Chocolate Almond Cake with Sugared Cranberries

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Looking for a fabulous dessert to serve up on Christmas or for your holiday party? Krista Numbers has us covered with a very simple chocolate cake, coated with homemade sugared cranberries!

Chocolate Almond Cake with Sugared Cranberries


  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups cranberries, thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk


Sugared cranberries:

  1. Bring 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 3/4 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
  3. Put the cranberries in a large bowl and pour the sugar syrup over them; let sit 1 hour.
  4. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar with the cardamom in a large bowl.
  5. Drain the cranberries, add to the spiced sugar and toss to coat.
  6. Spread the cranberries and sugar on a rimmed baking sheet.
  7. Let sit, re-rolling the cranberries in the sugar occasionally until dry, 2 to 3 hours.


  1. Make the cake according to package directions adding in the allspice, cardamom and buttermilk to the mix.


  1. Beat the butter, powdered sugar and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until just combined.
  2. Add the vanilla and almond extracts; increase the mixer speed to high and beat, scraping down the side of the bowl, until creamy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the milk and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 more minutes.
  4. Halve 1/2 cup of the sugared cranberries.
  5. Place one cake layer on a plate or cake stand.
  6. Spread with 1 cup frosting, then sprinkle with the halved cranberries.
  7. Top with the second cake layer.
  8. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. 
  9. Top with the remaining sugared cranberries.

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