Special thank you to Amore di Mona for sponsoring this post.
I am very much getting into the Christmas mood in here with these Chocolate Cranberry Christmas Mini Cakes. I wanted to create simple cakes that aren’t complicated to make and that would look great on a festive table. I’ve picked very Christmassy colours and flavours and filled these little sponge cakes with cranberry chia jam, topped them with luscious Amore di Mona chocolate and fresh cranberries.
I would also love to wish Happy Thanksgiving to all of my lovely readers who are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. Hope you have the most amazing day filled with Love and Joy. Although I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving I would love to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being here, reading my posts and making my recipes. Thank you for being different, recognizing that Life is precious and for being the change that we so want to see in the World.
To bake the mini cakes I’ve used quinoa and brown rice flour gluten-free mix and this time I’ve used aquafaba instead of the flax eggs, which worked really well. I’ve used the cake mix to bake 9″ square cake from which I’ve then cut out 2″ round shapes. If you plan well you should be able to cut out 12. If you like to make them smaller petit fours size you could use 1 1/2″ round shape and cut each into a half. I wanted them a bit taller and so I’ve opted out for 2″ size.
I’ve sandwiched two together with cranberry chia jam which is quick to make and you can prepare it the night before. Originally I’ve topped the cakes with melted dark chocolate, but have decided that they need something little lighter and have changed it to the ganache. Would be lovely served with vegan cream or ice cream.
I have two more versions of Christmas Mini Cakes on the blog that you might love to try, my latest version Chocolate Gingerbread Mini Cakes and a grain-free Gingerbread Christmas Mini Cakes with chestnut flour and walnuts.
Hope you love them!
Chocolate Cranberry Christmas Mini Cakes (vegan, gluten-free, nut-free)
Chocolate Cranberry Christmas Mini Cakes Recipe. Vegan, gluten-free and nut-free wholesome chocolate mini cakes filled with quick cranberry chia jam.
- 110g brown rice flour (3/4 cup)
- 60g quinoa flour (1/2 cup)
- 30g arrowroot (1/4 cup)
- 30g cacao powder (1/4 cup)
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2tsp baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 80ml maple syrup (1/3 cup)
- 80ml olive oil (1/3 cup)
- 60ml aquafaba (1/4 cup)
- 2tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1tsp vanilla
- 120ml rice milk (1/2 cup)
Cranberry chia jam:
- 100g cranberries (1 cup)
- 60ml orange juice (1/4 cup)
- little orange zest
- 1tbsp maple syrup
- small cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1tbsp chia seeds
- 100g dark vegan chocolate (3.5oz)
- 60ml rice milk
- 1tbsp maple syrup
- fresh or dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350F)
- Line 9" x 9" baking tin with baking paper.
- In a large bowl whisk together brown rice flour, quinoa flour, arrowroot, cacao, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, aquafaba, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and rice milk.
- Add the wet mix to the dry mix and mix until well combined. The mix should be pourable, but not too thin consistency.
- Pour the mix into the prepared dish and smooth out the top.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven once ready and leave to cool down before carefully removing from the tin.
- Place onto a flat surface and using 2" round cutter carefully cut out shapes. You should end up with 11-12 shapes.
- Sandwich 2 together with a generous dollop of cranberry jam.
- Finely chop the chocolate and place into small bowl. Gently heat the rice milk until boiling point, pour over finely chopped chocolate and stir until completely smooth. Stir in maple syrup and pour over top of each of the cakes gently smoothing out the chocolate to drip over the edge.
- Decorate with fresh cranberries.
- To make the cranberry jam place cranberries, orange juice, maple syrup and cinnamon stick into a pot and gently heat for about 10 min until cranberries have popped and are soft. Remove the cinnamon stick and mash the cranberries with a fork until smooth. Stir in chia seeds and leave to cool down for a bit before transferring into fridge to set.
I've made another version of these cakes which are more moist with cranberry puree. Use 120ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup, 80ml (1/3 cup) rice milk and add 120ml (1/2 cup) cranberry puree (make exactly the same amount as in the chia jam and blend until smooth, omit the chia seeds)
Please note that I've used the holly leaf purely for the photos as these are not edible. If you like something green, a little sprig of rosemary would also look lovely.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 539Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 6gSugar: 38gProtein: 7g
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Ah! These are so pretty! You just put me in the holiday baking mood!!!
Thank you so much lovely! I’ve just put myself there too! x
Sasha | Eat Love Eat says
Ooh Hana these are so beautiful! I love the Christmas colours and can’t wait to do some Christmas baking of my own! Xx
Thank you so much Sasha! I’m so happy you feel inspired! xx
Oh my goodness! These are absolutely gorgeous! AND I will most certainly make them. Thank you.
Thank you so much Julia for this lovely comment! Hope you like them:)
Michelle @ The Last Food Blog says
These are so cute Hana! And so festive! Can’t wait to start some Christmas baking now x
Thank you so much Michelle! Already looking forward to all of your Christmas recipes:) x
This is so so so great Hana!!! They couldn’t look more festive and yummy! Love the idea of decorating them with some holly leaf too! X
Thank you so much Anna for such a lovely comment! xx
Teresa Franke says
Once again I’m thanking my lucky stars that we are neighbours, dear H! These little festive cakes really are as gorgeous as they look and the cranberry chia jam is amazing! YUM. Looking forward to trying this recipe myself soon! xxx
Thank you lovely Teresa! I really loved the cranberry chia jam too, so perfect for this time of a year:) xxx
Aimee | Wallflower Kitchen says
These are the cutest, prettiest Christmas cakes! Love the photos.
Thank you so much Aimee! Just having fun over here:) xx
Alia @ Everyday Easy Eats says
Hi Hana, your mini cakes are gorgeous! They would be perfect for a Christmas party because so many people following special diets would be able to have them, since they are vegan, gluten-free and nut-free! :)
Thank you so much Alia! Yes, they would:) I find it quite difficult eating out, so little places cater for special diets, but hopefully that will soon change.
Sara's Sweet Surprise says
Hello~what a lovely holiday confection!
I have a question…I’ve always been advised to never use Holly as a garnish because it’s considered toxic. Am I to assume you used a faux Holly in the photos?
Hi Sara, yes, holly is considered toxic and I’ve used the leaf purely for the photos. If you were to serve it at the party I would only use the cranberries for topping and maybe little sprig of rosemary if you’d like something green. Thank you for pointing this out, I will leave a note below the recipe.
Lynn | The Road to Honey says
Oh my goodness Hana!!! These cakes are the cutest and I can’t help but get into the holiday spirit (something I have been struggling with this year) simply by looking at them. I love your use of the different flours (I’m always experimenting with flours) and definitely want to try baking with aquafaba in the future.
Thank you so much Lynn for this lovely comment! We are so fortunate to have all of these amazing flours available these days, makes baking so much more fun too. Although I can’t say that it’s easy; vegan & gluten-free baking is always a little tricky:) I’m getting there slowly!
Looks lovely and yummy. The best part it is vegan/gluten free/ nut free.
I want to know if I could substitute some other gluten free flour for the quinoa flour? Does this flour help with ‘sticking together’ or ‘rising’? Or is it making the dessert healthier?
Thanking ahead of time for answering my questions.
Hi Sheri, yes, you can substitute the quinoa flour with different gluten-free flour like amaranth, buckwheat, teff, millet or sorghum flour. Ground sunflower seeds could work too. I tend to use a mix of three different flours to create the gluten-free mix as it helps the binding and making stronger structure. Thank you for your lovely comment :)
Could I use one and a half cups of store bought gluten free flour ? Or even use a normal all purpose flour in same quantities ? Love that this is vegan.
Hi Rosemary, yes, you can. You could use either, but you might need to adjust the wet ingredients slightly. Start with 1/4 cup of milk to see how the batter looks and then add more as needed. Hope it goes well :)
Hi, does almond flour work as well? Or if I use regular flour if I don’t need them to be gluten free, do I use the same amount?
Also, do you use fresh cranberries or dried?
This desert looks amazing and so delicious! Can’t wait to bake!
Hi Jessica, if you don’t need them to be gluten-free you can use regular flour, but you might have to reduce the milk as the gluten-free flours absorb more moisture. A mix of ground almonds and regular flour would work really well too. I use fresh cranberries in this recipe. Hope it goes well :)
OMG how astonishingly beautiful; well maybe not ALL your cakes are astonishingly beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.
Thank you so much Laurel! You’re so welcome :)
These are so cute!!
To spare going out for more ingredients, would I be able to exchange the aquafaba for the flax eggs in addition to using a store bought GF flour mix? Or do you think I should keep the substitutions to a minimum for quality control?
Hi JJ, thank you! You can substitute the ingredients, store-bought gluten-free mix should work well in here and the flax eggs too. Just adjust the milk as needed. Hope it goes well :)
Hi, these are lovely. I’m wondering, did you used fresh or dry cranberries for the jam?
Thank you Abigail. I use either fresh or frozen cranberries for the jam. Not sure if it would work with dried ones.
Awesome! I was actually looking for a way to use a bag of fresh cranberries I had bought so now I know. Thanks!
Kinga Rozanski says
These look amazing. I just have a question re the aquafaba…do I only need 1/4 cup of the liquid from the chickpeas or do I have to whip it then measure the desired amount?
Hi Kinga, I’ve used the liquid in the recipe, no need to whip it. Unless you’d like to do so then still use only 1/4 cup of liquid and whip it. I do find that the cakes do get more fluffy if you whip the aquafaba.
Lauren Kellnhauser says
Hi! These are stunning! I was feeling uninspired and now I am excited to try these. If I don’t need them vegan, how many regular eggs? Or, do you have another GF chocolate cake recipe of yours that would work equally?
Thank you so much Lauren, I’m so happy that you feel inspired making these. I think 2 eggs should be perfect and adjust the milk as needed. Except few recipes from few years back all of my recipes are vegan but you can replace any with regular eggs if you prefer. Hope you enjoy making these :)
Katja Ropoša says
Hi! I need answer ASAP – I7m doing this today!!! :) So, can I use tapioca flour instead of arrowroot? If so, how much? Thanks. Katja
Hi Katja, yes, use the same amount.
Sally J Fritter says
Hello do the cakes freeze ok? For assembly later
Hi Sally, yes, you can freeze the baked sponge and assemble later.
I’m a bit confused – in regard to last note that thete is guidance measurements to make the cakes more moist – at the end it days to make the same amount as the jam except for the chia but the recipe is quite different to amounts shown in jam?? Can u please clarify as this looks amazing n can’t wait to make the more moist version thanks..
I was just wondering how many serves this makes ?
Love these Chocolate Cranberry Mini Cakes, seems super delicious. Super excited to try these.
Can’t wait to try these Chocolate Cranberry Mini Cakes. Seems amazing , thanks for sharing with us, will love to try this one.
Hello! I’m really excited to try this!
I’ll be attempting to make these for Christmas this year, I was wondering what ingredient is Arrowroot? Is it like the Cassava/Tapioca or is it the Brand Arrowroot Biscuits?