Christmas Cranberry Poke Cake – OMG Chocolate Desserts


This festive-looking Christmas Cranberry Poke Cake is a refreshing dessert for the holiday season. The beautiful holiday look of this cake is nothing compared to the taste. Despite the fancy appearance, there is nothing fussy or difficult about making it.

Cranberry Poke Cake on a white plate with Christmas decorations behind.

Love cranberry season? Try Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake, Fresh Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies, or White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake Cake.

Cranberry Poke Cake

Looking for a refreshing dessert this holiday season? Make this Cranberry Poke Cake. The creamy sweetness of cream cheese whipped frosting, contrasting with bright cranberry tang, all packed into moist white cake base, garnished with white chocolate drizzle and dried cranberries makes heavenly Christmas cake!

But best of all, it is super easy to make. This recipe is made with a box of white cake mix, cranberry sauce, and simple cream cheese whipped cream frosting. I made my favorite homemade cranberry sauce, but if you are short on time you can use a can of cranberry sauce. Just heat cranberry sauce in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat until it turns into more of a liquid than gel and pour spoonfuls of cranberry sauce into the holes.

What You Need for This Recipe

  • One box of white cake mix and ingredients listed on the box: oil, water, and eggs. I used only egg whites to make my cake white as possible.
  • Red and green sprinkles-I added just a Tablespoon of each in the cake batter and stir gently with a rubber spatula. Do not mix it too much to avoid coloring the batter.  
  • Softened cream cheese and powdered sugar-for the frosting
  • Whipped topping or homemade whipped cream
  • Vanilla extract- you can substitute with almond or orange extract if you prefer
  • White chocolate-you can use white candy melts instead
  • Dried cranberries-for garnish
  • Cranberry sauce-homemade or canned

How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce?

If you decide to make homemade cranberry sauce instead of using canned, you will need fresh or frozen cranberries. I used frozen this time

In a large saucepan, place froze cranberries, stir in sugar, and set aside for a few minutes. Then add freshly squeezed orange juice and stir well.

You can add a dash of ginger and nutmeg and some ground cinnamon, to your taste. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes until the cranberries burst and soften completely.

Then add a corn starch slurry, whisk in, and cook for a few more minutes to thicken and get pudding-like consistency. Set aside to cool slightly. You can break the cranberries completely with a potato masher or pulse the sauce in a food processor. However, you can leave it with small chunks of cranberries if you prefer.

When the sauce is done, let it cool on the counter while you make the cake.

Couple of images for step-by-step Cranberry Poke Cake preparation.

How to Make Christmas Cranberry Poke Cake

Prepare the cake according to the instructions listed on the box. Use only egg whites, because this cake should stay as white as possible. It’s the idea to be a red, white, and green Christmas dessert. Add a Tablespoon of red and a Tablespoon of green sprinkles. Stir the sprinkles gently into the cake batter and pour it immediately into greased dish and bake. Do not stir too much to avoid coloring the batter.

Bake the cake in a 9 x 13 inches dish. When the cake is baked, cool it for just a few minutes then using a handle of a wooden spoon poke the cake making the holes about an inch apart, and do not poke it all the way to the bottom, just about 2/3 of the height. Set aside for 20-30 minutes to cool.

Then using a spoon or a jug fill the holes with cranberry sauce and spread the remaining on top. Place the cake in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

When the cake is cooled make the frosting. Beat softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy, then mix in powdered sugar and vanilla (or other extracts of your choice). If using heavy whipping cream, not store-bought whipped topping, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add cream cheese mixture and mix to combine evenly. Also if making your own whipped cream, taste the frosting and add more powdered sugar if it is not sweet enough to your taste.

Spread the frosting over the chilled cake. Sprinkle with dried cranberries

Next melt finely chopped white chocolate with coconut oil. Transfer it in a ziplock bag and cut off the corner, drizzle over the cake. Store the cake in the fridge.

Merry Christmas!

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Christmas Cranberry Poke Cake


Description

This festive-looking Christmas Cranberry Poke Cake is a refreshing dessert for the holiday season. The beautiful holiday look of this cake is nothing compared to the taste. Despite the fancy appearance, there is nothing fussy or difficult about making it.


Ingredients

Cranberry Sauce:

  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon-optional
  • Dash of ginger and nutmeg-optional
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch dissolved in 2 ½ Tablespoons water

Cake:

  • 16.25 oz. box white cake mix (plus ingredients listed on the box)
  • 1 Tablespoon red sprinkles
  • 1 Tablespoon green sprinkles

Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese-softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups whipped topping like Cool Whip ( or 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream)
  • Garnish:
  • 3.5 oz white chocolate-finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

 


Instructions

Cranberry Sauce:

  1. In a large saucepan place frozen cranberries, sprinkle with sugar, and set aside for a few minutes. Then add freshly squeezed orange juice and stir well. You can add a dash of ginger and nutmeg and some ground cinnamon to your taste. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes until the cranberries burst and soften completely and some of the liquid evaporate.
  2. Then add a corn starch slurry, whisk in, and cook for a few more minutes to thicken. It should have pudding-like consistency. Set aside to cool slightly. You can break the cranberries completely with a potato masher or pulse the sauce in a food processor. But you can leave it with small chunks of cranberries if you prefer. When the sauce is done, let it cool on the counter while you make the cake.

Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray 9×13 inches dish with baking spray and set aside.
  2. Prepare the cake according to the instructions listed on the box.
  3. Stir the sprinkles gently into the cake batter and pour it immediately into greased dish and bake. Do not stir too much to avoid coloring the batter.
  4. When the cake is baked, cool it for just a few minutes then using a handle of a wooden spoon poke the cake making the holes about an inch apart, and do not poke it all the way to the bottom, just about 2/3 of the height. Set aside for 15-20 minutes to cool.
  5. Then using a spoon or a jug fill the holes with cranberry sauce and spread the remaining sauce on top. Chill the cake in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Frosting:

  1. Beat softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy, then mix in powdered sugar and vanilla
  2. If using store-bought whipped topping fold 2 1/2 cups of topping into the cream cheese mixture. If you are making homemade whipped cream, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add it into the cream cheese mixture and mix to combine evenly. Taste and add more powdered sugar if it is not sweet enough to your taste.
  3. Spread the frosting over the chilled cake.

Garnish:

  1. Sprinkle dried cranberries on top.
  2. Next, melt finely chopped white chocolate with coconut oil. Transfer it in a ziplock bag and cut off the corner, drizzle over the cake. Store the cake in the fridge.
Christmas Cranberry Poke Cake



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