Sticky Cranberry Gingerbread

Last night I went on Facebook and asked if it was still OK to make gingerbread since you know…Christmas has passed. The general consensus was that there is not specific season for gingerbread; we can eat it all year round. Let me just say that I LOVE YOU. Thank you for humoring my gingerbread craving. I didn’t get to taste any gingerbread this holiday season, so here I am rectifying that. Gingerbread all day, everyday…until I finish this one.

I do believe that cranberries won’t be around for much longer, so let’s take advantage of those and make this seasonal gingerbread cake. Once upon a time I made a cranberry apple upside cake and it was fabulous. But it lacked the depth and spiciness that only molasses can provide.

So here we are with a fantastic sticky cranberry gingerbread that I’ve had my eye on for months. It’s a sturdy cake that’s so rich and gooey. I’m sure by the time you read this I’ll have eaten half, but can you really blame me? I had a craving.

And we’re off!

We’re gonna need a bunch of stuff for this recipe. I really like this shot. I dunno why.

All the fun things.

I would suggest starting off with sifting your dry ingredients together. Get that out of the way.

Also put parchment paper in your baking pan.

First we make a cranberry compote. Simple as pie. But it’s not pie. It’s compote.

Sugar, cranberries and a smidge of water. It’s goes on the stove for about 10 minutes. Cranberries will burst.

Fun will happen and then you’ll have a compote.

Then we get the molasses butter mixture going. Golden Syrup is added to the mix! It’s gorgeous!

I wonder if you could sub in honey? Anyone care to weigh in on that?

Butter, milk, molasses, brown sugar & golden syrup go into another small pot. You heat it up!

Then you take the molasses mixture and pour it over the flour mixture. STIR.

Beat two eggs and stir them into the molasses flour mixture.

Oh look! The compote is done. Cool cool.

We make things extra spicy with the fresh grated ginger. If you’re in the market for a ginger grater, this one is fab!

It makes grating ginger a breeze!

Put the ginger in the batter last! Mix. Done!

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. We’re gonna marry the cranberries with the cake.

It’s so glossy and shiny. It’s hard to see, but it’s real magic.

Bake. Take out. Invert.

Slice up.

Eat up.

Can you see why sticky is the first word in this recipe? It’s tangy, spicy & sweet. You’ll love the texture.

Sticky Cranberry Gingerbread

serves 8-10
recipe from Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can’t Wait to Make Easy

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root.

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment. Spray parchment with cooking spray & set aside.

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the cranberries, sugar, and 1 tablespoon water. Stir the cranberries over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the cranberries for a sauce that is syrupy and bubbling thickly, about 10 minutes. Aim to have about half the cranberries broken down.

In a separate saucepan, stir together the butter, brown sugar, milk, molasses and golden syrup over medium heat. Bring to to just barely a simmer and then remove from heat. Too much heat will curdle the milk, so be careful not to let the mixture come to a boil.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, baking soda and black pepper. Beat in the butter-molasses mixture and then beat in the eggs, followed by the grated ginger.

Scrape the batter into the pan. Dollop cranberry sauce on top of the batter. Transfer the cake to the oven and bake until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire baking rack and let the cake cool completely before eating it.

  • Leah

    I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while too! It looks so perfectly gooey.

    And I totally feel you on the post-Christmas gingerbread craving. I just found four slices of the gingerbread cake I made pre-holiday season in my freezer and nearly starting jumping up and down.

  • Sophie @ The Cake Hunter

    you devil you! this looks absolutely gorgeous. I feel like, here in the UK, there is definitely no set season for gingerbread. It seems to be available all year round, although it definitely picks up from October to December.

  • Freya

    There is definitely no adequate substitution for golden syrup! It’s the best! I don’t think honey would work because it’s too strongly flavoured, but in the UK the most commonly suggested sub for corn syrup is golden syrup so you could swap the other way round? Looks amazing. If I can find cranberries I’m definitely making this!

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    Is it bad that I NEVER sift ingredients when making a recipe?? Regardless, I have some lonely cranberries in my fridge and they will be nestled in this cake ASAP

  • Courtney @ I Am A Mess!

    This is a unique recipe. It looks so moist! (Sorry, but it does.) I would make this in a heartbeat if I wasn’t the only person in my family who would eat it!

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    Oh my word this cake looks so. dang. delicious. I would eat gingerbread all year long if it was some form of this magic.

  • cindy

    I think one could totes sub honey for golden syrup–I interchange both (and maple) all the time in my kitchen. Plus, HONEY gingerbread?! I die.

    I love your gingerbread rebellion.

  • Amelia

    Please stop torturing me. Here in the UK cranberries were availible for precisely two weeks before Christmas. Since then nada. So thins and smittens lovely crumble bars will have to wait until next year.

    • Tracy

      Oh dang! At least you have golden syrup EVERYWHERE. I suppose we’re even!

  • ileana

    I’m glad you went for it! Christmas ends way too abruptly.

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out

    Thank goodness! I was just lamenting how much I wanted to make another batch of gingerbread but didn’t want to be a gingerbread weirdo! This looks fab.

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    Oh, this looks fab. And come to think of it, I didn’t eat any gingerbread over the holidays either. Yay for still making it happen!

  • jenny

    I need this so badly RIGHT NOW. but where did you get your golden syrup, tracy? my whole foods used to carry it, but they don’t anymore. grrrr. I may have to resort to buying a bottle online from king arthur flour.

    • Tracy

      I found it in my regular grocery store (crazy!). It was in the baking section. I had no idea they’d carry it and they did. I’ve never been able to find it at Whole Foods. I wish you luck on your search! You need to make this!

  • Laura @FoodSnobSTL

    Ok, seriously. Where has the gingerbread + cranberry combo been all my life?!

  • Make Roux

    Looks delicious! Those who are looking for a substitute for golden syrup might consider using cane syrup in its place. Steen’s in Abbeville, LA makes cane syrup in a yellow can.

  • Petra

    Wow, Tracy, your recipes always look incredibly delicious and mouthwatering. A very special talent you possess. This gingerbread looks divine!! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Katie @ Blonde Ambition

    This actually made my mouth water. I never thought that I’d be drawn in by a cake described as sticky, but you have totally done it for me!

  • Denise

    I had the small conversation with my Dad over the holidays – about fruitcake. Do we only have to make fruitcake once a year? NO! Guess what you will be seeing soon? 🙂

    I love gingerbread and made it often during November and December – never thought of adding cranberries. Lucky for me I have a freezer full! Sticky fun, here we come!

  • Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    Dang it Shuts! I had been on a sweets hiatus since Christmas. Now I think I have to get back into it. That cranberry topping looks amazing. I want to smear it on toast or put it in yogurt!

  • Jayne

    This looks beautiful! I’m not a big fan of ginger bread so I’m thinking the same technique may apply to any dense heavy cakes, right? Probably a good dense butter cake or something similar.

  • Sandra

    Can I just tell you how much I love your blog posts? The recipes you share are not only deliciously beautiful, but you share it in a way that’s entertaining, engaging and makes me want to open up some kind of bakery/restuarant or just cook more at home. So glad I found your blog and I always look forward to your posts!

  • Kate

    Wow, a gingerbread recipe with fresh ginger! Those are surprisingly rare. I must make this soon. My default anytime-of-the-year gingerbread recipe is the Damp Gingerbread from Laurie Colwin’s book Home Cooking (it also calls for golden syrup).

  • Laura Dembowski

    The cake looks wonderful! Such a great spin on gingerbread, which I agree is yummy year round. I absolutely think honey could be substituted for golden syrup, but I love golden syrup and don’t think the flavor and texture can ever truly be duplicated. Honey or light corn syrup will work in a pinch.

  • SharonM.

    All I can say is OMG, this looks heavenly! Want want want, now!
    Cranberries and gingerbread who’da thunk it!?
    Can’t wait to try out the recipe…
    : ) Sharon

  • Theresa

    Huh? Sticky cranberry gingerbread! No way! I need to spend more time in my kitchen so I can make these.


  • Kasey

    I hate the idea that you can only eat certain foods at certain times of year (like gingerbread! one of my favorites). I commend you for giving us some gingerbread, even if the holidays are over.

  • The Food Hound

    I love eating gingerbread ANY time of year!!! Extra stickiness?? Yes, please!! Love the addition of cranberries, too.

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  • aida mollenkamp

    So funny – I was just thinking how we have seasons for flavors almost like we do for fashion. For some unfound reason I believe, in the same way you aren’t supposed to wear white after Labor Day, that you aren’t supposed to have peppermint or gingerbread after the holidays when really I want them both all winter long. Thanks for making me feel *okay* to break that mold. 😉

  • Meli (Blush + Jelly)

    Love that you made something gingerbread related after the holidays! It’s never too late/early for gingerbread!

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  • Taylor

    Looks amazing!!! But do the cranberries drop to the bottom. The photo looks as if you put the cranberries on the bottom then add the batter……

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