Gingerbread is one of my favorite flavors near Christmas, so I decided to make the ultimate Christmas cake – a moist Gingerbread cake filled with cranberry orange compote and Chai French Buttercream. These flavor combinations are the best together and this cake is will disappear when presented in front of friends and family – I guarantee!
If you’ve never tried French buttercream, its more creamy and silky then a normal buttercream. Its a special one for a special, festive occasion. One note to keep in mind while you’re adding the butter to the mixture is it may look like its starting to separate. If this happens, it means that the butter is too soft or warm so put your butter pieces in the fridge for a few minutes and then continue to beat them in the mixture.
If you want to make this cake over a couple of days, I recommend making the cake and cranberry compote and refrigerate separately. The following day the french buttercream can be made and the cake can be assembled for eating!
Gingerbread Cranberry Cake with Chai French Buttercream
- 2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp ginger
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp dried Valencia orange peel
- 2 tsp roughly chopped crystallized ginger
- ¾ cup molasses
- ¾ cup hot water
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 orange
Orange Marmalade Cranberry Compote
- 6 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
- Juice of 1 orange
- 2 tbsp orange marmalade
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
Chai French Buttercream
- 2 whole eggs
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 24 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and at room temperature
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tsp ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- Spray two 8 inch cake pans with nonstick spray and preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, dried orange peel and crystallized ginger. In a separate bowl whisk the molasses and hot water together and set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy and fluffy – about 1 minute. Cream in the coconut sugar until fluffy and beat in the egg, vanilla, and orange zest until smooth.
- Alternate mixing in the dry ingredients and molasses mixture to the wet ingredients starting and ending with the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Evenly pour the batter into the two cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cakes.
Cranberry Orange Marmalade Compote
- In a small saucepan heat the cranberries, orange marmalade, orange juice, and honey or maple syrup on medium heat. Stir until marmalade is mixed in.
- Let simmer until cranberries have burst and mixture has thickened about 10-15 minutes.
Chai French Buttercream
- Mix together salt, ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves and sit aside.
- Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and egg whites on medium high speed until eggs are pale and thick (5-10 min).
- Pour the sugars and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan and heat until candy thermometer reaches 240°F without stirring.
- Begin beating the eggs again and slowly drizzle the hot sugar syrup along the side of the bowl until mixture is cool about 10-15 minutes. Mixture should be thick.
- Continue beating the mixture and slowly add a tbsp of butter at a time. Note: if the mixture is starting to separate or looks thin, it means that the butter is too soft or warm so put your butter pieces in the fridge for a few minutes and then continue to beat them into the mixture.
- Beat in the spices until combined. Use right away or refrigerate. If refrigerating, beat again before spreading.
When assembling cake, spread a thin layer of buttercream on the bottom cake layer and add a thicker wall along the perimeter to hold the compote in. Fill with cranberry compote and place the top cake layer. Spread the remaining buttercream on top and on sides if desired.
If you make this Gingerbread Cake, please comment below and feel free to tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your creations!