White Christmas Cake with Cranberry Orange Filling and Whipped White Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Your Christmas menu NEEDS this White Cake with Cranberry Orange Filling and Whipped White Chocolate Ganache Frosting. Three layers of light and fluffy vanilla cake with hints of orange zest running throughout, baked to perfection, and topped with a spiked homemade cranberry orange jam. Sweet, tart, bright, and SO. GOOD. Each cake layer is then frosted generously with a super simple whipped white chocolate ganache made from TWO ingredients to achieve that stunning snow white look! Trust me, this cake is mouthwatering and so delicious. Every bite tastes just like Christmas! With fresh cranberries berries, hints of orange, subtle vanilla, and finished with the creamiest white chocolate frosting… It does not get more festive than that! This is the perfect Christmas cake for any and all occasions. Oh, but the best part? It’s actually so much easier to make than you’d think, and absolutely stunning with barely any added effort! Which means, not much time taken away from baking up Christmas dinner. Truly the perfect cake!

white cake with cranberry filling on cake plate with slice missing, offset spatula beside, jar of cranberries, flowers, rosemary sprigs around, and two white christmas trees behind

→ This post is also available as a Web Story: Christmas Cake

About The Recipe

Happy December 1st, everyone!

It’s finally the count-down to Christmas and we couldn’t think of a better way to start the month than with a stunning Christmas show-stopper. If you’re looking for a dessert that everyone will love, then you NEED to bake this cake!

I’ll be the first to admit it. I absolutely adore Christmas. My whole family does! There’s nothing better than Christmas carols playing while cookies (or cake!) bake in oven. Oh, and decorating the tree? There is nothing better!

When baking this recipe, my mom and I would take turns decorating the tree. No joke.

While waiting for the cake to bake or the ganache to chill, we would some Mulled Wine and start decorating. It was genuinely so much fun and a great kick-off to the Christmas season!

Not to mention when testing this cake recipe, everything worked perfectly the first time! Which was AWESOME because, if you’ve been reading our blog the past week or so, you’ll know my mom and I have been struggling a little bit more than usual when it comes to our recipe testing.

I guess this cake was a little bit of a Christmas miracle!

close up of christmas cake with rosemary crown, pine cone, sugared cranberries, and orange twist

It definitely tastes like a Christmas miracle. Every bite of this cake goes together in perfect harmony. From the simple vanilla cake to compliment the sweet and tart cranberry jam, as well as that luscious white chocolate ganache frosting!

From top to bottom, this cake is SO delicious and much easier to make than you might think. The ultimate dessert for the holiday’s!

Equipement Needed

Ingredients

For The Cake:

flour, milk, egg whites, vanilla powder, salt, shortening, sugar, and baking powder in glass bowls

For The Filling:

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Fresh Orange Juice
  • Orange Zest
  • Orange Liqueur
cranberries, orange liqueur, orange juice, orange zest, and sugar in glass bowls

For The Frosting:

  • Heavy Cream
  • White Chocolate
white chocolate and heavy cream on marble counter

Instructions

Heat the heavy cream until it is just starting to bubble around the edges. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and let stand until the chocolate has melted, about 10-15 minutes. Stir gently to combine.

Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the surface of the liquid. Refrigerate overnight, or until it’s completely cold. Remove from refrigerator and beat mixture until medium-stiff peaks form and refrigerate until needed.

Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Set aside.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla powder. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the vegetable shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Fold in the egg whites.

Spoon the batter into prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes test done.

Allow to cool at least 10 minutes in pans before turning out.

three round cakes on wire cooling rack

While the cakes finish cooling, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium low heat until cranberries pop and sauce thickens, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in orange liqueur.

orange liqueur added to cranberry jam

After the cakes have cooled, level them with a sharp knife.

three round cakes with tops cut off on white cutting board

Place one layer on a cake plate. Pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of layer. Fill with cranberry jam. Top with another cake layer and repeat.

Spread half of the remaining frosting around the cake as a crumb coat. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

After the crumb coat is set, spread remaining frosting around the cake. Decorate as desired.

How To Make A Mini Sugared Rosemary Wreath (Crown) For This Christmas Cake

One of my favorite decorative elements for this cake! It’s something so simple, but so gorgeous. Just remember that, if you do the crown, it will have to come off the cake before serving. The rosemary does not cut.

  • Start with 3-4 large sprigs of rosemary. This is important! I used three long, super fresh sprigs of rosemary I cut off our rosemary plant in the garden. Totally safe for human consumption and it was just the right amount for this 6 inch cake.
  • Gather some thin floral wire and a sharp pair of snippers. This is my little secret! Use thin, green floral wire to tie the ends of the rosemary together. Make sure the rosemary all follows the same direction so it looks more organic and natural! You should need to snip about 1-2 inches of floral wire to properly tie the rosemary together. Also, feel free to snip the excess floral wire off so the crown looks a little more natural.
  • Dampen the rosemary and toss it in sugar. This is the important part to achieve that sugared look. Once your crown is tied together in a circle, lightly sprinkle some water over the rosemary. Shake off any excess. Then, on a plate (or small sheet pan!) dump about 1/2 cup of sugar. Press the sugar to the rosemary and you’re done!

Other Decorating Ideas

While the rosemary crown is gorgeous, it’s super simple and may not be what you want to do! Here are a few ideas you could do.

  • If you have rosemary, use it as Christmas Trees on top of the cake! Be sure to wrap the ends of the rosemary with a little bit of plastic wrap so they don’t impart any unwanted flavors. You could also sugar them for a more cozy-snow feel.
  • Use edible decorations that are available to purchase at the grocery store! This could be small fondant holly leaves or marshmallows decorated to look like snowmen.
  • Decorate the top with sugared cranberries!
  • Feel free to whip up a bit extra frosting to have a little more room for fun decorations! Remember, the frosting is actually just a whipped ganache. So, if you would rather, use our American Buttercream to frost and decorate this cake to all of it’s fun and Christmas potential!

4 Quick Tips For The Cranberry Jam

  • 3 cups of cranberries is one 12 ounce bag.
  • The jam will thicken as it cools, so keep this in mind when cooking! Follow the directions for best results.
  • This sauce can easily be made in advance and freezes well.
  • Overcooked the jam? No problem! You can add a few Tablespoons of orange juice or water to loosen it.

How To Store

With this cake, you have a few options!

First, you can make the cakes and the jam ahead of time. After baking (and cooling!) store the individual cake layers in freezer-safe zip top bags and freeze for up to a month. The jam needs to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for about a month. So, if you have a lot to do, make the two elements ahead of time and the ganache the day before you need it.

If the cake is already assembled, no worries! The cake stores great. You can leave this cake out on the counter, covered, at room temperature for about a day, but it’s really best kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Another option is freezing the cake! You can freeze the cake as a whole or as individual slices. Just make sure to cover it and get it out a few hours prior to when you want to eat it.

Substitutions

  • If you don’t have vanilla powder, you can use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • You can leave out the orange liqueur in the cranberry sauce.
  • It’s best to use fresh, but you can use store-bought orange juice.
  • Butter can be used in place of shortening, but it won’t really have the “snow-white” Christmas look once baked.
cake with slice on white plate with rosemary crown and sugared cranberries

Expert Tips

  • You need to make the frosting first!
  • Speaking of frosting, it needs to be really cold for it to whip!
  • The frosting takes a little bit of time to whip, so don’t worry. You can use a hand mixer with the whisk attachment or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment to achieve medium-stiff peaks.
  • The shortening might be a little difficult to beat. Don’t worry! Just scrape down the sides as needed and it will get soft and fluffy.
  • Don’t over-beat your egg whites! You don’t want to dry them out.
  • When folding the egg whites into the cake batter, be very careful. You don’t want to deflate them, as this contributes to the rise of the cake.
  • It’s best to use piping bags for the filling and the frosting. It’s cleaner and a whole lot easier.
  • You can decorate this cake any way you want! Have fun with it.

When you make this White Christmas Cake with Cranberry Orange Filling and Whipped White Chocolate Ganache Frosting, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

white cake with cranberry filling on cake plate with slice missing, offset spatula beside, jar of cranberries, flowers, rosemary sprigs around, and two white christmas trees behind

White Christmas Cake with Cranberry Orange Filling and Whipped White Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Traci
This White Christmas Cake with Cranberry Orange Filling and Whipped White Chocolate Ganache Frosting is the BEST-EVER cake for the holiday's! It's sweet, delicious, lots of cranberry and orange flavors throughout, plus the addition of white chocolate…SO. GOOD.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Refrigeration Time 12 hrs
Total Time 13 hrs 35 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 1149 kcal

Ingredients
 

Cake

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup milk

Filling

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ¾ teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 Tablespoons orange liqueur

Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup white chocolate

Instructions

Frosting

  • Place white chocolate pieces in a medium bowl.
  • Heat cream until it is just starting to bubble around the edges.
  • Pour hot cream over chocolate.
  • Let stand until chocolate has melted, 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir gently to combine.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the surface of the liquid.
  • Refrigerate overnight, or until completely chilled through.
  • Remove from refrigerator.
  • Beat mixture until medium stiff peaks form.
  • Refrigerate until needed.

Cake

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray three 6-inch pans with baking spray. Set aside.
  • Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. Set aside.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla powder. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Fold in egg whites.
  • Spoon into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until done.
  • Allow to cool at least 10 minutes in pans before turning out.
  • Turn out on wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Filling

  • Combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest in a medium saucepan.
  • Cook over medium low heat until cranberries pop and sauce thickens, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in orange liqueur.

Putting it together

  • Level cake layers, if necessary.
  • Place one layer on cake plate.
  • Pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of layer.
  • Fill with cranberry filling.
  • Top with another cake layer.
  • Repeat.
  • Frost cake with remaining frosting.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • If you don’t have vanilla powder, you can use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • You can leave out the orange liqueur in the cranberry sauce.
  • It’s best to use fresh, but you can use store-bought orange juice.
  • Butter can be used in place of shortening, but it won’t really have the “snow-white” Christmas look once baked.
Expert Tips:
  • You need to make the frosting first!
  • Speaking of frosting, it needs to be really cold for it to whip!
  • The frosting takes a little bit of time to whip, so don’t worry. You can use a hand mixer with the whisk attachment or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment to achieve medium-stiff peaks.
  • The shortening might be a little difficult to beat. Don’t worry! Just scrape down the sides as needed and it will get soft and fluffy.
  • Don’t over-beat your egg whites! You don’t want to dry them out.
  • When folding the egg whites into the cake batter, be very careful. You don’t want to deflate them, as this contributes to the rise of the cake.
  • It’s best to use piping bags for the filling and the frosting. It’s cleaner and a whole lot easier.
  • You can decorate this cake any way you want! Have fun with it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 1149kcalCarbohydrates: 141gProtein: 11gFat: 61gSaturated Fat: 29gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 3gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 661mgPotassium: 317mgFiber: 4gSugar: 94gVitamin A: 1284IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 255mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @abakers_table or hashtag it #BakersTable!
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2 Comments

    1. Hi Dan! That’s so much fun! It was one of my favorite cakes to put together for this holiday season. So simple, but so festive! We’re glad to hear you loved it. Merry Christmas! Xo, Caylie