Skip to content

Ignored container holds secret to special treats

This week's recipes include Cranberry Chocolate Cake and Cranberry Sauce Muffins.
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

The container shoved to the back of the fridge contains a tangy ingredient for a batch of muffins or a cake, desserts that will come with a bit of a kick.

That container holds the remains of homemade whole berry cranberry sauce, made from scratch, but often not a favourite of all family members.

Instead of ignoring the container, use the contents in a cake or muffins and don’t waste any of the wholesome goodness of cranberry sauce.

• • •

Cranberry Chocolate Cake

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 cup whole berry homemade cranberry sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 inch round cake pan with foil, coat foil with cooking spray then dust with flour. Tap pan to remove excess flour.

Using a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips, butter and unsweetened chocolate on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth. Heat another 30 seconds if necessary to melt chocolate.

Add cranberry sauce and sugar and mix well. Add beaten eggs and vanilla and mix. add dry ingredients and mix well again.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 30 minutes. Refrigerate one hour or until cold.

Turn cake onto a serving platter. Glaze with a tangy glaze that is allowed to drip down the sides. Chill until glaze is firm. Alternately, ice with a favourite butter icing. Cake cuts into 10 pieces.

• • •

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

1 cup plus 2 tbsps. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
6 tbsps. granulated sugar
2 tbsps. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. grated orange zest, optional
1 large egg
1/4 cup full fat commercial sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
3/4 cup homemade cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 6 large or 12 medium muffin cups with paper liners.

In a small bowl whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, cream butter, sugar and zest for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. If using an electric beater be sure to clean mixture from sides of bowl.

Add eggs, sour cream and extract to butter mixture and beat until combined.

Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Gently fold in cranberry sauce.

Divide batter evenly into muffin liners and bake 20-22 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Medium-sized muffins will take a bit less time. Do not over bake.

Cool on racks in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on racks. May be eaten warm with a cranberry or orange butter. Muffins freeze well.
•••• Note: tinned whole cranberry sauce will work but do not use the jelly variety.

Joyce Walter can be reached at