A moist Pomegranate Cake with a crown of glistening pom seeds. Pomegranate cake is fantastic top to bottom and makes for a stunning Christmas Cake! | natashaskitchen.com

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Introducing The Christmas  Pomegranate Cake. This is what I’ll be making for my family’s Christmas dinner. Honestly, I feel like every new cake I make, my sister Anna tells me it’s her new favorite. Well, guess what? This is Anna’s favorite cake! You should have heard her go on and on about it. In all seriousness, this Pomegranate Cake is fantastic; top to bottom.

I this pomegranate cake for my nieces 5th birthday party (yes, I had to cut it to take a picture of the inside for you all, but I patched it up quite nicely). I told her Mother (my sister), that’s what happens when you ask a food blogger to make the birthday cake. She didn’t seem to mind ;).

The Pomegranate Cake was an absolute hit and not a crumb was left behind. Just 15 minutes after we cut into the cake, there was only a small sliver left; toppled over. It too was destroyed. I hope this Christmas Pomegranate cake makes your holidays more merry and bright.

Ingredients for the Cake Layers:

6 large eggs, room temp (if cold, put them in warm water 15 min)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour *measured correctly
1/2 tsp vanilla

Ingredients for Pomegranate Topping:

6 ounces (3/4 cup) pomegranate juice (Pom Wonderful)
2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder (I used Knox brand)
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp Sugar
Seeds of one large Pomegranate (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients for syrup:

1 1/2 cups Pomegranate Juice (POM brand)
2 Tbsp sugar

Ingredients For the Pomegranate Cream Frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temp
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
16 oz (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened to room temp and cut into 16 pieces
4 Tbsp of Pomegranate juice (POM brand)

Pomegranate Christmas Cake Recipe

How to Make Pomegranate Cake:

If you never made a European Sponge Cake, watch the video before you get started:

1. Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line the bottoms of two 9″ cake pans with parchment paper.

2. Combine 6 eggs and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on high speed for 12 minutes or until tripled in volume and fluffy. Whisk together 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder then Sift it into the beaten eggs in 2 additions, folding it in with a spatula just until all of the flour is incorporated. Drizzle in 1/2 tsp vanilla and blend together. Remember that you are relying on the fluffy air-infused batter for the cake to rise. DO NOT OVERMIX or your cake won’t rise well.

Pomegranate Christmas Cake Recipe-9

3. Transfer your batter to your lined cake pans. Set aside.

Pomegranate Christmas Cake Recipe-2

4. Bake at 350˚F for 25-28  minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (poke the side, not the center so your center won’t cave) and don’t open the oven until 25 minutes have past. Let the cakes cool down on wire racks, then remove from the pans.

Pomegranate Christmas Cake Recipe-3

Making the Syrup for the soaking the cake Layers:

1. Combine 1 1/2 cups Pomegranate Juice (POM brand) with 2 Tbsp sugar and stir to combine. Set aside to and stir occasionally until sugar is all dissolved.

Making the Frosting:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the 2 sticks of butter with 3 cups powdered sugar and salt on low speed or until combined (1 min) Don’t start on high speed or you will be surrounded in a cloud of powdered sugar (lessons learned). Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy (2 min).

Pomegranate Christmas Cake Recipe-10

2. Add cream cheese 1-piece at a time and mix until combined. (I waited maybe 3 seconds in between each piece; toss them in one after another. Once all of the cream cheese is incorporated, scrape down the sides and continue to beat 1 more minute on med/high speed. The cream should be smooth and lump-free.

Pomegranate Christmas Cake Recipe-11

3. Add 4 Tbsp POM juice, 1 Tbsp at a time and mix on medium speed until combined (1 min). Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.

Pomegranate Christmas Cake Recipe-12

Assembling your Cake:

1. Cut the cake layers in half so you end up with 4 layers. Place the first layer, cut-side-up on your serving platter. Brush 1/4 of the POM/sugar syrup over the first layer. Frost the top. Do this with all 4 layers. You only need a very small amount of frosting on the very top of the cake since you are going to have the Pomegranate topping (and you’ll need the extra for the topping).

A moist Pomegranate Cake with a crown of glistening pom seeds. Pomegranate cake is fantastic top to bottom and makes for a stunning Christmas Cake! | natashaskitchen.com

2. Wipe any excess syrup from the cake platter, then frost the sides. I used My large Wilton 1M star tip. You want a border that will contain a generous layer of pomegranate topping.

A moist Pomegranate Cake with a crown of glistening pom seeds. Pomegranate cake is fantastic top to bottom and makes for a stunning Christmas Cake! | natashaskitchen.com

Refrigerate your cake for at least 30 minutes before adding the pomegranate topping.

Pomegranate Topping:

(make this after your cake is done and in the fridge):

1. Place 3/4 cup of POM juice in a small sauce pan, add 1 tsp vanilla and sprinkle in 2 tsp gelatin. Let stand 1 minute to soften gelatin before putting it on the heat.

Pomegranate Christmas Cake Recipe-15

2. Whisk in 2 Tbsp sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves and mixture is steaming.

Pomegranate Christmas Cake Recipe-16

3. Remove from heat and let it cool down a bit (or transfer into a mixing bowl if you don’t want to wait for the ice bath) then set the saucepan into a larger bowl of ice water, stirring gently until it is cold and slightly thickened but not set. It doesn’t take long so stay with it. Remove from the ice bath.

Pomegranate Christmas Cake Recipe-17

4. Stir in pomegranate seeds and immediately spoon topping onto the chilled cake. Refrigerate your cake until the topping is set (about 1 hour).

A moist Pomegranate Cake with a crown of glistening pom seeds. Pomegranate cake is fantastic top to bottom and makes for a stunning Christmas Cake! | natashaskitchen.com

Wouldn’t you like to eat a spoon-full of that goodness?

A moist Pomegranate Cake with a crown of glistening pom seeds. Pomegranate cake is fantastic top to bottom and makes for a stunning Christmas Cake! | natashaskitchen.comA moist Pomegranate Cake with a crown of glistening pom seeds. Pomegranate cake is fantastic top to bottom and makes for a stunning Christmas Cake! | natashaskitchen.comA moist Pomegranate Cake with a crown of glistening pom seeds. Pomegranate cake is fantastic top to bottom and makes for a stunning Christmas Cake! | natashaskitchen.com

Credits:
The brilliant idea for the Pomegranate Topping came from Chef Dennis.

Pomegranate Christmas Cake

4.93 from 112 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 15

Ingredients for the Cake:Ingredients for the Cake Layers:

Ingredients for Pomegranate Topping:

  • 6 ounces 3/4 cup pomegranate juice (Pom Wonderful)
  • 2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder, I used Knox brand
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • Seeds of one large Pomegranate, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients for syrup:

  • 1 1/2 cups Pomegranate Juice, POM brand
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Ingredients For the Pomegranate Cream Frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 16 oz cream cheese, (2 blocks) softened at room temp and cut into 16 pieces
  • 4 Tbsp of Pomegranate juice, POM brand

Instructions

  • Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line the bottoms of two 9" cake pans with parchment paper.
  • Combine 6 eggs and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on high speed for 12 minutes or until tripled in volume and fluffy. Whisk together 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder then sift it into the beaten eggs in 2 additions, folding it in with a spatula just until all of the flour is incorporated. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla and blend together. Remember that you are relying on the fluffy air-infused batter for the cake to rise. DO NOT OVERMIX or your cake won't rise well. Transfer your batter to your lined cake pans. Set aside.
  • Bake at 350˚F for 25-28 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (poke the side, not the center so your center won't cave) and don't open the oven until 25 minutes have past. Let the cakes cool down on wire racks, then remove from the pans.

Making the Syrup for the soaking the cake Layers:

  • Combine 1 1/2 cups Pomegranate Juice (POM brand) with 2 Tbsp sugar and stir to combine. Set aside to and stir occasionally until sugar is all dissolved.

Making the Frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the 2 sticks of butter with 3 cups powdered sugar and salt on low speed or until combined (1 min). Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy (2 min).
  • Add cream cheese 1-piece at a time and mix until combined. (I waited maybe 3 seconds in between each piece; it's one after another really. Once all of the cream cheese is incorporated. continue to beat 1 more minute.
  • Add 4 Tbsp POM juice, 1 Tbsp at a time and mix until combined (1 min). Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.

Assembling your Cake:

  • Cut the cake layers in half so you end up with 4 layers. Place the first layer, cut-side-up on your serving platter. Brush 1/4 of the POM/sugar syrup over the first layer. Frost the top. Do this with all 4 layers. You only need a very small amount of frosting on the very top of the cake since you are going to have the Pomegranate topping.
  • Wipe any excess syrup from the cake platter, then frost the sides. I used My large Wilton 1M star tip. You want a border that will contain a generous layer of pomegranate topping. Refrigerate your cake for at least 30 minutes before adding the pomegranate topping.

Pomegranate Topping (make this after your cake is done and in the fridge):

  • Place 3/4 cup of POM juice in a small sauce pan, add the 1 tsp vanilla and sprinkle in 2 tsp gelatin, then let stand 1 minute to soften gelatin before putting it on the heat.
  • Wisk in 2 Tbsp sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves and mixture is steaming.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool down a bit (or transfer into a mixing bowl if you don't want to wait) then set the saucepan into a larger bowl of ice water, stirring gently until it is cold and slightly thickened but not set. It doesn't take long so stay with it. Remove from the ice bath.
  • Stir in pomegranate seeds and immediately spoon topping onto the chilled cake. Refrigerate your cake until the topping is set (about 1 hour).
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pomegranate Christmas Cake
Skill Level: Advanced
Cost to Make: $$
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Comments

  • Malia
    December 25, 2023

    HI Natasha. This was my 2nd time making this cake and it was a hit, it’s such a beautiful cake. I did try a non- dairy cream cheese but the icing was not as smooth nor thick as perhaps the cream cheese frosting. Have you tried this before?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 25, 2023

      HI Malia, I’ve seen that happen when trying to use a dairy free cream cheese on my cinnamon roll frosting and it was the same experience. It’s definitely due to the cream cheese substitution.

      Reply

  • Sonya
    December 31, 2022

    Love this cake. 3rd year im making it. is there a trick to mixing in the flour w/out over mixing the batter but getting all the flour incorporated? i either overmix or there’s flour on the bottom of the bowl. what am i missing?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 31, 2022

      Hi Sonya! Watch my video on the sponge cake process so you can see my steps and method. You could try folding it in with a whisk but treating the whisk as a spatula, following the same movements (sometimes this helps “break up” any clumping) but careful not to over-mix and push out too much air. Also, be sure to sift your dry ingredients into the egg mixture, they will incorporate better and will create an overall smoother batter. Lastly, you could try a different bowl, deeper bowls tend to make it easier to stir batter but you need to make sure your spatula is reaching down all the way to the bottom of the bowl. I hope that helps.

      Reply

      • Sonya
        December 31, 2022

        Thank you I do sift it but still finding patches of flour. I will watch the video before I make it next time.

        Reply

        • Sonya
          December 31, 2022

          P.S I’m also a Russian/Ukranian transplant and you’re recipes are my goto when Im craving a taste of home.

          Reply

  • Susan
    December 26, 2022

    Absolutely delicious! Have made this family, favorite cake at Christmas for the past 9 or 10 years, one of these years I may actually get it right! lolz
    Is there a trick to slicing the layers in half? I’ve tried serrated knives, un-serrated knives, freezing the layers before slicing, tried splitting them with dental floss… the layers just crumble or collapse. The past few of years, I’ve resorted to two uncut layers, it works, but feel like we’re missing out on the delight of thinner layers and a better distribution of the delicious cream cheese frosting.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 26, 2022

      Hi Susan, we like to use a very sharp serrated knife. If your cake is too crumbly, you may be using too much flour. Be sure to measure by fluffing the flour first with a spoon then spoon it into a dry ingredient measuring cup and scrape off the top. If you push your measuring cup into a flour bin, you will get up to 25% too much flour. Also, do not tap the flour down in the measuring cup.

      Reply

      • Susan
        December 26, 2022

        Thanks Natasha, I’ll let you know how it turns out Christmas 2023! It has always been the perfect blend of creamy, spongy, juicy pomegranate deliciousness, just never completed quite as intended…

        Reply

  • Leena Kennedy
    December 18, 2022

    How many grams of unsalted butter for the pomegranate cake? I think it looks like our sticks of butter are a different size in Canada.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 19, 2022

      Hi Leena! Each stick is 113g (so 226g total).

      Reply

  • Pamcakes
    December 17, 2022

    This cake is truly beautiful and festive. It is slightly more exacting than the average cake to bake and assemble, but the quality of the look, taste and feeling of Christmas this cake brings makes it all worth it for me. I love this cake!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 19, 2022

      I’m so glad you loved the cake! Thank you for sharing your experience.

      Reply

  • Leslie Miller
    December 17, 2022

    This cake not only looked beautiful but tasted so delicious. My daughter and I made this cake for Christmas dinner dessert last year. We had a wonderful time baking it together. Merry Christmas Natasha! Looking forward to your cookbook. Blessings

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 17, 2022

      I’m so glad you loved it, Leslie! Merry Christmas!

      Reply

  • Ashley
    November 30, 2022

    Hi I can’t wait to try this. What type of cake pans do you recommend? Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 30, 2022

      Hi Ashley, you can find my favorite kitchen tools including my most used cake pans in our Amazon Affiliate Shop HERE.

      Reply

  • Debbie Psarrakis
    December 17, 2021

    Natasha I love your recipes and all your positive energy. I can’t get powdered gelatin where I live only gelatin sheets. How
    many should I use for the pomegranate topping? I’ll also be using home grown and pressed pomegranate juice..Merry Christmas from Greece !

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 17, 2021

      Hi Debbie, I wish I could be more helpful here, but I have not tried a substitute for gelatin, and I also don’t have experience with gelatin sheets. While I haven’t tried this, one of my readers mentioned Agar Agar as a substitute. One of our readers posted this saying they loved it: “(i replace the gelatin with agar agar). It’s really a hit with kids!” I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Tina Yeransian
    December 16, 2021

    Natasha, this was absolutely delicious! I am a pastry chef by profession and this was my first attempt at a pomegranate cake. It was spot on and my is now my husband‘s favorite cake. He would always ask for the Tres leches cakes for his birthday but I made this instead. I will be making it again for family at Christmas time. Also, I had time to put the sauce pan directly into the fridge and let it cool that way without an ice bath. It turned out perfect! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 17, 2021

      Aww, I’m so glad you found a new favorite! This will be the perfect treat during Christmas! Happy Holidays!

      Reply

  • Leah
    November 29, 2021

    Hi Natasha, I would like to try baking the sponge cake in a sheet pan and then cutting into fourths for layering. Would it be best to bake at the same temperature as the original recipe? Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 29, 2021

      Hi Leah, I bet that could work! You will need to adjust the cooking time slightly!

      Reply

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