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Sticky Chewy Cranberry Gingerbread [Holiday Recipe]

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I have had a little tradition since I was a kid and that is making autumn tea parties. First, I had it with my Barbie dolls, but nowadays I host it for my friends. Every time, I try to prepare some new cake to match the cozy vibe and yesterday I prepared a sticky chewy cranberry gingerbread cake.

I just wanted to make regular, chewy gingerbread with cranberries, but I had a tiny accident and that changed my plans. I was lost in my thoughts and didn’t really concentrate on what I was doing, so I amateur slid the gingerbread out of the mold straight from the oven.

Of course, it cracked and parted in two pieces, but I quickly turned it back to try and stiffen it again. It actually worked, hence, the cracks were still more than visible, so I made a sticky coat to cover it and it was the best part of the cake!

What Makes Sticky Chewy Cranberry Gingerbread Special?

I’m a sucker for warm spices, especially cinnamon and ginger combo, so both of those are here. I like to include both fresh and grounded ginger because it truly layers the flavor, as it adds a touch of heat which pairs impeccably with sour, tangy cranberries. Also, I opted for brown sugar due to its toffee-like relish and nice caramel color. 

I like to add a bit of vanilla pudding powder into the dough, too, because the texture is so much better, moist, chewy, and slightly crumbly. To connect all of the flavors, add a good splash of vanilla to the sticky glaze! The cake is aromatic, and tangy, but sweet and spicy – ideal to serve with coffee, tea, or a glass of warm milk.

Sticky Chewy Cranberry Gingerbread Cake Pinterest Photo

How to Make Sticky Chewy Cranberry Gingerbread Cake?

The cranberry cake is actually a one-bowl cake, you only need to combine the ingredients and the rest is baking. No matter if it’s warm or cold, both versions are scrumptious! Here are all the ingredients for this autumn-perfect cake!

  • Flour – Be free to use either, all-purpose or cake flour. I opted for all-purpose and the cake came out perfectly textured.
  • Instant pudding – Just a tad of vanilla instant pudding powder makes a huge difference, leaving the cake moist and slightly crumbly, plus deepening the flavor. 
  • Baking powder – This is the best option for a leavening agent. 
  • Butter – Butter adds aroma and enriches the flavor.
  • Yogurt – Semi-liquid yogurt or Greek yogurt are superb options. It will make the batter fluffy and moist.
  • Milk – My blend was too dense, so I also added a splash of milk to reach the right consistency. This depends on how thick your yogurt is.
  • Eggs – Eggs are a binding agent.
  • Sugar – Definitely recommend brown sugar for specific, deep flavor and color, but white would do just okay, as well.
  • Instant pudding powder –  Go for the vanilla flavor to add a subtle touch of warm vanilla along with improving the final texture.
  • Spices – I used cinnamon and ginger only for spicy, but warm and earthy relish. Adding both fresh and grounded ginger deepens the taste and makes a difference in the final smack. Also, I ended up using a tad of cocoa for a chocolaty undertone, plus to achieve the darker color of the cake. I like to splash some vanilla essence into the glaze to connect everything to the perfectly aromatic bite.
  • Cranberries – I went with whole-cranberries jam, but frozen or fresh will work. I would only suggest simmering them for a moment with sugar, so they wouldn’t taste bitter later.

Let’s bake Sticky Chewy Cranberry Gingerbread Cake!

RELATED:

Sticky Lemon Ginger Cake [Recipe]

Step 1: Making the Batter

Start with grating fresh ginger and massaging it well into the brown sugar to wake up all the flavors. Now sift in the rest of the dry ingredients – flour, instant vanilla pudding, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger powder, and baking powder. Combine it well with a whisk and make a dent in the middle for wet ingredients.

Now, crack the eggs, and add yogurt, milk, and melted butter. Fuse everything into a thick batter (thicker than for the pancakes, but still able to pour). That’s all! So simple, right? 🙂

Steps 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 2

Step 2: Baking the Cake

Take any mold you fancy, coat it with butter, and dust it with flour. This is important so the cake comes out with clean lines. I used my favorite bread mold as it has a cute and interesting pattern.

Pour 2/3 of the batter in and add cranberry jam, spoon by spoon, making sure you cover it all nicely. It will sink, but that’s okay. Cranberries will make the whole cake incredibly moist! 

Steps 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 1 1

Now, pour the rest of the batter and transfer to the oven you brought to 360 °F (180 °C) for about 50 minutes.

Step 3: Making the Sticky Glaze

Soften some butter over medium heat in a thick-bottomed pot. Add brown sugar and milk and lightly simmer while whisking constantly. Cook it a bit, just so you can see it is changing the consistency, but don’t let it thicken. Incorporate a splash of vanilla essence for a finishing touch.

Steps 1 and 2 2

Leave on the side while the cake bakes to chill completely. The cool glaze should still be pourable. I made my slightly thicker because of the “accident” I told you about before. 😀

Step 4: Serving and Storing

Make sure to let the cake rest for at least half an hour before you slide it out of the mold. Like that, it will be able to stiffen, unlike mine. 😀 Pour the glaze over, cut yourself a slice, and enjoy! 

Keep it in the plastic wrap for the best results, but airtight containers will work, too. Sometimes, I keep it on the cake stand at room temperature for about 2-3 days, depending on how warm it is. Still, keeping it in the fridge is a better option, it will last there for about 5 days. 

Recipe Alterations

If you don’t fancy cranberries, be free to replace them with any other berries you like: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blackcurrants – all of them will be luscious. I want to try this combo with pears instead, I feel it would smash! If you want to keep it classic, simply add chocolate chunks, as this gingerbread recipe is a fine base for building the flavors around it.

When it comes to the glaze, lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze would also be amazing. Speaking of altering the gingerbread batter flavor, I would add orange juice instead of milk. Do you have any ideas for this one? I feel I could use some. 🙂

Sticky Chewy Cranberry Gingerbread Cake recipe

Sticky Chewy Cranberry Gingerbread Recipe

Author: Laura Bais
This autumn treat is perfectly moist and slightly crumbly. The taste is out-of-this-world, warm, spicy, and slightly tangy. I love a cinnamon-ginger combo with a touch of vanilla flavor! 100% recommend!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 291.2 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 cake mold

Ingredients
 
 

Cake Batter

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp instant pudding (vanilla-flavored)
  • 2 tsp baking powder (That's one packaging)
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger (fresh and grated)
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • 1 ¼ cups cranberry jam

Sticky Glaze

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Making the Batter

  • Grate fresh ginger and massage it well into the brown sugar.
  • Sift in the rest of the dry ingredients – flour, instant vanilla pudding, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger powder, and baking powder. Combine it well with a whisk and make a dent in the middle for wet ingredients.
  • Crack the eggs, and add yogurt, and melted butter. Fuse everything into a thick batter (thicker than for the pancakes, but still able to pour). Add some milk if needed.

Baking the Cake

  • Coat the cake mold with butter, and dust it with flour.
  • Pour 2/3 of the batter in and add cranberry jam, spoon by spoon, making sure you cover it all nicely.
  • Pour the rest of the batter and transfer to the oven you brought to 360 °F (180 °C) for about 50 minutes.

Making the Sticky Glaze

  • Soften some butter over medium heat in a thick-bottomed pot. Add brown sugar and milk and lightly simmer while whisking constantly.
  • Cook it a bit, just so you can see it is changing the consistency, but don’t let it thicken. Incorporate a splash of vanilla essence for a finishing touch.
  • Leave on the side while the cake bakes to chill completely. The cool glaze should still be pourable.

Serving and Storing

  • Let the cake rest for at least half an hour before you slide it out of the mold.
  • Pour the glaze over, cut yourself a slice, and enjoy!

Notes

Keep it in the plastic wrap for the best results, but airtight containers will work, too. It will last in the fridge for about 5 days. 
If you don’t fancy cranberries, be free to replace them with any other berries you like: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blackcurrants.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pieceCalories: 291.2kcalCarbohydrates: 41.9gProtein: 3.3gFat: 12.8gSaturated Fat: 7.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.4gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 59.4mgSodium: 192.5mgPotassium: 105.2mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 409.9IUVitamin C: 2.4mgCalcium: 88.5mgIron: 1.2mg
Keyword chewy cake, Christmas, cranberries, cranberry cake, ginger and cinnamon, sticky glaze

Before diving into the nutritional details, please review our Nutritional Disclaimer page for important context and clarifications.