A moist faux-chocolate cake made with carob (which is tastier than you might imagine) will satisfy even the most devoted chocolate lovers.
- Yield: 12 Servings
- Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
- Cooking Time: 52 Minutes
For the Cranberry Jam
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, sliced in half
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons water
For the Cake
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup carob powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
For the Buttercream
- 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup cranberry jam
- 3–4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3–4 tablespoons heavy cream or full-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
How to Make It
To make the Jam
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the cranberries, sugar, and water, and bring to a gentle boil. After about 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook cranberry mixture until it has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool while you make the rest of the cake. To make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, carob, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine.
- In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract to combine.
- Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Whisk slowly until the batter is thoroughly combined. Pour in the hot coffee and whisk very slowly until batter is thoroughly incorporated (batter will be thin).
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly free of crumbs.
- Let cake cool in the cake pans for 5 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the cake to remove from cake pan. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting. To make the ButterCream
- In the bowl stand mixer set to medium speed or using a hand mixer, cream the butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the cranberry jam and mix to incorporate. The mixture may look curdled at this point, but it will come together when you add the confectioners’ sugar.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time on low speed to combine. Pour in the heavy cream or milk, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Mix on low speed until the buttercream is the desired consistency. To Decorate the Cake
- Using a serrated knife, level off the tops of the cake layers. Spread ⅓ cup of the buttercream on the top layer with an offset spatula or butter knife. Spread the buttercream evenly and just to the edge of the cake.
- Place the second layer on top of the first, and repeat step 1.
- Spread the remaining buttercream on the sides of the cake, then chill for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.