Chocolate Cranberry Tube Cake

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins

One batter -- plus or minus fruit and spice -- yields two palate pleasers. Swapping pans and a couple of ingredients results in a whimsical tube cake or fancy loaf cakes -- pick your pleasure.


For the cake

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 6 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 12 ounces (1 bag) fresh (or thawed if frozen) cranberries

  • Cinnamon Sugar Cookies, for decoration (optional)

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • ¾ cup heavy cream

  • 8 ounces chpopped semisweet chocolate


Make the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter and flour a 12-cup tube pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside.

  2. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally just until melted, 4 to 5 minutes; remove from heat.

  3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla.

  4. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture in three parts and sour cream in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until incorporated (do not overmix). Add to melted chocolate; fold to combine. Fold in cranberries.

  5. Transfer batter to prepared pan; tap pan on countertop to level batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes (if top browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil). Cool cake in pan 30 minutes, then turn out of pan, and cool completely on a rack.

  6. Set cake (still on rack) over a baking sheet or waxed paper. Pour chocolate glaze over top, allowing it to drip down sides; let set about 30 minutes. If desired, arrange Cinnamon Sugar Cookies around cake, pressing in gently.

Make the Chocolate Glaze

  1. In a medium saucepan bring cream to a boil; Add chocolate. Remove from heat; whisk until smooth (as little as possible, to minimize air bubbles). Pour through a fine-mesh sieve. Let cool until slightly thickened.


Chocolate Ginger Marble Cakes: In step 1 of the cake recipe, use two 6-cup loaf pans instead of tube pan; add 1 tablespoon ground ginger to flour mixture. In step 2, decrease chocolate to 4 ounces. In step 4, fold only 1/2 of batter into melted chocolate; omit cranberries. In step 5, alternately spoon the two batters into prepared pans; swirl. Bake 60 to 65 minutes. Follow steps 5 and 6 to cool and glaze. Garnish with strips of candied ginger, if desired.

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