Holiday Cranberry Layer Cake

Holiday Cranberry Layer Cake

 My son LOVES cranberries and so do we. His birthday is the week of Thanksgiving and we have tons of cranberry sauce left. I figured I'd take something he loves and make a delicious cake. I've paired cranberry with cocoa for my Rosemallow Holiday offerings and its absolutely amazing, so I knew it would work here, too. I used fresh cranberries in a slightly modified yellow layer cake base with chocolate chips so you get random pops of fresh cranberry and chocolate flavors as you eat the cake. The frosting is made with cranberry sauce which has a gorgeous berry/fresh jam flavor. A friend at the party described it as an "adult cake", was shocked the cake was GF (I get that a lot) and took some home! Its simply delicious AND a great use of leftover cranberries & sauce. 

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  • 2 cups GF King Arthur Measure for Measure flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tsp) salted butter at room temperature
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (sub 3/4 cup milk with 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar)
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups fresh cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cranberry sauce Frosting

  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 4 cups powder sugar
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder


    Make the cakes!

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. I recommend cutting a round of parchment paper for the bottom of the pans (do not have the paper go up the sides). This will make removing the cakes significantly easier.

    2. In a stand mixer mix butter, sugar (white & brown) on low-medium to lightly incorporate (about 15 seconds) then on high for 1.5 minutes.
    3. Add eggs & vanilla extract and mix on high for 1 minute.
    4. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the mixing bowl. Briefly mix until partially incorporated (about 5 seconds). 
    5. Add buttermilk and mix until partially incorporated, about 5 seconds.
    6. Add 1 cup of cranberries (reserve 3/4 cup for later) and chocolate chips. Mix for 5-10 seconds to incorporate. At this point milk, and dry ingredients should all be incorporated and the batter should be mixed but not overmixed. 
    7. Divide batter evenly between pans.Sprinkle the 3/4 of cranberries evenly on top of the cakes- this is help make sure the cranberries are evenly distributed in the cake as they bake.

    8. Bake for 36-42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    9. The cakes will sink slightly because GF flour doesn’t have the same structural strength as “flour”. They will still have a cake lightness and the perfect flavor.

    10. Let cakes cool for at least 2 hours before frosting.

    11. Frost with the fresh cranberry recipe below.


    Make the Cranberry Frostings

    1. Add butter, sugar and cocoa powder to the mixer, mix slowly to incorporate (10 seconds) the sugar. Then turn mixer to high and beat for 4 minutes to incorporate air and make the frosting light and fluffy

    2. Scrape the sides. Add cranberry sauce beat for another 1-2 minutes on high. 

    If you love our recipes- check out our divine confections on our storefront (we ship!)

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