December 1, 2013

Soft gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting and sugared cranberries

Now this is one helluva cake.
If you've been following this blog for a while you know I love cake. This has to be one of my favorites so far. I've said it many times before and I'm ready to stand by it again, I like soft gingerbread cake more than gingerbread cookies. Sorry if I've offended anyone. Pair a soft gingerbread cake with some buttercreamy and tangy cream cheese frosting and you're good to go.

On another note, that dress I'm wearing in the picture below has been spotted before. I promise it's not the only piece of clothing I own, although it's the only white piece of clothing I own. If you know me, you also know that about 95% of my wardrobe consists of black clothing.

Anyway, today is the first of advent in Sweden which is (to most people anyway) when you're supposed to put up all the Christmas decorations. I haven't had time to do that as I have a deadline for my book tomorrow, yet somehow I'm sitting here writing this post.
I should probably finish that. And you can go make this cake!

Soft gingerbread cake 
with cream cheese frosting and sugared cranberries

Printable recipe

Gingerbread spice mix
This recipe makes more than you need for the cake but I figure why not make some extra for other uses? I highly recommend grinding cardamom and cloves with a pestle and mortar instead of buying ready made. It does make a huge difference!

4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp freshly ground cardamom
3 tsp freshly ground cloves

Soft gingerbread cake
270 g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
4 tsp gingerbread spice mix
1/2 tsp ground bitter orange peel (can be omitted)
2 large eggs
100 g light muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
100 ml* cane syrup
125 g butter
100 ml heavy cream (about 35-40 % fat content)
150 ml* milk

Sugared cranberries
Fresh cranberries, a couple of large handfuls
1 egg white (use pasteurized if you're worried about eating raw eggs)
Granulated sugar, for rolling

Cream cheese frosting
I'm using a large amount of butter for this recipe to add stability as this is a rather tall cake. Cream cheese frosting tends too be a bit on the loose side, but not this one! 

150 g butter, softened
180 - 210 g (1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
200 g cream cheese, cold

Soft gingerbread cake
1. Heat oven to 175°C (350F). Butter and flour three 15 cm (6 inch) baking pans. Set aside.
2. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, gingerbread spices and ground bitter orange peel in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy and lighter in color, about 3-4 minutes. Add cane syrup and beat until smooth.
4. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add cream and milk.
5. Add dry ingredients and butter mixture to the egg mixture in additions.
6. Divide batter between prepared cake pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then unmold onto a wire cooling rack.

Sugared cranberries
1. Dip cranberries in egg white and put them on a piece of kitchen paper so they're not soaking wet when rolling them in sugar (this will make the sugar lumpy).
2. Roll in sugar and leave to dry for 30 minutes or so. Make the frosting while you wait.

Cream cheese frosting
1. Beat butter until pale, about 2 minutes.
2. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until frosting is very pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
3. If you want the frosting to be as white as possible, add just a tiny bit (start off with a super small amount, like the tip of a toothpick and then add more if needed) of purple/royal blue icing color.
4. Add cream cheese and beat until just smooth.

Assembling the cake
1. If cake layers are domed on top, even them out just slightly using a serrated knife (you can correct this with an even layer of frosting instead).
2. Put the first cake layer on a cake stand or plate and spread a fairly thick layer of frosting on it using an offset spatula.
3. Keep doing this until you've used all three cake layers. End with a layer of frosting on top of the last layer.
4. Spread a thin layer of frosting all over the cake and put it in the fridge to set for a 10-20 minutes if needed.
5. Decorate with sugared cranberries and a sprig of spruce if desired.

A few notes
-*100 ml = 6 tbsp + 2 tsp
-*150 ml = 10 tbsp
-If you don't want to use egg whites for the sugared cranberries, Naomi over at Bakers Royale has another way of making them with a simple syrup.

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  1. That looks absolutely divien! HEAVEN!!

  2. Your layer cakes are a force to be reckoned with!

  3. Wow, this is such a beautiful cake! The decorations are perfect... It looks like winter fairytale :)

  4. I love those sugared cranberries on this cake. So gorgeous!

  5. Wow, this whole setting is ridiculously beautiful. I just adore your decorating skills and capturing everything so perfectly in your photos!

    xo Julia

  6. This is truly amazing, I love the decorations and the cake platter you used!!

  7. What a beautiful cake. I will be making this for the holidays. I love your old film reel tins. My grandparents owned a theatre and I was lucky enough to get a few of those tins. I dip chocolates and the tins are perfect for storing them. You do beautiful work. Photo's, recipes. Fabulous.

  8. I'm so in love with this effect of frosting the cake so that the layers are still visible! I've just recently seen another gorgeous cake frosted this way, too -- between yours and theirs I'm pretty sure I'll never feel the same way about fully frosted cakes again! Just lovely.

  9. Hi, Lisa. This cake is so beautiful. The hardest part is to assemble the cake like you did... Why don't you post a video teaching how to assemble it correctly. It would be very helpful.

  10. Absolutely stunning. Your blog is a huge inspiration for me. Thank you!

  11. Oh wow this is awesome! I love it so much! Happy December! Love to you!

  12. So incredibly beautiful - just magic!!

  13. This is true art! LOVE the cake and all the photos, beautiful, beautiful!

  14. You had me at 'soft gingerbread cake'. But it looks so incredibly beautiful - I love the cake naked with just a crumb coat. And those sugared cranberries look magical. Truly.

  15. Så underbart gott och vackert! Jag är så glad att jag hittat din blogg! Nu ska jag äta "din" mintglass med min son. Han säger att det är det godaste som finns. Jag länkade till dig igår och skrev om Lomelinos glass:

  16. Fantastiska bilder! Är glad att jag hittade dig idag :-)
    Ny favorit!
    Mvh Åsa-Karin

  17. Ljuvligt Linda - helt fantastiska bilder!
    Finns recepten på svenska någonstans nuförtiden?

  18. Så snyggt så man storknar :-O Jag finner inte ord! Gjorde också mjuk pepparkaka förra veckan och det är ju sjukt gott också...

  19. dear linda .. amazing job as always .. i need to ask if i can do the smae thing with rasberries ..instead of cranbrries


    1. Hi Layal!
      I would probably not use raspberries for this as I think they are too soft.. blueberries, lingonberries or currants would be better!

  20. Just stumple upon your blog. Wow! It's lovely.

  21. Love the rusric-winter look of the cake! So beautiful. You have amazing skills ♥

  22. Any chance you can give tips on how to make that smooth, thin layer of icing around the cake so perfectly?

    It's a darn beauty of a cake, looking forward to attempting this for Christmas. <3

  23. I have just recently discovered your blog and it has been such an inspiration, I honestly want to try just about every recipe I come across.

    I hope you don't mind that I have used some of your amazing images on my blog (with credit and links back to you of course)

  24. What a beautiful cake! The decoration is superb :)

  25. WWoooowww...
    these photos of sweets makes me hungry!

    Gostei muito do seu Blog... bem organizado, fotos e relatos legais...
    Agora vou acompanhar direto!

    Quem sabe a gente pedala juntos um dia!!!

  26. Baked this cake for a Christmas party, it turned out so well! Tastes fantastic and looks really great with sugar cranberries. I used Bakers Royale recipe for cranberries and it worked well and there is no eggy smell. Thanks for a great Blog!

    1. Soo happy to hear you enjoyed this cake! Thank you for the kind words!

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  28. Simply lovely! many people would this serve?

  29. LINDA i am so DEEPLY in love with this photo series! and, the cake looks RIDICULOUSLY delicoius. included it in my weekly roundup of amazingness holiday things. PS the dress continues to look cute! :)

  30. Beautiful cake and photos Linda! Can't wait to try it :)

  31. Could I use honey instead cane syrup?
    I HAVE TO (this looks so great) make this cake for christmas ane they don't have none of syrups in local grocery store...

  32. Dearest Linda,
    The cake, the images, the styling and the recipe are amazingly beautiful, gorgeous and delicious. You are an inspiration, Thank you Linda xoxo
    Happy Holidays and a wonderful Christmas

  33. Made this yesterday for a birthday. Couldn't get it the gingerbread to rise enough, but very good!

  34. You've done a STELLAR JOB of this absolutely yes, amazingly DIVINE gorgeous looking cake!!! Your BEAUTIFUL photo's show off this stunning piece of ART that you've created. I'd say, it's more than deserving of being on the front cover of a fabulous, & well recognized food magazine. My only complaint would be...that I can't have a great BIG slice of it right this very moment:-)

  35. I am planning to prepare gingerbread cake with cream cheese soon as it sounds lipsmacking and healthy.


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