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Christmas Cranberry Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

Embrace all the extravagance, joy, and warmth of the holidays with Venchi's Christmas cranberry cake recipe that's topped with a super-indulgent whipped chocolate ganache

Bursting with festive flavors, the tart cranberry filling and moist chocolate cake are irresistible. With our easy step-by-step instructions, you'll find this stunning cake very doable in your own kitchen.
Make sure the Christmas table's bursting with enticing sweets with our bûche de noël and chocolate bundt cake recipes

Ingredients For Chocolate Cranberry Cake

For The Cake

•    2 cups flour 
•    3/4 cup cocoa powder 
•    2 cups sugar 
•    1 teaspoon baking powder 
•    1 teaspoon baking soda
•    pinch of salt 
•    2 large eggs 
•    1 cup full-fat milk 
•    2/3 cup sour cream 
•    3/4 cup melted butter 
•    2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

For the Ganache

•    16 oz Venchi 75% dark chocolate 
•    2 cups double cream


For The Cranberry Sauce 

•    2 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries 
•    1/2 cup sugar 
•    2 tablespoons water 
•    4 tablespoons Port 


For The Sugared Cranberries

•    1 cup granulated sugar 
•    1 ½ cups fresh cranberries 
•    1/4 cup water 

Yields: 12 servings 
Preparation Time: 1 hour 
Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes 

Cranberry Christmas Cake Recipe

Step By Step Directions

Sugared Cranberries:
1.    On medium heat, simmer the water and half of the sugar. Stir continuously. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. 
2.    Next, add the cranberries and cook for a further minute. Then remove them with a slotted spoon. Place on a wire cooling rack. 
3.    Let cranberries return back to room temperature, but still sticky to the touch. 
4.    Pour the remaining sugar in a wide, shallow bowl. Roll the cranberries in the sugar. Make sure the berries are completely covered. 
5.    Let the sugared cranberries to dry at room temperature at least 2 hours before decorating. 

Chocolate Cake:
1.    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 9-inch baking pans with parchment paper. Make sure to grease the paper so the cakes won't stick.
2.    With a sieve, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder into a bowl. Then add the sugar and combine well. 
3.    In a new bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, butter, sour cream, and vanilla. 
4.    Next, combine the wet and dry mixtures. Mix with an electric mixer. But make sure not to overmix. It will make the cake tough. 
5.    It's time to divide up the cake batter. Evenly pour the batter into 3 baking pans and bake in the oven. If you don't have enough space in your oven, first bake two cakes together and then the 3rd cake later. 
6.    Bake each cake layer in the oven for about 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the sponge. If it comes out clean, then the cake's ready.
7.    Leave the cakes in their baking pans for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pans. Make sure before filling or decorating the cakes are completely cool.

Cranberry Filling:
1.    Simmer the cranberries, sugar, water, and Port in a small saucepan. 
2.    Heat for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens
3.    Next, let the sauce cool slightly. For a smooth filling, mix the sauce in a blender. Or you can leave it chunky if you like.

Chocolate Ganache:
1.    Chop the chocolate and set it aside in a bowl. 
2.    In a saucepan, simmer the double cream until just before it's about to boil. 
3.    Then, pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes to soften the chocolate.
4.    Allow the ganache to cool. Then whisk with an electric mixer until it's thick and lighter in color.  

Assemble The Cake: 
1.    Place the 1st cake layer onto a large plate. Add half of the cranberry filling on top. 
2.    Set the 2nd cake layer on top. Then evenly spread it with the remainder of the cranberry filling. 
3.    Finish by topping with the last cake layer.
4.    Next, thinly spread whipped chocolate ganache on the sides and top of the cake. 
5.    Put it in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. 
6.    Decorate the cake with the remainder of the chocolate ganache. Then refrigerate again. 
7.    For maximum flavor, 30 minutes before serving, take out the cake from the refrigerator. Enjoy the Christmas cake, cranberry filling, and chocolate ganache topping at room temperature!

How to decorate the cake

Now that the cooking's done, it's time to get creative and decorate. Venchi's recipe guides you on how to make sugared cranberries at home. Garnish with sugared cranberries to add a touch of wintery magic and color to the cranberry chocolate cake. Quick and easy to make, use them to dress up many of your favorite festive recipes. 
If you can, use a piping bag for the whipped chocolate ganache, it's worth it. It will instantly create a more professional look. Try to pipe rosettes all over the cake and completely wow family and friends. Last tip: start piping soon after you've whipped the ganache, so it's not too thick.