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Dessert Recipes

Indulgent Cranberry Red Velvet Cake Recipe Is So Easy Yet So Impressive

Dive into decadence with a homemade cream cheese frosting and cranberry compote.

We could all use a little indulgence now and then. And what better way to do so than by making this cranberry red velvet cake recipe? This treat is a classic dessert known for its striking crimson color and rich, velvety texture. But you may be surprised to learn that most of its flavor comes from chocolate. And while red velvet cake takes great on its own, this upgrade will be your new favorite dessert, as well as everyone you serve it to. That’s because we made a creamy cream cheese frosting (whipped with white chocolate!) for every layer and a fruity cranberry compote to amp up the flavor. Love cranberries? Try this recipe for Dark Chocolate and Cranberry Amaranth Bars.

Do you like red velvet desserts? Tell us in the comments! And for more like this cranberry red velvet cake recipe, check out our Red Velvet Mug Cakes.


16 serving

Total Time

Prep Time

Cook Time


  • 1 (15.25 oz.) pkg. red velvet cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 1 stick butter (8 Tbs.), at room temp.
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 (4 oz.) bars white chocolate, melted
  • Rosemary sprigs


Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 3 (9") round cake pans with cooking spray. Prepare cake mix according to package directions with eggs, oil and 1 cup water. Divide batter among pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 30 min. Let cool in pans 10 min. Transfer from pans to rack. Let cool completely.

In pot, mix half of cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar, orange zest and juice; over medium-high heat, cook, stirring, until berries begin to break down, about 10 min. Let cool. In separate pot, combine 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water; over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in remaining cranberries. Remove cranberries from syrup; let dry 30 min. Roll in remaining sugar.

On medium speed, whip cream cheese, butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Mix in white chocolate until blended. Transfer 1 cake to serving plate; spread 1 cup frosting on top. Top with half of cranberry compote. Repeat. Top with remaining cake. Spread top of cake with remaining frosting. Garnish with sugared berries and rosemary.


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