Cranberry Gingerbread Cake is a dense, flavorful cake that is perfect for the holidays. It is a great cake for winter baking that is made with dark unsulphured molasses and brown sugar. It is spiced with the warm spices ginger, cloves and cinnamon that give it classic holiday flavors. Chopped cranberries bring some color and a fresh tartness to the cake.
A simple cream cheese frosting that has a touch of maple syrup tops the cranberry gingerbread cake. If you are not serving the cake at ounce it should be refrigerated due to the cream cheese. Or you could store the cake at room temperature and frost it when you are ready to serve it.
The cake is topped simply with some sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs to add some holiday colors for this time of year. Instructions on making the sugared cranberries can be found in the note section of Holiday Cape Codder.
If you are a fan of gingerbread and want to try some other gingerbread recipes check out Gingerbread Cookies, Gingerbread Pancakes and Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle. They are all good recipes to make for the holiday season.
SOME THINGS TO KNOW:FAQ’S
- Using unsulphered molasses is ideal in this recipe. Avoid blackstrap molasses if possible, as it can be too bitter. Read about The Most Common Types of Molasses.
- For a deeper, more caramel-like flavor, use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED:
- Cake Pan: A 9″ x 5″ loaf pan is ideal for this recipe.
- Mixing Bowls: You will need two mixing bowls for this recipe. A large mixing bowl is need for the dry ingredients and to mix the batter. A medium bowl is needed for the wet ingredients.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measuring is key in baking, so a set of measuring cups and spoons for both dry and liquid ingredients is essential.
- Electric Mixer or Whisk: An electric mixer is helpful for creaming together the ingredients for the frosting and can also be used for mixing the cake batter. If you don’t have one, a good whisk can also do the job.
- Spatula: A spatula is used for folding in the cranberries into the batter and for spreading the frosting on the cake and scraping the cake batter off the sides of the bowl.
- Toothpick or Cake Tester: To check the doneness of the cake. The cake is done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cooling Rack:This is important for cooling the cake down after baking. Cooling on a wire rack prevents the bottom of the cake from becoming soggy.
- The ground ginger can be replaced with fresh ginger. Use 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger in place of ground ginger for a more intense flavor.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. It can be a good substitute for both cinnamon and cloves, giving a similar warm spice profile.
- Baking powder & baking soda are crucial for the cake’s texture and rise, so direct substitutes are not recommended.
- If you do not have iodized salt, kosher salt can be used. Because its crystals are larger, use a bit more than the recipe calls for.
- For a richer taste, use melted butter in place of the canola oil. You could also use vegetable oil.
- If fresh cranberries are not available, you can use dried cranberries that have been rehydrated in warm water.
- For the frosting, if cream cheese is not available, Neufchatel cheese is a good alternative. It has a similar texture and creaminess to cream cheese.
- Margarine can be used in place of butter in the frosting.
- Any non-dairy milk such as Almond, soy, or oat milk can be used in place of regular milk in the frosting.
HOW TO STORE CRANBERRY GINGERBREAD CAKE:
- If the cake is frosted with cream cheese frosting, store leftovers in the refrigerator.Place the cake in an airtight container or cover it well with plastic wrap.It can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days.
HOW TO FREEZE CRANBERRY GINGERBREAD CAKE:
- It is possible to freeze the frosted cake, though the texture of the frosting might change slightly upon thawing. Place the frosted cake in the refrigerator first so the frosting becomes firm. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap it again in aluminum foil or place it in a freezer-safe bag. This double wrapping helps prevent freezer burn and taste absorption from other foods.
- Thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight.
Cranberry Gingerbread CakePrint This
- 2 cups all- purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon iodized salt
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup canola oil
- ¾ cup unsulphered molasses (do not use blackstrap molasses)
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon milk.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a rack in the middle of the oven to bake the cake.
Grease and flour a 9” x 5” loaf pan. Make sure to grease both the bottom and the sides of the pan well.
In a large bowl combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine the flour mixture well.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the canola oil, molasses and brown sugar on medium speed or with a whisk. Combine well. You could also do this in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Use low speed to mix them together until everything is combined.
Stir in the cranberries.
Pour the gingerbread cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes until the top is full set and springs back. You should start checking on the cake at 45 minute bake time. Ovens bake differently and you do not want to over bake it.
Insert a cake tester or toothpick into the top center of the cake. If it comes out dry, the cake is finished baking. If there is wet batter on the tester, continue to bake the cake for a few more minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove it from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until they are fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, maple syrup and milk to the butter mixture. Combine well.
Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled ginger cake.
Optional garnish is sugared cranberries .