There is nothing like a delicious cake. I like cake of all flavors, but my favorite is a chocolate or vanilla cake. With this cake, I wanted the best of both worlds. I wanted it to go beautifully with the tablescape for my vintage-themed evening.
I started with a classic vanilla cake with vanilla icing. I then made a chocolate ganache to cascade over the white cake. Then comes the frost bitten cranberries to add holiday flare and a burst of color. These sugared cranberries are so yummy and addicting. I was popping them all day like candy.
This cake goes perfectly with wine for dessert. The chocolate compliments Cambria's Tepusquet Vineyard Syrah and the vanilla cake is delicious with a refreshing glass of Cambria's Benchbreak Chardonnay.
This cake is sure to please your taste buds and your guests. You won’t go wrong with this delicious festive holiday cake.
French Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Ganache
French Vanilla Cake
- 3 cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ sticks cold (unsalted) butter cut into even pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup milk, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans.
- Pour milk, egg whites, (Make sure both are room temperature) and extracts into medium bowl and mix with fork until blended.
- Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
- Add butter and beat on low with a hand mixer for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add all but ½ cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 ½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat for 1 minute.
- Pour batter evenly into each prepared cake pan.
- Bake 27 - 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow cake to come to room temperature.
French Vanilla Frosting
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
- 3 ¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a mixing bowl bowl, beat butter on medium speed with a hand mixer or stand mixer until very pale and creamy, about 8 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar a little at a time mixing well after each addition.
- Add cream and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
- 3.5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
- 2-3 tablespoons room temperature water
- Chop dark chocolate and add to double boiler or heat-proof bowl over simmering water.
- Add heavy cream and mix until melted and chocolate smooth and completely melted.
- Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar, whisking until smooth.
- Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition, until the chocolate is of a good pouring consistency.
- Let cool 10 to 15 minutes or until lukewarm before pouring over cake.
- Pour onto the center of the cake and use spatula to push chocolate towards the edges of the cake.
Frost Bitten Cranberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 cups sugar
- Wash cranberries and discard any damaged and place in bowl and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of sugar and water and simmer while stirring untilsugar is dissolved.
- Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool. Pour over cranberries. Place in refrigerator,covered overnight.
- Remove berries with a slotted spoon and set on a cooling rack with foil underneath to catch the syrup. Don’t let berries touch each other. Let dry for one hour.
- Put 2 cups of sugar into a bowl.
- Roll berries a handful at a time in sugar. Place sugared berries on a baking sheet or foil and let dry for an hour or two.
- Store in a container at room temperature.
By Erin Kennedy
Erin Kennedy is the founder and editor of My Thirty Spot, a lifestyle website. Erin currently resides with her husband and two adorable kitties in Phoenix, AZ. Her interests include dressing chic on a budget, sharing anti-aging tips, cooking, creating new recipes and capturing life through photography.