Orange Gingerbread Cake with Cranberry Cream Cheese Frosting

This holiday cake is loaded with flavor! Oranges, ginger, cranberries, and of course cream cheese, all blended together to create a moist, tender, and sweet dessert that can only be called decadent and delicious!  Orange gingerbread cake with cranberry cream cheese frosting, a special recipe from the one and only Joy the Baker!

My favorite cake for the holidays! Orange Gingerbread Cake with Cranberry Cream Cheese Frosting -get the #recipe from

It’s time for another installment of Sundays with Joy… Technically, I suppose it’s Saturday with Joy.  I’ll be posting my Joy the Baker Cookbook recipes on Saturdays now because I’ve added another weekly activity into my blogging arsenal.  I know, I know… I’m constantly yapping about how busy my life is, so how can I possibly make room for yet ANOTHER activity?  Well, I haven’t mentioned this to you yet, but I lost my job 2 weeks ago.  Boo hiss, right?  So the door of employment was closed and until I can find the newly opened window that I’ve been told to keep a look out for…you know, the one that will include a new adventure to embark on that will bring some bill-paying income into the house, I need to keep my mind and body engaged to avoid self pity and depression from setting in.  Enter #SundaySupper.

Each week, the group members are given a theme that we then use to create a recipe around.  Tomorrow’s post will be comfort food like you’ve never seen it.  Grown Up Mac ‘n Cheese!

Grown Up Bacon Mac 'n Cheese from

But TODAY, I have something that’s equally as wonderful to share.  It’s magical and wonderful and it’s likely to cause you to see unicorns in your sleep.  It’s gingerbread with a yummi twist!


The recipe for the cake is the creation of Joy the Baker.  It’s a flavor packed, spiced up gingerbread with a wonderful sweetness, thanks to the inclusion of orange zest.  Get this…It’s in cake form.  No crisp yet adorable ginger people cookies for me, thank you.  These are tall, fluffy pieces of gingerbread….now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!  To make it even better, the cake is topped with the most delicious cream cheese frosting I’ve ever eaten!  Seriously, I couldn’t keep my spoon out of the bowl.  

Joy’s recipe (which you can find at the bottom of this post, as well as in her cookbook, or on her blog), is wonderful in and of itself, but I had some extra cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, so I put my blender on puree and went to town.  The tangy cranberries helped to tone down the sweetness of the cream cheese and sugar, making this frosting the kind I’d like to drink through a straw on a daily basis.  Cranberries are high in antioxidants so that makes this frosting totally healthy.  You can tell your doctor I said so.  No, you can’t give him my phone number.  Well, unless he’s single and has an adorable smile and a relatively thick wallet.  Yes, I’m very happy in my relationship with Brian.  No, it’s not cheating….it’s…it’s…  Shush now… make this cake and enjoy it.  I look forward to seeing you here again tomorrow :)

Orange Gingerbread Cake with Cranberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Created By: 
Recipe Category: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This light and fluffy gingerbread cake is accented with sweet orange zest then topped with a decadent cranberry cream cheese frosting. It will make the perfect dessert at your holiday table.
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsulphered molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-4 Tablespoons cranberry puree, depending on desired consistency of frosting.
  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour an 8×8- inch square baking pan. Set pan aside.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs until thick and pale. Add molasses, honey, and orange zest and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir together until entirely incorporated. Add the warm water and gently stir until the mixture is smooth and silky. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. If you find that the mixture fills the pan more than three quarters of the way full, transfer to a larger 9 or 10-inch round cake pan, or fill a mini loaf pan with excess batter.
  5. Bake cake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. While the cake bakes, make the cream cheese frosting.
  7. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese on medium speed. The cream cheese should be as soft and smooth as possible. Stop the mixer.
  8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the butter, and beat the two together on medium speed until smooth and incorporated. Add two cups of powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Add 2 Tablespoons cranberry puree and remaining cup of powdered sugar. Beat on medium high speed until frosting is smooth and silky. If thinner consistency frosting is desired, add more puree a Tablespoon at a time. If thicker frosting is desired, add more powdered sugar.
  9. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting the cake.

If wrapped well, this cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If left unfrosted, it also freezes well.


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