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Snow White Chocolate-Cranberry Cake Recipe


Snow White Chocolate-Cranberry Cake

Snow White Chocolate-Cranberry Cake

© Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
I adapted this Snow White Chocolate-Cranberry Cake recipe from one I saw in Sunset magazine years ago. I made some changes for the better, I think. It's definitely for someone who loves white chocolate and who doesn't mind a highly calorific dessert now and again. It reminds me of freshly fallen snow and would be an ideal winter wedding cake because it truly is white in color even though it's made with butter, not that awful vegetable shortening some bakeries are passing off as buttercream. Just remember, this will take a bit of time (but not too much, and you can do it in stages) and it's not for the diet conscious. It's such a pretty holiday dessert. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make four cake layers instead of two for an even prettier effect.

And what are you going to do with 12, count 'em, 12 egg yolks? They can be used in crescents and babkas and here's how to freeze egg yolks.

Here is a larger photo of Snow White Chocolate-Cranberry Cake.

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: 16 slices cake


  • Cake:
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces room-temperature unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 7 large room-temperature egg whites
  • 1 cup water
  • Cranberry Filling:
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry or cranberry-orange or cherry or raspberry preserves
  • 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • White Chocolate Buttercream:
  • 5 large room-temperature egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 ounces chopped good-quality white chocolate (discs, bars or a block, not chips)
  • 1 pound unsalted room-temperature butter, cut into pieces
  • Assembly
  • 1/2 cup clear liqueur like creme de cacao or kirsch
  • Confectioners' sugar


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and place parchment circles in each pan. Butter the parchment paper and set aside.

  2. To make the cake: In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 10 ounces butter and 2 1/4 cups sugar together on low speed until light and fluffy. Add 7 egg whites in three batches, scraping inside of bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture in 5 batches, adding 1/4 cup water after each addition for a total of 1 cup (you will begin and end with flour. Make sure flour is completely blended each time before adding water. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Smooth tops with a spatula.

  3. Bake until center of cake feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then invert onto rack to cool completely. Remove parchment paper circles when completely cool.

  4. To make the cranberry filling: Combine 3 cups cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar, preserves, 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to simmer and cook until cranberries pop and preserves melt, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, transfer to a small bowl and chill until ready to assemble the cake.

  5. To make the white chocolate buttercream: Fill a 2-quart saucepan with 1 inch water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Put 5 egg whites, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Place bowl over hot water, making sure bottom of bowl isn't touching water, and heat whites, whisking constantly, until hot to the touch, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan and bowl from heat.

  6. Put bowl of warm whites on the mixer and whisk on high speed until tripled in volume and sides and bottom of bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes.

  7. Meanwhile, place chopped white chocolate in a medium metal mixing bowl, and set in same pan of warm water off the heat to melt slowly, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from pan and let cool to room temperature.

  8. Reduce mixer speed to low and whisk 1 pound of room-temperature butter pieces into whites, about 1/4 cup at a time, until incorporated. Continue to whisk on low speed until smooth and fluffy, about 10 minutes (mixture may look grainy at some point but will come together). With a rubber spatula, gently fold melted chocolate into buttercream until completely combined.

  9. To assemble the cake: Rub tops of both cakes gently with your hands to remove browned outer surface, then carefully invert cakes and rub undersides so that cakes are completely white. Place 1 cake layer into a 9-inch springform pan, top side up. The cake tends to be a little dry, so poke holes halfway down into the cake with a skewer and, using a pastry brush, brush top with half the liqueur. Spread all of the cold cranberry mixture on top, leaving a 1/2-inch empty border around edge. Place second cake layer on top, flattest side down, and poke with the skewer and brush with remaining liqueur. Press down lightly on top of cake and cover entire cake and pan tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes.

  10. Remove from freezer, unwrap and remove from pan. Place cake on serving platter. Spread sides and top of cake with buttercream. Chill until ready to serve. If you like, you can garnish the top of the cake with white chocolate curls, but I prefer the look of confectioners' sugar. Store in a cake saver in the refrigerator. Slice the cake while cold but let it come to room temperature when serving.

  11. Note: The baked cake layers can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature up to two days ahead. The cranberry filling can be made and refrigerated up to two days ahead.
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