Frosted cranberry chestnut cake

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Frosted cranberry chestnut cake with sugared cranberries

Cranberry chestnut loaf cake with sugared cranberriesEvery time I step foot outside, I cringe. I scrunch my face and squeeze my shoulders up to my ears, like I’m bracing for impact. I’m actually bracing for winter and cold weather, but somehow my body reacts as though a train is headed straight for me and about to run me over. The thought of a winter like the last one honestly scares me. Ok, perhaps I’m not as scared as I would be if I were about to be hit by a train, but still… I made this cranberry chestnut cake to distract myself from pending winter. I’m choosing to focus on the upcoming festivities, not the sub-zero temps. I suppose it’s my attempt at “glass half full”.

Baker's Secret baking setI remember when I was younger, I wouldn’t feel the need to bundle up much at all. I’d plough through winter, hardly wearing a hat to cover my ears. I’d wear sneakers to school, even in winter when I was in university, but I could’ve worn just about anything on my feet and I would have survived, comfortably. Every time I look down at my “sensible” footwear that is insulated and guaranteed to keep my feet warm until –40ºC, I think back to that time. Of course, I am very thankful for my boots that help me survive the winter with my 10 toes intact. Still, I wonder how I ever survived winter wearing just sneakers. How did I manage? Today, I am bundled like I’m heading out on an expedition in Antarctica. This is just the way it has to be now. I guess youth makes you feel invincible.

Cranberry chestnut loaf cake

The only mature thing to do when one is dreading winter is to bake a festive cake. Something sweet and flavourful, and baked with ingredients that are very à propos for the season. Winter is coming. There is no doubt about it. But I am armed with sensible boots and festive cake, and I will plough through the season bravely with my face scrunched tightly and my shoulders raised up to my ears, dressed like I’m headed out into the cold of Antarctica.


Frosted cranberry chestnut loaf cake with sugared cranberriesI baked this cranberry chestnut cake to get me into the holiday spirit and to ease my way into the holiday baking. I think this is the perfect cake as we slowly transition from fall to winter. I used the medium loaf pan that is part of the 5-piece baking set from Baker’s Secret pictured above (available through World Kitchen, but you can also pick up a set from Amazon). The neat thing about this baking set is that all the pieces fit into each other, so the set takes up virtually no space, which is awesome because who has cupboard space to spare these days? I certainly don’t. Because Baker’s Secret pans have a dark, non-stick finish, I recommend lower your oven temperature by 25ºF to compensate. Remember, dark pans absorb more heat than light pans! I wrote about this for Food Bloggers of Canada, in case you need a refresher. So, I baked this loaf at 325ºF instead of the typical 350ºF.

Chestnut flour gives this loaf cake a deep, nutty flavour, that reminds me of a dark molasses cake. This type of flour, being so fine and gluten-free, also gives this cake a much finer crumb and a more delicate texture than a cake made with 100% all-purpose flour. Now that you have a bag of chestnut flour, bake these gluten-free cranberry chestnut financiers.

So, I have to ask: are you ready for winter? Is there anything special you are doing to get ready? Are you baking up a storm like I am?

Frosted cranberry chestnut cake with sugared cranberries recipe


Cranberry chestnut loaf cake
4 from 1 vote

Frosted cranberry chestnut cake

Chestnut flour adds a sweet nutty flavour to this loaf cake. It's the perfect balance for tart cranberries and rum frosting. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 320 kcal
Author Janice


Cranberry chestnut cake

  • 1 1/2 tbsp spiced rum
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries ~50 grams
  • 83 grams all-purpose flour 2/3 cup
  • 94 grams chestnut flour 3/4 cup
  • 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 115 grams unsalted butter 1/2 cup, room temperature
  • 133 grams granulated sugar 2/3 cup
  • 2/3 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 83 mL whole milk 1/3 cup

Rum frosting

  • 115 grams unsalted butter 1/2 cup, room temperature
  • 183 grams icing sugar ~1 1/2 cups
  • 1 1/2 tbsp spiced rum
  • Sugared cranberries optional


For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour a medium loaf pan (8x4" Baker's Secret on Amazon). Line the bottom with parchment.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the dried cranberries with the rum. Microwave to heat them for a minute or so, then let stand.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  5. Add the vanilla, and strain off the rum from the cranberries into the mixer bowl.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping as needed and beating well until each egg is absorbed.
  7. Take a scoopful of the dry ingredients and add to the bowl with the cranberries to coat them in flour. Then add one third of the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl. Mix on low to combine, then add half the milk. Scrape down the bowl and mix to combine.
  8. Add half of the rest of the flour, continue mixing, then the last of the milk, and then finally the last bit of flour. Toss in the cranberries and mix to combine.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake the loaf cake on the middle rack until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. It takes 60–70 minutes.
  10. Let the loaf cake cool completely.

For the frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the icing sugar, then add the rum and mix thoroughly until the frosting is creamy and light.
  2. Smear the frosting over the top of the cake. Top with sugared cranberries (to make them, you can follow this method from Love and Olive Oil)


Baker’s Secret sent me their 5-piece baking kit and offered me financial compensation to develop a recipe using their products. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new recipes for Kitchen Heals Soul. As always, please know that I wouldn’t work with a sponsor or product if it wasn’t worth it. I think the 5-piece baking kit is awesome and would make a great gift for somebody who is moving out on their own for the first time or even for somebody who’s just starting to bake. Just sayin’.

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6 Responses to Frosted cranberry chestnut cake

  1. Melissa November 28, 2015 at 1:15 am #

    I am getting ready for winter by getting on a plane and going to Toronto in December. Because I’m kind of insane. Actually, I really just want to get my hands on the holiday issue of the LCBO’s magazine and get my fill of sparkly lights, which really don’t get going here on the west coast. Maybe you should come to TO too!

  2. Hilary December 4, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    I have never baked with chestnut flour before, but this looks decadent! And I’m with Melissa- I’m a huge winter fan 🙂

  3. Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls December 4, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    This looks amazing, Janice! I’ve never heard of chestnut flour, but I imagine it tastes divine. Personally, I don’t see any problem with wearing sneakers during winter. But that comes from an island girl who hasn’t experienced -40 weather! 😉

  4. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy December 4, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

    What a wonderful little festive cake…so full of all the holiday flavours. This would be perfect as a brunch menu item….yummy!!

  5. Lillian December 5, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

    I have yet to bake with chestnut flour; is it more dense like almond flour? mm..and always love frosted cranberries! They are just so pretty! similar to winter jewels but the edible version.


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