This Gingerbread Cake with Maple Buttercream Frosting and Cranberry Compote is a must make during the holiday season and even into the new year! The flavorful and moist gingerbread cake pairs well with the maple buttercream frosting, and the cranberry compote's slight tartness helps to balance out the sweetness from the buttercream. It's perfect!
* Makes 3, 6" x 2" cake layers.
- 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Gingerbread Spice
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 cup Unsulphured Full Flavor Molasses
- 1 cup Hot Water
maple buttercream frosting
- 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
- 4 cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted
- 4 tablespoons Half and Half
- 2 teaspoons Maple Flavored Extract
- 8 oz. Fresh Cranberries
- 1 cup Maple Syrup ( I used Morris, PA's Heyler's Farm maple syrup)
- Pinch of Salt
- Align your oven rack to the 2nd level position and pre-heat your oven to 350ºF.
- Spray your 3 cake pans with a flour-based baking spray, place a 6″ diameter circle of parchment paper in each pan, and respray the bottom again with the flour-based spray. Alternatively, you can grease the pans with butter and coat in flour, but it’s important to still add in the parchment paper circles (it helps to release the cake from the pan).
- If you have the Wilton Baking Strips, make sure they are wetted down and fitted to your pans. (Optional step)
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, gingerbread spice, ground cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- Using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the unsalted butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until nice and fluffy.
- Add in the egg and then the unsulphured full flavor molasses until fully blended together.
- Switching your mixer speed to low, alternate between adding a little of the whisked dry ingredients with the hot water until just combined.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the 3 cake pans, then place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
- After 5-10 minutes, remove the cakes from the pans and cool on wire racks.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting and the cranberry compote (if adding).
maple buttercream frosting
- Using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the unsalted butter on medium-high speed.
- Switching the speed to low, alternate adding in the sifted confectioners sugar and half and half a little at a time until completely blended.
- Add in the maple flavored extract and switch the mixer speed to high to beat into a whipped frosting for 3-4 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the cranberries, maple syrup, and pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir while the cranberries will begin to burst open (this will happen somewhat quickly as the mixture heats up). You can use the spoon you're stirring them with to smoosh them down a little or you can take a potato smasher like I did and gently press down on them.
- Once the compote has thickened, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely before you add it to the cake.
- Pipe a wall of frosting around the edge of each cake layer, then add the cooled compote in the middle. Alternatively, you can just add the compote to the top of the cake. It's up to you!
- To retain some of the moisture from the cake, you can cool them upside down on a cooling rack with the cake pans still resting on top. This can also help give the cake top a flatter surface if it has a dome shape to it.
- The cranberry compote has such a great taste, but it is optional if cranberries aren't your thing!
- Gingerbread Cake recipe adapted from a family recipe card.
- Maple Buttercream Frosting recipe adapted from Wilton.
- Cranberry Compote adapted from Ocean Spray.
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