This chocolate cake’s smooth texture and buttery-rich frosting is complemented by white chocolate and cranberry shards. Bake it in the Le Creuset Heart-Shaped Cast Iron Casserole, available at

Similar to Red Velvet Chocolate cake: White chocolate cheesecake with honey-baked figs

(Serves 8–10)



250g cake flour

6ml bicarbonate of soda

40g cocoa powder

240ml canola oil

300g castor sugar

2 large eggs

30ml red food colouring

7ml vanilla essence

100ml strong coffee, cooled

240ml buttermilk

2,5ml white wine vinegar


250g cream cheese

125g soft butter

500g icing sugar, sifted

5ml vanilla essence


100g white chocolate

50g dried cranberries


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

2. Grease a Le Creuset Heart-Shaped Casserole.

3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl.

4. Beat the oil and sugar together until light.

5. Add the eggs, food colouring and vanilla essence and beat well.

6. Beat the coffee and buttermilk together in a separate mixing bowl.

7. Add half the sifted dry ingredients and half the coffee mixture to the egg mixture and mix.

8. Add the vinegar to the remaining coffee mixture and add this with the rest of dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Mix well.

9. Pour the cake mixture into the greased casserole in and bake for 15 minutes at 180°C. Reduce to 160°C and bake for another hour. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

10. To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until completely smooth. Add half the icing sugar and mix well. Add the rest of icing sugar and vanilla and mix again. Refrigerate until needed.

11. To make the white chocolate and cranberry shards, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a casserole of simmering water. Stir until melted. Spread on a lined baking tray and sprinkle cranberries on top. Once hard, break into pieces.

12. Once cooled, cut the cake in half. Spread half the frosting in the middle and the rest on top. Alternatively, dust with icing sugar and decorate with the chocolate shards.

*COOK’S NOTE As an alternative, use 2 x 20cm TNS springform cake tins to bake the cake. The baking time will be approximately 45 – 50 minutes.