Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream is an easy recipe that will make your holiday dessert table merry and bright. This delicious cranberry buttercream is made with frozen cranberries, butter, and confectioner sugar, and it’s used to frost our moist chocolate layered cake. The result was AMAZING! Beautiful color, festive, and it’s positively delicious!
This is one FABULOUS cake to add to your holiday table!
Loaded with butter and three additional ingredients, making this the easiest and most delicious cranberry buttercream ever!
It’s a wonderful cake to celebrate the Christmas season!
Besides its gorgeous color, this chocolate cake is moist and decadent. So I took the liberty to include an additional recipe for our most Best Decadent Chocolate Cake (recipe included below).
Best part? With this recipe, you can use a box of store-bought chocolate cake mix, for an easy and festive holiday dessert! 😉
The Cranberry Buttercream is sweet with a subtle tartness that offers a perfect balance with a chocolate cake.
Just before you serve, you can decorate with fresh or frozen cranberries on top as a garnish.
After one bite, everyone will love this cake. And you will too.
Surprisingly, the sweet and tart flavors of cranberries along with the flavor of chocolate make a great match. It’s moist, delicious, and positively mouthwatering!
Best of all, if you’re looking for a quick-and-easy recipe, this is it. In addition, you can make this holiday cake up to two days ahead.
Just keep it chilled before serving.
Ingredients Needed for the Cranberry Buttercream:
Confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
How To Make Cranberry Buttercream…
First, make the cranberry puree. Toss in a small saucepan, 3 cups cranberries, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/3 cup of water. Cook over low heat for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the cranberries cook down to a thick, juicy mixture.
Then remove from the heat, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Next, transfer the entire mixture to your blender, or food processor and puree on low speed, then on high speed until creamy smooth, scraping the sides down. Chill the cranberry puree. This can be done up for up to 2-days ahead.
Make the Buttercream…
1. Using a deep, large mixing bowl, add the softened butter and 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, along with some of the cranberry puree ( I used only 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of cranberry puree). Reserve the remaining puree for another recipe.
2. Beat for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides often, until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar if you want a stiffer buttercream.
Bake the Chocolate Cake…
The time needed to bake a chocolate cake will depend on the size of cake pans you use. Keep in mind, all ovens vary. As always, a great way to check if a cake is done is to insert a toothpick into the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s ready.
Two 8-inch round pans – 30 to 35 minutes.
Two 9-inch round pans – 28 to 35 minutes.
9 x 13 sheet pan – 35 to 40 minutes.
Cupcakes – 22 to 25 minutes.
How to Decorate Chocolate Cake…
To Frost, (directions in the recipe card below), first frost the bottom layer of the cake with cranberry buttercream, using about 1 cup or more, if needed.
Then place the second layer on top and frost the top and around the sides. Then refrigerate the entire cake until you are ready to serve. Best to keep the cake chilled.
Baker’s NOTES and TIPS…
The recipe calls for sifting the confectioners’ sugar. But I sifted only the first cup, then tossed in the remaining 2 cups without sifting (I got lazy). And, for me, it didn’t matter. The frosting turned out smooth and creamy.
I did not use all the cranberry puree. If you prefer a deeper color to the frosting, add in a little more. Keep in mind, you may need to add more powdered sugar to thicken the frosting.
Need a Quick Short-Cut? Buy a box of your favorite chocolate cake mix and bake it into two 9-inch pans.
If you prefer, you can decorate with fresh or frozen cranberries on top, as a garnish.
If you don’t finish this cake in one sitting, no worries! Just keep it covered at room temperature or keep it in your refrigerator for a chilled, scrumptious treat with a cup of your favorite coffee at the end of the day!
This Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream is festive, delicious, and easy to pull off!
Try this amazing dessert, you’ll be glad you did. 🙂
Finally, More Festive Desserts!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
- Any chocolate cake recipe or box cake of your choice.
- Two 9-inch cake pans.
- 3 cups of frozen or fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter - softened
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar - sifted
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. of cranberry puree
Make the Cranberry Puree:
- Toss into a small saucepan, 3 cups cranberries with 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/3 cup of water. Cook over low heat for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the cranberries cook down to a thick, juicy mixture.
- Remove from heat, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Next, transfer the entire mixture to your blender, and puree on high speed until creamy smooth, scraping the sides down. Chill the cranberry puree. This can be done up to two days ahead.
Make the Chocolate Cake:
- Next, make your chocolate cake (our recipe below), or a box cake of your choice. Follow the directions on the box, or below.
- Next, pour the batter evenly into two 9-inch cake pans and bake the cake (at the temperature according to the recipe), and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for about 20 minutes. Then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make the Buttercream:
- In a deep, large mixing bowl, add the softened butter and 3 cups confectioner's sugar, along with 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cranberry puree. (reserve the remaining puree for another recipe)
- Beat for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides often, until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar if you want a stiffer buttercream.
Frosting the Cakes:
- Place 2 sheets of wax paper onto a clean work surface. Then place both cakes onto the wax paper.
- Flip one cake over, and frost the cake ( it's best to frost the flat side of the cake and for it to be the bottom layer).
- Next, place the second cake on top and continue to frost the entire cake with the remaining cranberry buttercream.
- Refrigerate the entire cake until ready to serve. Best kept chilled.
- Serves 10 to 12
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
- 2 cups Cake Flour (or GF flour)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp.baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1+ 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tsp. instant coffee (instant espresso)
- 3/4 cup Silken Tofu
- 1/2 cup Almond Milk
- cooking spray oil
- Two (9-inch round) cake pans
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F ( 163 C).
- Grease generously with cooking spray or with butter, and dust with flour or cocoa a two 9-inch round cake pans. Set them aside.
- In ONE large mixing bowl, using a fork, mix together all the dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and sugar. Set it aside.
- In a measuring cup, mix one cup of water with 2 teaspoons of instant espresso coffee. Or you can use one cup of brewed coffee, but it must be cooled.
- Then pour in the oil and cup of coffee into the dry mixture. With an electric hand mixer, beat on medium to high speed for about 1 minute.
- Add Tofu and vanilla extract and beat for about 2 minutes until you have a smooth texture.
- Pour in Almond milk and beat on low speed for 1 minute.
- Pour the batter into the two prepared cake pans and divide evenly.
- BAKE on the rack in the middle of the oven for 28 to 35 minutes, or longer until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out completely clean (no batter stuck on it). All ovens vary - so keep an eye on them.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Gently turn cakes out and onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting.
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