also freeze your cake until the night before the reception, then move it to the fridge until you drive up. That way it’s still pretty cold as you travel too.

  4. Finished making this today. It looks amazing! The frosting is delicious as is str cranberry compote and sugared cranberries. We will cut into the cake tonite.
    Your directions are very clear and I had no problems at all. Instead of the rustic look, I chose to do more of a fine ribbon pattern. Thank you for your recipes and Merry Christmas!

  5. Hi! I’m just wondering if you could divide this batter between two 9 inch pan instead of the three 8 inch pans. Would it effect the bake at all or just the height?

  6. For the cake it says that it’s a White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Cake. However I don’t see the white chocolate in the recipe for the cake? I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything? Also I do not have Vanilla Bean on hand. What would you suggest I use? Thanks so much!

  7. I really want to make this for a friend, but I don’t see the recipes on this page for the white chocolate cranberry cake