Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream

chocolate cake with cranberry buttercream slice

This Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream is a super quick moist chocolate layer cake recipe made right in a saucepan!  And the cranberry frosting is just about the best thing ever, don’t miss this amazing holiday cake.

Ingredients

cake

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • cup half and half or whole milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

cranberry puree

  • cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted (more if needed)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup cranberry puree (directions below, you will not need all of it)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F Butter and flour two 9-inch nonstick cake pans. I like to put a round of parchment paper on the bottom of each one.
  2. Put the sugar, chocolate, butter, and the water in a medium to large saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until it all melts together smoothly. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. When the mixture has cooled slightly, whisk in the milk, eggs, and vinegar.
  4. Whisk in the baking soda, powder, and salt. Then slowly whisk in the flour, making sure not to over mix...small lumps are fine.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or just until done in the middle and a toothpick comes out without wet batter on it. Be careful not to over bake these cakes.
  6. Let cool for about 20 minutes, then turn the layers out onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.

for the buttercream

  1. Cook cranberries, sugar, and a splash of water in a saucepan on medium heat until the cranberries break down and into a thick, juicy mixture. This will only take about 5 minutes.
  2. Puree the cranberries in a high speed blender, preferably, or a food processor until perfectly smooth. Chill.
  3. Put the soft butter, sifted sugar, cream of tartar, and 1/2 cup of the cranberry puree (you will not need it all) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the balloon attachment. Beat, scraping down the sides often, for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add more sifted sugar if you want a stiffer buttercream.
  4. Frost the cake, and then refrigerate until ready to serve. Keep chilled.

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