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Gingerbread cake with cream cheese icing

A collection of Christmas baking including gingerbread cake

Gingerbread cake is one of the cakes we made some time back in Bake Club. This one is soft, and the cream cheese frosting gives it that OMG taste we are all looking for when we go for cake.  It was delicious….

This is a perfect cake for Christmas in December (or July), or perhaps for any day that ends in a “Y”. Its also great if you are looking for something different to serve at Christmas time (which again, could be July). and while it’s not as rich as plum pudding, it does scream CHRISTMAS!

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂
Gingerbread cake with sugared Cranberries around the edge.
Gingerbread cake and sugared cranberries for edging

We normally use frozen cranberries because we dont get much in the way of fresh ones (in Melbourne Australia). If (like us) you are using frozen cranberries, make sure you let them fully defrost in a colander first.  The next step is to sit them on paper towel to soak up some of the water, before sugar coating them.   Otherwise, the sugar coating won’t stick very well, and water will bleed out onto your cake and not look very pretty.  eeek

Gingerbread cake with sugared cranberries in the centre.
Gingerbread cake and sugared cranberries

Spice mix choices

While the spice mix in the recipe below works very well, we often substitute it for the “Sweet Warming Spice Blend” instead of the Gingerbread spice mix at the top of the recipe. We make this spice blend up every Christmas and use it for all sorts of things.  So much easier than having to portion out teaspoons of different spices for every recipe.

A collection of Christmas baking including gingerbread cake

Gingerbread cake with cream cheese icing

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Don't like plum pudding at Christmas? This Gingerbread cake screams Christmas without all that rich fruit, and can become an all year round favourite.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Course Afternoon Tea, Christmas, Dessert
Cuisine English
Servings 12
Method Conventional


  • Stand mixer


Gingerbread spice mix

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground cloves

For the Gingerbread cake

  • 270 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp gingerbread spice mix from above
  • 1 Orange finely grated zest of a whole orange
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 g light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
  • 100 g glucose or honey
  • 125 g butter
  • 100 ml cream
  • 150 g Milk
  • 1 cup Frozen cranberries
  • 1 egg white
  • Granulated sugar for rolling

For the Cream Cheese Icing

  • 150 g butter softened
  • 180 powdered sugar sifted
  • 200 g cream cheese at room temp


For the gingerbread cake

  • Heat oven to 175°C.
    We use good quality non stick pans at Bec's Table and can get away with only lining the base. If you don't have good non-stick, butter and flour, then line the base of two 20 cm baking pans and set aside.
  • Mix flour, baking soda, salt, gingerbread spices and orange peel in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy and lighter in colour, about 3-4 minutes. Add glucose or honey syrup and beat until smooth.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and add cream and milk.
  • Add dry ingredients and butter mixture to the egg mixture in additions.
  • 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.

For the Sugared Cranberries

  • 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).
  • Roll in sugar and leave to dry for 30 minutes or so. Make the frosting while you wait.

For the Cream Cheese Icing

  • Beat butter until pale, about 2 minutes.
  • Add cream cheese and beat until just smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar and continue beating until frosting is very pale and fluffy about 3-5 minutes.

Assembling the cake

  • Make sure the cake is cold before you start. Put the first cake layer on a cake stand or plate, spread half the frosting using an offset spatula. Here’s an opportunity to practice with a piping bag?
  • Place the second cake on top.
  • Spread the remainder of the frosting all over the cake and put it in the fridge to set for 20 minutes before serving.
  • Decorate with sugared cranberries. Read my notes above on Frozen Cranberries.


If you don’t want to use egg whites for the sugared cranberries, you can make a simple sugar syrup pour over cranberries and drain in a colander for a few minutes then tip out into a small bowl with the caster sugar and jiggle to coat.

Want to know more?

This could be one of those cakes that you make two of. One to eat and share now, and one for Christmas. This article for “How to Freeze Cake” might be of assistance in being well organised (at least in the cake department) :-).

Need a good spice blends reference? We have eBooks that provide a variety of spice blends recipes (including Sweet Warming Spice Blend). 

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