A great layer cake for the festive period with christmassy flavours! We made this as an alternative to a traditional christmas cake.

Now we’ve already established that we, here at Baking a Mess, don’t like christmas cake, we’ve got nothing against it.. just isn’t our thing. So last year we made an orange and cinnamon cake with brown sugar buttercream as an alternative and also because it’s delicious! This year we decided to give another flavour combo a go because we love to experiment with our baking so made this white chocolate and cranberry cake which is a lovely and light but still festive cake! (psst, if you want to make a traditional christmas cake we do have a recipe for that too here)

So this cake is a lightly spiced sponge studded with dried cranberries and orange zest and then filled and decorated with a white chocolate buttercream! We loved the way this recipe it still a little fruity as a nod to the traditional christmas cake but is much lighter and delicate in flavour and alcohol free (which may be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it…)

The white chocolate buttercream is a great way to mix things up and stray from the usual vanilla as it’s a fairly subtle flavour so doesn’t overpower the rest of the cake but gives a really creamy and sweet frosting which would be great for all manner of cakes and bakes! 

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cake
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For the sponge
  1. 260g butter
  2. 260g caster sugar
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 275g self raising flour
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp ginger
  8. 1/2 tsp allspice
  9. zest 1 orange
  10. juice 1/2 orange
  11. 80g dried cranberries, finely chopped
For the buttercream
  1. 200g butter
  2. 600g icing sugar
  3. 200g white chocolate
For the sponge
  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a large bowl and electric whisk, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the eggs and mix until incorporated.
  3. Tip in about half of the flour, the spices and baking powder, mix until combined then add in the orange juice and mix again.
  4. Add the rest of the flour and beat until fully combined and smooth.
  5. Fold in the cranberries and orange zest.
  6. Split the mixture evenly between 3 lined 8" tins and spread out to form a smooth layer.
  7. Bake at 160C for 30-35 until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
For the buttercream
  1. Melt the chocolate.
  2. Cream the butter on a high speed for 2-3 mins, add in about a third of the icing sugar and beat until combined.
  3. Pour in about half the chocolate and some more icing sugar and beat again, repeat with the remaining chocolate and icing sugar.
  4. Add extra icing sugar or a dash of milk to adjust the consistency if required.
  5. Once fully cool, sandwich the cake layers together with the buttercream, then crumb coat the cake. Pop in the fridge for about 20-30 mins.
  6. Take the cake out of the fridge and ice with another layer of buttercream.
  7. Decorate as desired! We piped rosettes around the top and sprinkled over some more cranberries.
Baking a Mess https://www.bakingamess.co.uk/
We dusted the cake with icing sugar once we’d finished decorating to make it look snowy and even more christmas appropriate! 

We made this a 3 layer cake as it was for a 60th wedding anniversary celebration but if you wanted to make a smaller one, the quantities for a 2 layer cake are as follows

For the sponge
175g butter
175g caster sugar
3 eggs
190g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
zest 1 orange
juice 1/2 orange
70g dried cranberries, finely chopped

For the buttercream
150g butter
450g icing sugar
150g white chocolate

(ps apologies these pics were taken on a phone!)