When I decorated this cake, I wanted to capture the image of glistering fresh new snow illuminated by a bright full moon! This cake is a beautiful showstopper and tastes incredible. I love the contrast between tender white cake filled with a heavenly white chocolate ganache. Sugared cranberries finish this winter wonderland storybook cake to perfection, creating a glorious finish to any holiday meal or party!
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup of water
2 1/4 cups cake flour, King Arthur Cake Flour
1 3/4 cups all purposed flour, King Arthur Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature Cabot’s butter is my favorite.
3 cups granulated sugar, Domino
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups cranberries, Ocean Spray
White Chocolate Icing
12 oz white chocolate chips, Ghirardelli
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup butter, room temperature, Cabot
8-9 cups powdered sugar, Domino
1. Bring 1 cup sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Pour simple syrup into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Add cranberries and stir to coat.
4. Refrigerate cranberries in syrup overnight, stirred a couple times to coat with syrup.
5. Remove cranberries from syrup and roll in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. You’ll need to roll them a few times to get a couple layers of sugar on them.
6. Set cranberries aside to dry for an hour or so.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 9″ round cake pans.
2. To make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth.
4. Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and beat for 1 more minute. Add cranberries by hand.*
7. Divide the dough among the prepared pans. If you’re using a scale, put 1 1/2 pounds of batter in each pan.
8. Bake the cakes for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out of the pans and cool completely on a rack.
White Chocolate Icing
1. Place white chocolate chips in a metal bowl.
2. Microwave heavy cream until it starts to boil. Remove from microwave and pour over chocolate chips.
3. Cover bowl with saran wrap for 5-7 minutes.
4. Whisk chocolate and cream until smooth.
5. Allow ganache to sit until mostly cool. It should be thick.
6. Beat the ganache with a mixer for about 2-3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.
7. Add butter and beat until it is fully combined.
8. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until it is fluffy and the right consistency. Add more cream if needed.
To assemble the cake:
1. Remove cake domes from cakes with a large serrated knife.
2. Place the first layer of cake on a cake plate. Spread about icing on top in an even layer.
3. Add the second layer of cake and add more icing on top in an even layer.
4. Add the final layer of cake on top and ice the outside of the cake.
5. Top the cake with sparkling cranberries and add some around the edge, if desired.
*Tip: Dust cranberries with flour before adding to the batter to prevent their sinking to the bottom of the cake layers.