Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream

Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream is an easy recipe that will make your holiday dessert table merry and bright.  Today, we have 2 recipes to share with you, one for our cranberry buttercream and one for our decadent chocolate cake. 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 Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream to add to your holiday table! 

  • Besides its gorgeous color, this chocolate cake is moist and decadent.  So I took the liberty to include an additional recipe for our Best Decadent Chocolate Cake (recipe included below).
  • It’s a wonderful dessert to celebrate the Christmas season! 
  • Surprisingly, the sweet and tart flavors of cranberries along with the flavor of chocolate make a great match.  Together, this cake is positively mouthwatering! 
  • Just before you serve, you can decorate with fresh or frozen cranberries on top as a garnish.

Best of All?  With this recipe, you can make a chocolate cake – 2 ways!

  • Use our original recipe for decadent chocolate cake (provided in 2nd recipe card below), or…
  • Use a box of store-bought cake mix, for an easier way.
Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream  by 2sistersrecipes.com

The Cranberry Buttercream is sweet with a subtle tartness that offers a perfect balance with a chocolate cake.

Our simple recipe for the cranberry buttercream is made with 4 ingredients, making this the easiest and most delicious cranberry buttercream frosting ever!  It’s perfect!

After one bite, everyone loved this cake…  and you will too! 

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. 

A slice of chocolate cake with cranberry frosting on a white cake plate. by 2sistersrecipes.com

Ingredients Needed for the Cranberry Buttercream: (*full recipe quantities in recipe card below)

  • Frozen cranberries – you can find frozen cranberries in any supermarket freezer section.
  • Granulated sugar – or you can use coconut sugar if you prefer, and it is to sweeten the tartness of the cranberries.
  • Unsalted butter – you need butter to make buttercream.
  • Confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar) – is needed to thicken the buttercream enough to spread it on to the cake.

How To Make Cranberry Buttercream?

  1. First, make you will need to 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.

    Cooking cranberries in a saucepan. by 2sistersrecipes.com

  2. Then remove from the heat, and allow to cool for a few minutes. 
  3. 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. 
Photo of the cranberry puree and a slice of cake on a plate. by 2sistersrecipes.com

To Whip it into Buttercream…

STEP 1:  Add The Ingredients: Use a deep, mixing bowl, and 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. 

STEP 2:  Beat The Mixture: Use an electric mixer, and beat the ingredients for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides often, until light and fluffy.  Add more powdered sugar if you need a stiffer, thicker buttercream.  Then store it in the fridge until you are ready to frost the cake.

Questions, and Tips…

1. How Long To Bake the Chocolate Cake? The approximate 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, its best to insert a toothpick into the cake, to check if it’s ready. 

  • Two 8-inch round pans – 30 to 35 minutes. 
  • Two 9-inch round pans – 28 to 35 minutes.
  • For a 9 x 13 sheet pan – 35 to 40 minutes.
  • For Cupcakes – 22 to 25 minutes.

2. How to Decorate The Chocolate Cake?

  • First, (directions in the recipe card below), spread a layer of cranberry buttercream on the first layer of the cake, using about 1 cup or more, if needed. 
  • Next, place the second cake 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 until the buttercream sets.

3. How to Store Cranberry Buttercream?

If you’re planning on using the buttercream frosting in the next week or so, it is best to store it in your refrigerator in a sealed container until you need it.

4. How to Soften Cranberry Buttercream?

When you’re ready to use chilled buttercream, simple take it out of the refrigerator and let it thaw on the counter at room temperature. Once your buttercream has warmed up, you can re-whip it or whisk it back to a fluffy consistence.

5. Can we Freeze Cranberry Buttercream? Yes, you can. Freeze the buttercream frosting for up to 1 month in an airtight container or freezer bag. Then thaw in the fridge at least one day before, then place it on the counter to warm up to room temperature before frosting your cake.

 

Baker’s NOTES and TIPS…

  • The original recipe calls for sifting confectioners sugar. I opted to only sifting the first cup, and tossed in the remaining cups without sifting. And, it didn’t matter. The frosting turned out smooth and creamy.
  • You probably won’t need the entire mixture of cranberry puree. If you prefer a deeper color to the frosting, you can add additional cranberry puree. But keep in mind, you will need additional powdered sugar to thicken the texture.
  • Need a Quick Short-Cut? Buy a box of your favorite chocolate cake mix, and bake it in two 9-inch cake pans.
  • Also, you can decorate with fresh or frozen cranberries on top, as garnish.

Cranberry Buttercream Chocolate Cake by 2sistersrecipes.com

This Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream is festive, delicious, and easy to pull off!   

Try this amazing dessert, you’ll be glad you did.  🙂

ENJOY!!

Finally, More Festive Desserts!

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Cranberry Buttercream Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream by 2sistersrecipes.com

Cranberry Buttercream Chocolate Cake is a moist, chocolate cake with a delicious cranberry buttercream frosting inside and on top.  A delicious match, this sweet and tart cranberry buttercream is ideal to frost the chocolate layered cake, and the result was FABULOUS!! 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • Any chocolate cake recipe, or "box cake" of your choice ( also, included below is the recipe for our decadent chocolate cake)
  • Two 9-inch cake pans.

For the Cranberry Puree:

  • 3 cups of frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

To Make The Buttercream:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter - softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar - sifted
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. of cranberry puree

Instructions

    Make the Cranberry Puree:

    1. 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.
    2. Remove from heat, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
    3. 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.

    Meanwhile, Make the Chocolate Cake:

    1. Next, make your chocolate cake (our recipe below), or a box cake of your choice. Follow the directions on the box, or below.
    2. 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.
    3. 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:

    1. 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)
    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.

    Frosting the Cake:

    1. Prepare your cake plate before you frost the cake. Take 1 sheet of wax paper, cut in half, the place it onto a clean cake plate, the the cut meets in the middle of the cake plate. NOTE: This will make it easier to slide the wax paper out from under the cake, after you frost it.
    2. Flip one cake over, and place it onto the wax paper. Begin to frost the cake (it's best to frost the "flat side" of the cake and for it to be the bottom layer), using about 1/3 of the buttercream mixture.
    3. Next, place the second cake on top and continue to frost the entire cake with the remaining cranberry buttercream. Then slowly slide out the wax paper from under the cake on both sides. Discard the wax paper.
    4. Refrigerate the entire cake until ready to serve. Best kept chilled.
    5. Serves 10 to 12

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12 servings

    Serving Size:

    1 serving

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 485Total Fat: 24gCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 5.4g

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    Yield: 10 to 12 servings

    Best Decadent Chocolate Cake

    Best Decadent Chocolate Cake, by 2sistersrecipes.com

    Best Decadent Chocolate Cake is an easy cake recipe that is dairy-free, vegan, and can even be gluten-free with one simple swap!

    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 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
    • Equipment:
    • Two (9-inch round) cake pans

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F ( 163 C).
    2. Grease generously with cooking spray or with butter, and dust with flour or cocoa a two 9-inch round cake pans. Set them aside.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Add Tofu and vanilla extract and beat for about 2 minutes until you have a smooth texture.
    7. Pour in Almond milk and beat on low speed for 1 minute.
    8. Pour the batter into the two prepared cake pans and divide evenly.
    9. 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.
    10. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Gently turn cakes out and onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12 servings

    Serving Size:

    1 serving

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 17gCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 3.4g

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    … Thanks for Pinning! 
    Cranberry Buttercream Chocolate Cake by 2sistersrecipes.com

    That’s it friends! 

    If you try this delicious cranberry buttercream chocolate cake, tell us and leave a comment with a star rating!  We’d love to hear from you.  Have fun and snap a photo and share it on Instagram and on Pinterest; be sure to hashtag or tag us 2sistersrecipes.  This recipe was inspired and adapted from food 52, and the view from great island.

    Also, NEVER MISS our Recipes!  Subscribe to 2 Sisters Recipes Weekly Newsletter and get all new posts, and reminders of some great older ones too! 

    Happy Baking!  😉

    Thanks for stopping by!  

     xo Anna and Liz

    anna and liz selfie

    Welcome! From Anna and Liz

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    6 Comments

    1. oh my this looks so pretty and delish! i love the bright pink – so festive. luckily we can get frozen cranberries at christmas time here. is there anything better than buttercream icing? I think not:)
      cheers
      sherry

      1. I agree with you, Sherry 🙂 And the same here, you can get cranberries only during the Christmas season, especially the fresh ones. Try this cake, it’s so easy and delicious! Thanks for stopping by.

      1. Oh my goodness, Susan, it is soooooo good! Everyone loves it! You have to try this cake – it’s a winner!! 🙂