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Gingerbread Layer Cake

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Gingerbread Layer Cake: Two layers of double gingerbread cake covered with whipped cream frosting and garnished with sugared cranberries. It’s both delicious and beautifully festive, perfect for adorning your holiday table.

Gingerbread Layer Cake is a wonderfully festive dessert for your holiday parties

I feel like if there’s ever a time to pull out all the stops and make a really impressive dessert, it’s at Christmas, right?

Thanksgiving is a time when pies shine. I know it isn’t really Thanksgiving around here without Pecan Raisin Pie or Streusel-Topped Sweet Potato Pie.

And while I do really love a good slice of pie at Christmas as well, it also seems like a good opportunity to make something a bit more impressive.

I mean, you’ve already got a table laden with Stained Glass Cookies and Peanut Brittle and Fruitcake Cookies. Why not go the extra mile and make a beautiful layer cake as well?

Gingerbread Layer Cake is two layers of gingerbread cake with whipped cream frosting and sugared cranberries

GINGERBREAD LAYER CAKE

Of course, if you’re making all of those other treats, you probably don’t want to spend hours and hours making a cake right?

Luckily, Gingerbread Layer Cake is deceptively easy to make. Let’s talk through this one.

To make Gingerbread Layer Cake, I started by doubling my Double Gingerbread Cake. It uses melted butter and can be made all in one bowl, so you don’t even have to pull out a mixer to make it. Really!

It’s also full of ground ginger and chopped crystallized ginger, so it’s nice and spicy and packs a wonderful ginger punch. It’s the best possible base for a festive layer cake.

So let’s talk about the frosting for this Gingerbread Layer Cake. I’m not super into cream cheese frosting and didn’t feel like softening butter to make buttercream (#lazy), so whipped cream frosting to the rescue. It takes at most 10 minutes to make, and that’s if you’re moving slowly.

Sugared Cranberries are easy to make and add a festive touch to holiday treats

You could certainly stop there, but I think Gingerbread Layer Cake is extra festive when topped with Sugared Cranberries.

Sugared Cranberries require less than 5 minutes of hands-on time for their sparkly, sweet-tart result. So they’re a beautiful, edible garnish I can fully get behind.

Sugared Cranberries are the perfect adornment to Gingerbread Layer Cake

HOW TO MAKE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING

Whipped cream frosting is hardly any more difficult to make than whipped cream itself. I like to take one extra step to stabilize it a bit for a longer shelf-life.

Whipped cream can be stabilized with a bit of unflavored gelatin. Why bother? It helps the whipped cream hold up better when piping it or spreading it on a cake, and keeps it from breaking down if you need to apply the frosting ahead of time.

I’ve actually frosted cupcakes with whipped cream frosting the night before and had the beautiful swirls of frosting hold up perfectly by the time I served them the next day.

Sugared Cranberries add a festive touch to any holiday baked good, especially Gingerbread Layer Cake

Just make sure you are ready to use the whipped cream frosting as soon as you make it – it won’t pipe or spread quite as well after it has set for a while.

I can promise your family will be ultra-impressed if you add this Gingerbread Layer Cake to your holiday table. There’s no need to tell them that it was infinitely easier to make than any other layer cake. Your secret’s safe with me.

Gingerbread Layer Cake: Two layers of gingerbread cake topped with whipped cream frosting and sugared cranberries. It's wonderfully festive!

MORE GINGERBREAD RECIPES

Looking for more gingerbread recipes to make this season?

Be sure to check out Gingerbread Waffles, Gingerbread with Salted Caramel Sauce, Gingerbread Biscotti, Cardamom Ginger Cat Gingerbread Cookies, or Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies.

Gingerbread Layer Cake is garnished with sugared cranberries for a perfectly festive dessert

Yield: One 2-layer 9-inch cake

Gingerbread Layer Cake

Gingerbread Layer Cake is garnished with sugared cranberries for a perfectly festive dessert

Two layers of double gingerbread cake covered with whipped cream frosting and garnished with sugared cranberries. It’s both delicious and beautifully festive, perfect for adorning your holiday table.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Bake Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round baking pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the chopped crystallized ginger with 2 tablespoons of the all-purpose flour. This will prevent the ginger pieces from sticking together and help keep them from all sinking to the bottom of the cake.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter, applesauce, sugar, and eggs until light and creamy. Add the molasses and buttermilk.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until just combined. Fold in the ginger pieces.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pans. Baked for 25-35 minutes, until the centers are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes in the pans. Invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting with Whipped Cream Frosting and garnishing with Sugared Cranberries.

Yield: About 2 cups frosting

Whipped Cream Frosting

Sugared Cranberries are the perfect adornment to Gingerbread Layer Cake

Whipped Cream Frosting is easy to make and a perfectly simple way to top any cake or cupcake recipe!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place the whisk attachment of your stand mixer or hand mixer beaters in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before starting. If using a metal bowl, make sure it is cold as well.
  2. Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the powdered gelatin over it. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Microwave the gelatin in 5-10 second bursts until fully melted. This takes less than 30 seconds in a high-powered microwave. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  4. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the cold cream, maple syrup, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip on high speed until soft peaks form.
  5. With the mixer running, slowly stream in the melted gelatin. Continue to whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. Use immediately.

Notes

You can use all maple syrup or all powdered sugar if you prefer more or less maple flavor in your final frosting.


Yield: 1 cup

Sugared Cranberries

Sugared Cranberries are easy to make and add a festive touch to holiday treats

Knowing how to make Sugared Cranberries is a fun, festive trick that can add a special touch to holiday treats.

Cook Time 3 minutes
Rest Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 33 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • ⅓ cup sugar, for coating

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pot, combine the water and ½ cup sugar over medium heat. Heat just until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is just shy of simmering.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the cranberries, stirring to coat them with the sugar syrup. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
  3. While the cranberries steep, place a cooling rack over a sheet tray or piece of parchment paper.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries from the syrup, reserving the syrup for use in cocktails later, if desired. Place the cranberries on the prepared cooling rack, allowing excess syrup to drip onto the sheet tray or parchment. Allow to dry for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Roll the cranberries in the remaining ⅓ cup sugar. Place on a clean cooling rack to dry for at least an hour before using.

Notes

Make sure the sugar syrup is not simmering when you add the cranberries. If the syrup is too hot, the skin of the cranberries will pop.

Sugared Cranberries are easy to make and add a festive touch to holiday treats
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Courtney O'Dell

Wednesday 19th of December 2018

So delicious and decadent - perfect for Christmas!

Stephie

Wednesday 19th of December 2018

Right?! Hard to find more festive cake for Christmas. Thanks for stopping by, Courtney!