Wreath Cake

Spoon onto cooled cake and decorate with sugared cranberries, rosemary, cookies, candy canes, and candied orange slices.

Make this decadent chocolate cake the centerpiece at your dessert table this holiday season.

Total Time:
Level: Easy
Yield: 20 servings



  • Oil, for the pan
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. strong prepared coffee or milk


  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  • 1/2 c. plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 small sprigs rosemary
  • 1 c. cranberries, thawed if frozen
  • Gingerbread cookies, mini candy canes, and candied orange slices, for serving


Make cake: Heat oven to 325°F. Oil a 10-cup tube pan and lightly coat in flour; tap out excess.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a second bowl, combine sour cream and extracts. 

Using a food processor, pulse together butter and sugars until combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, pulsing until incorporated before adding the next. Pulse in sour cream mixture. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with coffee, until just incorporated.

Transfer batter to prepared cake pan and bake until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make decorations: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 1⁄2 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a medium pot and cook on medium until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and let boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Dip rosemary into syrup, then remove, shaking off any excess, and coat in remaining 1⁄2 cup sugar; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with cranberries. Set aside to dry.

Make frosting: Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch water and bring to a simmer. Place egg whites, sugar, and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer and place over the pan of simmering water. Turn off heat and whisk mixture constantly until sugar melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Test by rubbing a little of the mixture between your fingers (it should not feel grainy). With a stand mixer, beat mixture until stiff glossy peaks form, 7 to 10 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract.

Spoon onto cooled cake and decorate with sugared cranberries, rosemary, cookies, candy canes, and candied orange slices.

PER SERVING 335 CAL, 12.5 G FAT (7.5 G SAT), 4 G PRO,


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Cake Magazine: Wreath Cake
Wreath Cake
Spoon onto cooled cake and decorate with sugared cranberries, rosemary, cookies, candy canes, and candied orange slices.
Cake Magazine
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