Cranberry Chestnut Cake

Cakes, Desserts, Holiday, Winter

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

I am currently prepping so hard to chill TF out for the break. I’m gonna be honest, this fall put in borderline burn out mode so I’m hoping that a bit of rest and chillaxation will give me some much needed energy.

This is also my favorite time to take a break because EVERYONE is taking a break. Usually if I go on a vacation in the month of May or April, I still end up working because I’m addicted to checking my email BUT NOT NEXT WEEK!

I’m also spending a bit of time doing some last bits of work, cleaning and organizing my apartment before we all head up to The Bay for the holidays.

We’ve also been binge-watching The OA and I am not mad at it. It’s SO good and weird and addictive and weird.

CranberryChestnutCake copy

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

If you have a bunch of time over the next week, definitely watch it. It’s also family-friendly (no weird sex scenes) so you will be a-ok to watch it with your father-in-law/grandfather, etc.

This cranberry chestnut cake is a lil’ thing I made last week when I had some cranberries in the fridge and remembered this beautiful cranberry frosting I saw on Food52 a month ago or so.

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

I also found chestnuts at Trader Joe’s all prepped and ready to go and was looking for something to put it in so I whipped up a paste (similar to this pistachio butter). It incorporated into the cake wonderfully and tasted so so Christmas-like. So v festive. Of course, if you were feeling a bit lazy, you could simply leave out the paste and it would still be super delicious and amazing.

I hope you take some time to relax this holiday break. Go for a hike, hang out with family and eat all the carbs because I most likely will be talking about Whole30 in the month of January. Have you tried it?!? I’m excited to eat healthy for a month.

Also, if I blog about it would it make your eye balls roll back into your heads?

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Serving Size: 1 (eight-inch) cake


Chestnut Paste:

  • 1 1/4 cup chopped chestnuts
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Cranberry Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cranberry puree

Chestnut Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup homemade chestnut paste, see notes below

For garnish:

  • 2 to 3 cranberries, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar


To make the chestnut paste:

  • To a high-powered blender or food processor, add the chestnuts. Pulse until it mostly resembles a paste. Transfer to a small bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Cook over high heat until it reaches 220 degrees and is bubbling. Pour over the chestnut mixture and mix immediately. Transfer to the blender or food processor and pulse. While the machine is running, pour in the oil. Blend until it resembles a soft peanut butter, about 2 minutes. At this point it should be very soft. Measure out 1/2 cup and store the rest in the fridge. Set aside.

To make the frosting:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a small baking dish, toss together the cranberries, sugar and salt. Roast for 15 minutes, or until the cranberries are shriveled. Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries, its juices and 1/4 cup of water to a blender and pulse until completely pureed. Pour through a strainer, into a small bowl. You should end up with about 3 to 4 tablespoons of puree. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar and beat until just combined. Mix in the cranberry puree and mix once more. Transfer to the fridge to chill for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8x3-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with a round of parchment. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer add the butter and sugar; cream together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Crack in one egg at a time, adding the next egg only when the one before it has combined. Next, add in the vanilla extract and the reserved chestnut paste. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the buttermilk and flour mixture in a few batches, alternating between the two.
  • Divide the cake batter amongst pans, smoothing out the top with a spatula (the batter will be a little thick so it’ll need some help smoothing out). Transfer to the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pan for 10 minutes before running a knife along the side of the cakes and inverting them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To assemble: place the first layer of cake on a cake board or a cake stand. Add about 1/4 cup of frosting the top of the cake layer and smooth it out, pushing it out to the sides. Add the second layer on top and then add a second 1/4 cup to the top of that. (These measurements can be eyeballed.) Smooth out the top and add a nice thin layer all the way around the sides of the cake. Transfer to the freezer to chill for about 5 to 7 minutes. This is the crumb coat. Add a second even layer on the outside. I used a small star-tip to create an over under, over under effect. I topped it with sliced cranberries and rosemary that were dusted with powdered sugar. Slice and serve!


*You could easily use almond paste for this or store-bought pistachio paste. You could also simply skip the paste all together and you’d still end up with a delicious-tasting cake.
*This frosting makes A LOT. I made a double batch because I wanted to get super decorative with the outside. If you’re not doing anything crazy with the frosting, you’d be find with halving it.
Serving: 6g
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

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Recipe Rating

  • Reply Sarah December 10, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    This is cooling on my counter right now for my daughters birthday tomorrow. Just have to put the frosting on…baked up beautifully!

  • Reply Neils January 13, 2017 at 1:51 am

    This looks absolutely amazing! I will definitely give these a try next time I’m having friends over for dinner :-).


  • Reply Lori December 23, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    This cake is so beautiful. I love the decor on top! And, my eyeballs would not roll back in my head if you blog about Whole30 🙂

  • Reply Laura (A Beautiful Plate) December 21, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I can’t stand how pretty these pictures are. I just love them so much! And this cake looks so fantastic. Hope you have an amazing relaxing break!

  • Reply Fernando @ Eating With Your Hands December 20, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Loving the colors here!

  • Reply Crystal December 20, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    The OA is weird but interesting so far and I am curious to see where it goes. However, there is an explicit sex scene near the beginning of the first episode that I would feel awkward viewing with relatives. I’m not sure what you mean by family-friendly, but there’s a lot of cursing and adult themes as well.

  • Reply Rebecca December 20, 2016 at 11:52 am

    How beautiful! We are also watching the OA. Very strange (I am liking it) and I’m not sure I would watch it with family. There’s a scene in the first episode that would make for some awkward family moments.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme December 21, 2016 at 9:48 am

      That’s true that’s true. And the scene in Cuba. I forgot about both!

  • Reply Kari December 20, 2016 at 11:31 am

    That basketweave icing look so beautiful!

  • Reply Denisse | Le Petit Eats December 20, 2016 at 10:09 am

    It would be kinda weird not to see the insane cookies and cakes and even savory treats that I usually drool over on here, but I’m also excited to see what types of heathy recipes you would come up with because I’m sure they’ll be totally drool-worthy too!

  • Reply Alicia December 20, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Yes, please blog about Whole30! I’m planning to do it in January and could use the ideas. 🙂

  • Reply Michelle December 20, 2016 at 6:38 am

    I like when other people go on Whole30 for me and blog about it. It saves me the trouble of going on it too. Ha! Living vicariously.

    I swooned over the same cranberry frosting. You’ve done it more than justice. I can always count on you for stepping outside the box — chestnuts, rye flours, etc. You’re my hero!

    Enjoy your time off. You’ve earned it!

  • Reply Iris December 20, 2016 at 3:08 am

    This is perfect! I have some leftover cranberries and someone gave me roasted chestnuts, which I’m not very fond of in it’s pure state. I’m sure this paste will make them palatable

  • Reply heather (delicious not gorgeous) December 20, 2016 at 12:11 am

    this color! the flavor combo! (i feel like fresh cranberries get unfairly shoved aside except during thanksgiving, and chestnuts have a really comforting starchiness that is perfect for fall/winter). and i’m all for family friendly shows; in my awkward preteen days, i had the joy of watching “easy a” and that episode of “glee” when they sing “push it” with parentals. wheee.