Chocolate Cranberry “Fruit Cake”


Hello all– We all know that people have definite opinions about fruit cake.  My dad loved it.  But the rest of us were not so sure.

So this cake is my compromise.  It sort of looks fruit cake-esque.  Little bits of dried cranberries and chocolate bits (I know, not a fruit!).  And then, cream cheese frosting which nothing like a fruit cake.  oh well.

And we ate it after Christmas Eve lunch with the grandparents– such a sweet time with them. There’s just one slice  left on the kitchen counter.  I’m pretty sure it will be someone’s midnight snack.


1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup water
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped to bits*
1 cup mini chocolate chips**

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (3 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. vanila
2 to 3 tab. milk

1 cup cranberries
3 to 4  tab. sugar


Mix up the cake according to the directions on the package. Mine called for 3 eggs, 1/2 cup canola oil and 1 cup water. Gently fold in the chopped cranberries and mini chocolate chips.  And scoop the batter into two 8″ or 9″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake the cake layers 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until they ae lightly browned and are firm to the touch. Let the cake layers cool.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add 2 tablespoons of milk and if it seems a bit stiff still, add the 3rd tablespoon of milk.  Frost the cake layers.

Put the cranberries and sugar into a small zip loc bag and shake until the berries are coated with sugar.  Arrange them on the frosted cake with a bit of greenery ( I used bits of pine from the the back of the Christmas tree!)  Enjoy!

*I like to mince the dried cranberries so they just give a touch of sweetness, but don’t seem gummy.
** Use mini chocolate chips– they won’t sink to the bottom of the cake like the standard chips do.



Sweet Jobay & Jodi– ending up our Christmas Eve lunch and ready to open gifts with the Great Grandparents.



29 thoughts on “Chocolate Cranberry “Fruit Cake”

  1. OMG this looks delicious! I bet it was so good Rhonda. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas celebration. ❤ So glad to know you and am very grateful for our connection and for your blog. Blessings and much love – Debbie

    • Hi Marcia! Yep, I think those berries are so pretty– but they don’t taste that good–really just for pretty, not for eating! Just read your two snow posts Marcia– beautifully done! So historic and just fun! Hope you had the best Christmas time– our last kids just left today… hugs!

  2. Hi Rhonda – now here is a fruitcake I can get behind. I love the sugared cranberries on top – so festive. Is this really the last cake of 2016?? I am so glad you had a wonderful holiday. Ours was nice, just the four of us with my hubs smoking a brisket and me making the sides. Happy New Years to you, all the best for 2017. XO – Kat

    • Hey Kat– ha ha ha– yep, last cake! I am on a cake fast, at least for now. And– smoked brisket!! I’m a little jealous– sounds super. And what sides did you make to go with it?? Sounds like a dear time with your family. hugs hugs!

  3. Pingback: Merry Christmas! | The Thankful Heart

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