Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

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Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake has two layers of gluten-free moist chocolate orange sponge sandwiched with Cranberry Clementine Sauce and generously frosted with chocolate orange buttercream, sugared cranberries and candied clementine slices.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

What do you do with leftover cranberry sauce? This cake is not a bad way to start.

We’re a week before Christmas and I’ve now run out of my Cranberry Clementine Sauce which has meant a dash out to secure the few bags of cranberries left on the supermarket shelves (they are not easy to come by in the UK) and make another batch to stash in the cupboard before the real cooking work begins later this week.

Making more jars of cranberry sauce at this late stage means I will more than likely have loads left over, since some of my family aren’t quite as obsessed about cranberry sauce as me. No matter, as there is so much you can do with the leftovers. Including this Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

Not only does this cake help you offload your cranberry sauce but it also is the ideal cake for those (heathens!) that don’t like traditional Christmas cake. Now, to be fair I am a diehard fan of Christmas cake, even the gluten-free supermarket stuff, it’s one of the few cakes that can pass this supermarket test since there’s often not a lot of flour involved in the recipe. However, despite my love for it, Christmas Cake isn’t always on my baking agenda over the festive season. This is mainly because of its similarity to the Christmas Pudding. Both are dark cakes mostly made up of booze and dried fruits so if you’ve already got one on the go then it’s a little overkill to have both, especially when you’re hosting a small family Christmas like we are. Although traditional Christmas Cakes are so beautiful with their stunning white icing. I’m definitely making one next year, overkill be damned.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

So there are these people who don’t like Christmas Cake, but you can bet your bottom dollar they are big fans of chocolate cake. If they are not then really you are going to be bashing your head against a brick wall trying to please them. This cake is a perfect compromise for all the cake lovers in your family. The two layers of moist chocolate sponge are laced with clementine zest, then sandwiched together with Cranberry Clementine Sauce which is tangy and sweet.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

You can make the Cranberry Clementine Sauce specifically for this cake as believe me the sauce does not take long and you’ll be making it anyway to go with your turkey won’t you? Or you could use your own leftover cranberry sauce, homemade or shop bought, warm it up then spike it with clementine (or orange) zest. I suggest warming the cranberry sauce first before you add the zest to let the flavour properly penetrate the sauce. Let cool before you use though.

The whole cake is then generously slathered with the most chocolatey of buttercreams using intense cocoa and melted dark chocolate plus the juice of the two clementines you zested for the sponge. The whole cake has a kind of Terry’s Chocolate Orange vibe going on but a touch more sophisticated.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

To decorate the cake so it’s worthy of the Christmas table it shall adorn then garnish it with sugared cranberries and candied clementines which are a whole lot easier to make than you think. It’s worth putting a little extra effort in for your Christmas cake so do give them a go.

And there you have it, a stunning Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake to ring in those festivities.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

A wonderfully chocolatey festive alternative to a traditional Christmas cake
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 1071kcal


Cranberry Clementine Cake

  • 125 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 g buttermilk
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 160 g soft light brown sugar
  • zest of 2 clementines
  • 170 ml olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
  • 200 g Cranberry Clementine Sauce*

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 500 g unsalted butter
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • 150 g chocolate melted
  • juice of 2 clementines
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sugared Cranberries

  • 120 g + 60g caster sugar
  • 120 ml water
  • 125 g fresh cranberries

Candied Clementines

  • 2 clementines
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 120 ml water


Cranberry Clementine Cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line and grease 2 x 8 inch round cake tins.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bain marie then set aside.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, coffee and salt and set aside.
  • In another bowl (or a stand mixer) beat together the buttermilk, the sugars, olive oil, eggs and vanilla then add the flour mixture and beat until combined.
  • Pour in the melted chocolate and mix in until fully incorporated.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins then place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Turn out the cakes and cool on wire racks before filling and decorating.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • Beat together the butter and sugar for about 10 minutes in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add cocoa, melted chocolate, clementine juice, salt and vanilla extract and beat into the creamed butter and sugar until everything is smooth and evenly combined.

Sugared Cranberries

  • Pour the 120g of caster sugar into a medium saucepan with the water. Bring to a low boil until the sugar dissolves.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the cranberries and stir to coat evenly with the sugar syrup.
  • Place in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day remove the cranberries from the syrup with a slotted spoon, pat dry with a kitchen towel then spread out evenly onto a plate.
  • Sprinkle over the remaining 60g of caster sugar and gently roll the cranberries so they are totally coated with sugar.
  • Leave to dry for at least an hour before using.

Caramelised Clementine Slices

  • Pour caster sugar into a medium saucepan with the water. Bring to a low boil until the sugar dissolves.
  • Cut the clementines into thin slices then submerge into the sugar syrup. Bring the syrup back to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off.
  • Remove the clementine slices from the sugar syrup (reserve the syrup for clementine bellinis on Christmas morning*) with a slotted spoon then place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 10 minutes at 150°C. Turn the slices over and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before you use them to decorate.


  • Place one of the sponge layers on a cake board and pipe a circle of buttercream at the very edge of the top of the cake to act like a dam for the cranberry sauce.
  • Spread the cranberry sauce on top of the sponge, right to the edges of the buttercream dam.
  • Place the second sponge layer on top and cover the top and the sides of the cake with the buttercream.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with the sugared cranberries and candied clementines.


*If you don’t have any Cranberry Clementine Sauce to hand then improvise using any leftover cranberry sauce, homemade or shop bought, warm up in a small saucepan with the zest of 1 clementine and leave to cool until needed.
*To make Clementine Bellinis all you need is 1 tablespoon of the clementine syrup at the bottom of your champagne glass and top it up with plenty of fizz.


Calories: 1071kcal | Carbohydrates: 134g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 573mg | Potassium: 493mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 105g | Vitamin A: 1170IU | Vitamin C: 7.8mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 4.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @FromTheLarder or tag #FromTheLarder!


  1. Thanks, I googled it and will give it a go!
    How far in advance can the cake be decorated? 🙂

  2. Hey there, this looks amazing!
    Could you provide the recipe in cups instead of grams?
    Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Julia, I’m so sorry but I don’t work in cups since I’m a UK baker and any conversion I attempt to share might be too loose a guide as measuring in grams is ultra accurate. Funnily enough, converting from cups to grams is relatively easy but the other way much harder! That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try though, although I might have to point you in the direction of google for individual conversions. Sorry I can’t be of more help!!

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