Rich, moist chocolate cake, a layer of delightful marzipan, a tiny bit sour cranberry jelly and tons of incredibly smooth mascarpone cream. Christmas cake that melts in your mouth. Ideal dessert for Christmas Day.

Christmas chocolate cake with marzipan and cranberries

20cm diameter four-layer cake

Ingredients for the cake (from Add A Pinch):

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Ingredients for the cream:

  • 750g mascarpone
  • 500ml double cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 heaped tsp of gelatine

Ingredients for cranberry jelly:

  • 250g fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • a few drops of lemon juice


  • 200g marzipan
  • for decorations: 5 candy canes and green sprinkles


  1. Bake the cake. Preheat the oven to 1800C and line two springform pans (19-20cm diameter) with baking paper. Place flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and espresso powder in a bowl. Stir. Add milk, eggs, oil and vanilla extract and stir on medium speed, using a hand or stand mixer. Reduce the speed to minimum and very slowly start adding boiling water. When all the ingredients are combined completely, turn your mixer on high speed and mix the batter for an additional minute in order to add air to it. This will make the cake lighter and less dense. Divide the prepared batter into two and pour into the pans.* Bake for about 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely. Cut each cake into two parts so that you get 4 even layers.
  2. Prepare the jelly. In a heavy-bottomed pan place cranberries, sugar and lemon juice. Boil until cranberries reach a liquid form and start to "pop". Remove from the heat and press through a sieve. Refrigerate in order for jelly to thicken a bit.
  3. Prepare the cream. In a bowl place mascarpone, double cream, sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Beat until you reach a thick consistency, for about 5-6 minutes. Boil water. In a separate, small bowl place gelatine and add a tiny bit of boiling water to it, just that it covers the gelatine. Stir energetically until it dissolves completely. Add a heaped spoon of the cream to the gelatine and quickly stir. This will lower the temperature so that when adding it to the cream, the cream will not break. Add the gelatine and cream mixture to the rest of the cream and stir. Refridgerate.
  4. Fill the cake with cream. Take any plate and place a springform pan's ring on it. Place one layer of cake inside of it. Roll out marzipan and cut out 3 large circles using the other ring of the pan. Place one marzipan circle on the prepared cake, spread with 2-3 tbsp of cranberry jelly and cover with part of the cream. Place another layer of cake on the cream, cover with marzipan, spread with cranberry jelly and cover with cream. Repeat one more time. Finish with placing the last layer of cake on top. Refridgerate for 12h. You can also freeze it.
  5. Decorate the cake. Take the cake out from the pan. Decorate with the rest of the cream. It doesn't have to be even, artistic mess is very popular at the moment! Crush candy canes and place them on the cake. Add green sprinkles. Eat within 3 day.

* If you do not have 19cm diameter forms, bake the cake in bigger pans. Pour 2/3 of the batter into one pan, and the rest into second one. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Karolina & Bakesaurus

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