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The sweetest White Christmas Cranberry Layer Cake to celebrate the most wonderful time of year. Four layers of light and fluffy vanilla cake, made moist with the addition of coconut nog and greek yogurt. Each cake has a layer of homemade cranberry jam and white chocolate buttercream. Every bite is delicious with fresh cranberries, hints of coconut, and sweet vanilla cake. The perfect festive cake to celebrate the holidays this season.

side angled photo of White Christmas Cranberry Layer Cake with 1 slice cut in cake

The final countdown between now and Christmas is officially on. We’re just one week away from Christmas Eve. The craziness has set in, and as usual, I’m scrambling to check every last item off my to-do list before it’s too late…

It’s going to be tight this year, but thankfully, I have an exciting cake to share with everyone today.

Jumping right into my rambling because I have stories and details to share on this very special Christmas cake.

overhead photo of raw cranberries

Here is the story…

I’ve wanted to make a version of this cake for a couple of years now, but the vision in my head stopped me every single time. Sometimes I can have a picture in my head of a recipe (especially dessert recipes) before I’ve even begun to develop the recipe. I love when this is the case because it helps me to easily write up the recipe to start testing. But with this cake? The picture in my head intimidated me. I knew there was a very good chance I could never recreate the photo in my head and that if I were to attempt the cake, I might end up walking away with disappointment. I put a lot of pressure on myself to give you guys only the best recipes and I just knew this cake could never turn out as cute as the one in my head.

I held off for a good two years, but this year it was a phone call with my mom that convinced me I needed to at least try. Because really, you never know until you try.

Plus, the sound of a sweet cranberry layer cake lightly hinted with coconut sounded so good to both of us. It was time to share this cake already!

So. I tried. And by the end of the day, I may have even shed a few tears. Even though this cake looks nothing like what I envisioned, it’s DELICIOUS. And in the end, that’s all that truly matters.

And you know what? It’s not perfect, but I do indeed LOVE it.

side angled photo of White Christmas Cranberry Layer Cake before frosting the outside of the cake

The details.

The vanilla cake is not your standard cake. My secret is to use a mix of coconut nog and Greek yogurt to keep the cake extra moist. If you don’t love coconut nog or simply don’t want to make it, use buttermilk. I will say that the eggnog adds only a nice spiced flavor. I used my homemade coconut nog (which is vegan, so technically not eggnog).

While the cake itself is good, it’s not really the star flavor. Nope, what this cake is really all about is the cranberry jam. It’s made with maple syrup and hinted with orange, cinnamon, and gingers. The flavors of Christmas.

side angled close up photo of White Christmas Cranberry Layer Cake with 2 slices cut in cake

It. Is. So. Good!

Once you’ve made the cake, it comes together pretty easily. The trickiest part is slicing the cake layers in half, which I know might sound scary, but you guys can do it.

I decorated simply, with sugared cranberries, coconut, and rosemary.

overhead photo of White Christmas Cranberry Layer Cake slices on dessert plates

A few things…

One, don’t stress too much about creating a perfectly even cut. As you can see, my layers are nowhere near perfect, but all turned out OK.

Two, use a long serrated bread knife to cut the cake in half. This helps so much with making an even cut all the way through.

Three, be sure to cool the cake completely before slicing.

Please don’t stress about having to cut the cake layers in half. It’s not as scary as it may seem. Once you layer everything together the cake is going to be beautiful…no matter what. And, if you do have trouble and the cake crumbles a bit, don’t worry, those crumbs make for a delicious snack.

Four, remember that any “mistakes” can all be fixed with frosting…never too much frosting.

side angled photo of White Christmas Cranberry Layer Cake slices stand up on dessert plate

Bottom line?

You need to be making this cake. All the holiday cookies are amazing, and we do need them, but a show-stopping cake is always a good idea. Plus, you can never have too many sweets at Christmas time.

Tis the season. Enjoy it, and then…healthy January will follow.

overhead close up photo of White Christmas Cranberry Layer Cake slice with fork in cake slice

If you make this white Christmas cranberry layer cake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

White Christmas Cranberry Layer Cake

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings: 24
Calories Per Serving: 437 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Cranberry Jam

White Chocolate Buttercream

  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or coconut extract (use your favorite or both)
  • sugared cranberries, shredded coconut, and rosemary, for decorating (optional)


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter/spray with cooking spray.
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand-held mixer) beat together the canola oil, yogurt, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggnog (or buttermilk). Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined. 
    3. Pour the batter among the cake pans and bake 30-35 minutes, until the tops are just set and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool five minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack. Cover and let the cakes cool completely before assembling.
    4. To make the jam. Add the cranberries, maple syrup, and orange juice to a medium-size pot set over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, once boiling use a fork to break down the cranberries a bit. Continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the jam has reduced and thickened by 1/3. Stir in the vanilla, ginger, and cinnamon. Remove from the heat and let cool.
    5. To make the buttercream. Add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the melted white chocolate and vanilla and beat until combined.
    6. To assemble. Using a large serrated knife, carefully cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread 1/4 of the buttercream over the cake and layer with about 1/3 cup of jam. Repeat with the remaining 3 cake layers. Be careful not to over fill your layers or the cake will be hard to slice. Lightly frost the outside of the cake. Chill 30 minutes. Serve or store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before serving, decorate with sugared cranberries, coconut, and rosemary, if desired.

Sugared Cranberries

  • 1. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups fresh cranberries with 1/2 cup maple syrup. Let sit 10-15 minutes. Strain the cranberries, then add them to a parchment lined baking sheet.
    2. Toss the cranberries with 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar until all the cranberries are coated. Allow the cranberries to dry, in a single layer, for at least one hour.
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overhead photo of White Christmas Cranberry Layer Cake

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  1. The cake itself was like a spice cake, it had a lovely flavor as did the icing,however, the cranberry filling was so very bitter, it marred the rest of the cake flavor.

    1. Hi Lee,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! So glad you enjoyed the cake, sorry about the filling! xx

  2. 5 stars
    This cake was a huge hit on Christmas, and tasted great even 2 weeks later. I used regular rum and eggnog since that’s what I had on hand. I’m known for the selection of cookies I always make for the holidays, but really impressed my family when I cut into this cake (they loved the sugared cranberries)! Thanks for our new traditional Christmas dessert!

  3. 5 stars
    5 Stars but sub with Raspberries instead of Cranberries. Make sure to strain the Jam very well because of the seeds.
    Double the icing quantity if you like more than usual.
    Serve with additional Raspberries around the edge of the Cake that have been soaked in the Jam.

  4. 1 star
    Disasterous! I usually love your recipes, but this cake was not right! It domed WAY up while baking. I baked for 35 minutes and it looked brown and done on the outside, but was raw on the inside, while the edges are overbaked. I should have used 9 inch pans, but I still don’t know if that would have helped.

    1. Hi Lynn! I am SO sorry about that! Thanks for letting me know! Sometimes different ovens run hotter than others so I would maybe try to turn down the temp? Is there anything else I can do to help? xT

    1. The surgared cranberries recipe is at the end of the recipe. And I recommend making them. They were super easy to make and my family was amazed at how tasty they were. They thought they’d just be decorative and not taste good. Multiple people mentioned how great they tasted.

  5. Following up to say that this cake is AWESOME. I was worried it would be too sweet with the white chocolate frosting but it balances so nicely with the tart cranberry jam. Really lovely. I made it for Thanksgiving and tested it using the dome of the cake I cut off. Fabulous.

  6. I am hoping to give this recipe a try. If you don’t have coconut rum should you use plain rum?

    Also – no one should be using canola oil to cook with. Read up on what chemical processes they use to refine it. It is terrible! Use avocado oil for a healthy choice and no taste.