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Chocolate Cranberry & Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

Chocolate Cranberry & Clementine Cake has two layers of moist chocolate orange sponge sandwiched with cranberry sauce and generously frosted with chocolate orange buttercream, sugared cranberries and candied clementine slices. Made with gluten-free flours
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
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 + 1 extra clementine for the cranberry sauce (see notes)
  • 170 ml olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
  • 200 g cranberry sauce see notes

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, clementine zest, 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.

Candied 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 baking parchment. 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 are not gluten-free you can swap the 3 gluten-free flours for 230g plain white flour instead.
  • For the whole cake you can use any kind of orange zest and juice – it doesn’t have to be clementines – but they do give a gorgeous tangy flavour.
  • I recommend this Homemade Cranberry Clementine Sauce for the cake filling. Alternatively, you can use any leftover cranberry sauce, homemade or shop bought, warm it 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.
  • This cake freezes well. Either freeze the sponges individually before decorating with buttercream or freeze leftover cake in slices. In both instances wrap up well to avoid spoilage.
  • The finished cake will keep for up to 5 days if refrigerated, or up to 3 days out of the fridge in an airtight tin.


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