A white chocolate, orange & cranberry Christmas cake on a golden cake stand

White chocolate, orange & cranberry Christmas cake

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Prep: 2 hrs Cook: 1 hr, 5 mins Plus cooling

More effort

Serves 20 - 22

Try sponge instead of fruit cake this Christmas. Our white chocolate cake is a crowd-pleaser and you can buy the meringue decorations, or bake them yourself

Nutrition and extra info

  • Sponges only
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving (22)

  • kcal780
  • fat41g
  • saturates25g
  • carbs94g
  • sugars76g
  • fibre1g
  • protein8g
  • salt1.3g
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Ingredients

  • 300g salted butter, chopped, plus extra for the tin
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 200g white chocolate, finely chopped
    Chocolate

    Chocolate

    chok-let

    Chocolate as we know it in pressed

  • 500g plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 500g white caster sugar
  • 300ml natural yogurt
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
    Orange

    Orange

    or-ange

    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 6 large eggs
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 4 tbsp milk

    Milk

    mill-k

    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

For the compote

  • 200g cranberries
  • 150g white caster sugar

For the icing

  • 200g white chocolate, finely chopped
    White chocolate squares, stacked

    White chocolate

    why-t chok-lit

    To purists, this is not chocolate because it is made only from the fat or butter of the cacao…

  • 500g salted butter, softened
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 750g icing sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 280g cream cheese

To decorate

  • meringue kisses (shop-bought, or see our recipe), edible snowflake decorations and gold leaf (optional)

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Rub a little butter over the base and sides of two 20cm cake tins (use cake tins rather than sandwich tins as the higher sides work better), then line the base and sides with baking parchment. Melt 150g butter with 100g of the chocolate in a bowl set over a small saucepan of gently simmering water – make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir the butter and chocolate every min or so until it has melted. Set aside to cool a little.

  2. Meanwhile, measure 250g flour, 2 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp bicarb and 250g sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add 150g yogurt, 2 tsp vanilla extract, half the orange zest and juice, 3 eggs and 2 tbsp milk. Whisk everything together, then stir in the melted butter and chocolate.

  3. When the cake mixture is smooth (this makes a very wet pourable batter), divide it equally between the two cake tins. Bake on the middle shelf for 25-30 mins, they will look golden and evenly risen when cooked. Check they are done by pushing a skewer into the centre of the cakes – it should come out clean. If there is any wet cake mixture on the skewer, return the cake to the oven for a few more mins, then check again.

  4. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 mins, then transfer to a cooling rack. Wash out the tins and repeat steps 1 and 2, to make two more sponges in total. You can make them a day or two before icing, then wrap them in a double layer of cling film once cool. They can also be frozen for up to two months.

  5. To make the compote, simmer the cranberries and sugar in a small pan for 4-5 mins until jammy, then leave to cool.

  6. For the icing, melt the chocolate, either in 20-30 secs bursts in a microwave or in a bowl over simmering water. Set aside to cool a little. Roughly mash the butter and icing sugar together, then beat until smooth with an electric whisk or mixer. Add the chocolate and cream cheese and beat again until smooth.

  7. To assemble the cake, place one sponge on a cake board the same size as the sponge, then sandwich the other sponges on top with a little icing and the cranberry compote. Use the cake with the neatest edge, flipped upside down, on top to give your cake a good shape.

  8. Pile about half the remaining icing on top of the cake and use a palette knife to spread it thinly over the top and down the sides of the cake. This is a crumb coat, it catches any crumbs, ensuring the final layer looks clean and professional. Chill the cake for 10-20 mins to firm up the icing or leave it somewhere cool for longer. Will keep for three days.

  9. To decorate the cake: dot the top with meringue kisses that you've either bought or made yourself, edible snowflake decorations and gold leaf, if you like.

    See our guide to decorating a Christmas cake 3 ways for details on this design along with more decorating ideas.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
bryonybakes
21st Nov, 2017
Could I use this recipe for a birthday cake as well?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
24th Nov, 2017
Absolutely!
cally1956fs
4th Nov, 2017
My question is same as Mummasi (2nd November).. Is it 2 oranges or 1 divided into 2? I want to try this recipe but reluctant to do so until I know about the orange. Thank you.
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
9th Nov, 2017
Thanks for following this up. It is one orange. You use half the zest and juice in each batch. We have amended the text accordingly.
Mummasi
2nd Nov, 2017
Is all the orange zest and juice added at step 2 or is it half? Thank you
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
9th Nov, 2017
Thank you for drawing our attention to this. There was a word omitted in the copy. You use half the zest and juice for each batch.
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.