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Cranberry Christmas Cake
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
This magical white Christmas cake is studded with fresh cranberries and warmed with winter spices.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas Cake, cranberry cake
Author: Jackie
  • 1 cup unsalted Challenge butter room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
Vanilla Bean Frosting
  • 2 cups unsalted Challenge butter room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped or ½ tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 3-4 tablespoons cream
Frosted Cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cranberries fresh
  • cup sugar for coating
Sparkling Christmas Trees
  • 3 ice cream cones
  • 2 tablespoons frosting
  • 2 tablespoons silver sprinkles
Cranberry Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together butter, oil, and sugar until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly before each addition. Stir in vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients, except the cranberries.
  4. Gradually alternate adding the dry mixture and the buttermilk to the butter/egg mixture (3 flour additions, 2 buttermilk additions), mixing only until just combined. After all the ingredients have been added, stir in cranberries.
  5. Evenly spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake cakes for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the center and comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  1. Beat butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. With the beaters running on low, gradually powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of eggnog. Increase mixer speed to high and beat frosting until airy, about 5 minutes. If frosting is still too stiff, add the additional tablespoon of cream.
Frosted Cranberries
  1. Combine sugar and water in a small pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Once simmering, remove from heat and cool syrup for 10 minutes.

  2. Place cranberries in a large bowl and pour the syrup over the top. Stir gently to coat all the cranberries with the syrup. Let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  3. Once cranberries have steeped, and are now cold, drain into a colander. Place sanding sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries in small batches, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let cranberries sit at room temperature until dry, about 1 hour. Store cranberries in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to one week.

  1. If necessary, cut off cake domes using a serrated knife to level.
  2. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate.
  3. Top cake with ⅔ cup of frosting. Repeat with remaining layers then frost the outer sides of the cake.
  4. Use remaining icing to coat the ice cream cones. Sprinkle with silver sprinkles and place on cake. Top with frosted cranberries.