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Gingerbread Layer Cake with Frosted Cranberries



Surprise! I am back with another wine pairing recipe! This time I am delving into a slightly more difficult recipe (depending on your experience with baking). Layer cakes can be intimidating but this recipe has proven fool-proof and is, I promise, very approachable despite having so many ingredients!


Now, the most important part - what wine should you pair with this recipe? Many people believe that ginger clashes with red wines and should only be paired with whites. I personally think gingerbread can go well with both white and red depending on the result you are going for and how "ginger-y" your recipe is. Luckily for us, this cake is pretty versatile and plays well with many different wines!


If you double down on the richness and sweet notes of this recipe, our Meditation Port-Style wine blends beautifully with warm baking spices like ginger and cinnamon. If you prefer a drier wine with your desserts, try this recipe with our sparkling wine, Joie De Vivre, or even our Petit Manseng. Although Mountain & Vine does not grow this varietal, a light Pinot Noir or even a Reisling will cut through the rich frosting while not overpowering the cake itself.


INGREDIENTS:


Cake

  • 2 2/3 c all purpose flour

  • 1 c packed light brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 TBS ginger

  • 1 TBS cinnamon

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp cloves (heaping 1/2 tsp)

  • 1 1/2 sticks melted butter

  • 1/2 c vegetable oil

  • 3/4c molasses (unsulfured, not Blackstrap)

  • 3 eggs (or use 3/4 c buttermilk)

  • 1 TBS vanilla extract

  • 1 c Greek yogurt (or use sour cream)

  • 1/3 c hot water, not boiling

Frosting

  • 2 sticks of butter softened

  • 8oz cream cheese

  • 8oz mascarpone cheese

  • 2 lbs powdered sugar

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 TBS vanilla extract

Frosted Cranberries

  • 3 c fresh cranberries

  • 1-2 c granulated sugar

  • 1/2 c water


INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350F.

  • Grease 3 8" round pans or line with parchment paper.

  • In a mixer or a large bowl, add all dry ingredients and whisk together.

  • Whisk in melted butter and oil until well combined.

  • Stir in molasses until almost fully incorporated.

  • Mix in eggs, vanilla, Greek yogurt until fully combined, making sure to scrape the side of the bowl.

  • Add hot water and whisk until everything is uniform.

  • Divide batter equally into the three pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Center should be set and lightly spring back when touched.

  • Let cakes cool around 20 minutes before flipping out of the pan and cooling completely.

Making the frosting:

  • To make the frosting, add butter, cream cheese, and mascarpone cheese to a mixer and whisk together until there are no lumps and mixture is light and fluffy.

  • Whisk in vanilla and salt.

  • Slowly add in powdered sugar until everything is well combined.

Assembling the cake

  • ***My biggest tip is to make sure the cake layers are as cold as possible when decorating a taller cake (over two layers). Sometimes I will put my layers in the freezer to fully set up so nothing slips and slides when I decorate***

  • On a cake plate or 10" cardboard cake round, put a small dollop of frosting and lightly spread it out to "glue" the cake to the plate.

  • Put down your first layer of cake and put a large dollop of frosting in the middle. lightly spread until frosting is level barely hangs over the edges of your cake (this will ensure you don't have gaps on the sides when you smooth them out) with an offset spatula.

  • Repeat this until you use all of your cake layers.

  • Put a large dollop of frosting on the top of the cake and spread until level.

  • Using your offset spatula slowly add small dollops of frosting to the sides and working in sections smooth out the frosting.

I did this cake in a "naked cake" style, meaning you can see the cake layers through the frosting, so it is fine if you pick up any cake crumbs in the frosting

  • Once your sides are frosted and smoothed out, you can use the backside of a spoon to make a spiral design on the top of the cake.

  • Start in the center of the cake and move your spoon in circles towards the outside of the cake.

  • Using a piping bag or Ziploc bag with one corner cut off filled with the remainder of the frosting, make a small ring with frosting about an inch from the edges of your cake. We will be stacking the frosted cranberries on this.

  • Put the cake in the fridge or freezer to set up while making your frosted cranberries.

To make frosted cranberries

  • In a small sauce pan on medium heat combine 1/2 c water with 1/2 c sugar.

  • Bring to a boil and stir occasionally to make a simple syrup.

  • Once simple syrup is boiling take off of the heat and add in your washed cranberries.

  • let cranberries sit in syrup for 5-10 minutes or until they become sticky.

  • Scoop out cranberries letting any access syrup drain off and roll in granulated sugar.

Final Assembly

  • Take your chilled cake out of the fridge and place frosted cranberries on the ring of frosting you previously made.


Enjoy your cake with friends and family and most importantly with a glass of wine!






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