This is a great way to end a holiday meal.
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2¾ cup all-purpose flour
2½ tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup milk
¼ cup water
Brown Sugar Bourbon Frosting
1½ packages cream cheese, softened
¾ cup (1½ sticks) salted butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar tightly packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp bourbon
3½ cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp heavy cream
2 cups sugar
½ cup water
1 bag fresh cranberries, washed
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and scraping down as needed.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the milk and water.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Add the milk and water and mix. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix just until no more flour is visible. Mix the batter with a rubber spatula to make sure no flour remains on the bottom.
Grease 3 8-inch cake pans, and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans.
Bake for 22-27 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for about 5 minutes. Run knife along the sides to make sure they will not stick and transfer the cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Combine ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil.
Stir in cranberries and stir to coat all cranberries. Use a slotted spoon and transfer cranberries to a lined baking sheet.
Let cranberries dry for 1 hour. After one hour, roll cranberries in remaining sugar until completely coated.
In large bowl cream together butter and cream cheese with hand or stand mixer. Add brown sugar, stirring until combined. Add the vanilla and bourbon and stir until well-combined.
Gradually add powdered sugar to mixture. Increase speed to medium-high and add heavy cream, beat until mixture is lightly whipped.
Once cakes have cooled, assemble cakes by generously icing between layers, applying an even layer on the top of the cake, and around the outside of the cake.
Top with sugared cranberries, and serve the remaining cranberries on the side. You can also top it with your favourite gingerbread cookies (please don’t judge my icing job on the cookies… not my strong suit…)
Source: Sugar Spun Run, Our Happy Mess, Rachel Cooks