Make this Sugared Cranberry Christmas Wreath Cake a sweet end to a holiday meal

Few holiday meals seem complete without at least a small serving of cranberry—even it comes at the very end.

In this recipe from Aimee Broussard, a simple white cake transforms into a wreath-encircled, cranberry-filled creation that looks just as lovely as a centerpiece as it does as a post-holiday dessert.

This tasty recipe from Aimee Broussard takes a simple white cake and transforms it into an elegant centerpiece that’s almost too pretty to eat. Broussard uses cranberries, a seasonal favorite, for both a yummy filling and an edible, crystallized wreath in this easy recipe.  


2 cups fresh cranberries
½ cup sugar
2 ½ Tbsp. fresh orange juice
½ tsp. orange zest
¼ tsp. cinnamon
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice, orange zest and cinnamon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered about 10 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool. Once cooled, transfer to a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.


2 cups Crisco shortening
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. almond extract
2 pounds powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp. whole milk, as needed
Beat together Crisco, salt and extracts in the bowl of a stand mixer until light. Add half of the sugar and 3 Tbsp. milk, beat on low speed until combined. Add remaining sugar and beat on low until no dry patches remain and the icing becomes light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add additional milk in 1 Tbsp. increments, as needed, until icing is spreadable.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup whole milk
2/3 cup water
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
5 egg whites
2 cups sugar
1 cup Crisco shortening
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick baking spray with flour (Bakers Joy) and line with parchment paper cut into rounds.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine milk, water and extracts in a measuring cup with spout.
In another large bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high, and gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar. Beat on high until stiff, glossy peaks form- about 5 minutes. Beat together Criso with remaining 1 ½ cups sugar in another large bowl, on medium speed until fluffy- about 2 minutes.
Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
Stir about one-quarter of the egg whites into batter, fold in remaining egg whites in 3 additions. Divide batter between the 3 pans, filling about halfway. Tap the pans to even out the batter and smooth the tops.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown on edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn out to cool completely on a wire rack.
To assemble the cake: Use a cake leveler or a serrated knife and trim the dome from each cake layer. Place one layer on a cake plate, spread a heaping amount of cranberry filling and top with a second cake layer. Repeat with cranberry filling and top with the final cake layer, bottom side up.
Coat the cake with a thin layer of icing and refrigerator until firm, about 45 minutes. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and completely cover the cake with icing by adding a heaping amount to the top of the cake and using an offset spatula to smooth down the sides of the cake.
Garnish with fresh rosemary, sugared cranberries and upside down white chocolate morsels, if desired.
Yields 8-10 slices

Check out more of our December issue’s holiday recipes in Broussard’s latest inRegister column here