For an evening retreat I had earlier this week, we were gathering together and I offered to bring something. They asked me to contribute dessert and I was excited about the prospect. I knew a few attendees would be gluten-free, so I went to Danielle Walker’s Joyful Cookbook and found this recipe for Cranberry Gingerbread Cake. I had everything on-hand except for the coconut sugar, so it seemed like another reason to make it. I was really pleased with how it turned out and the flavor combination. If you have gluten-free folks or paleo folks coming over during the holidays, this would be a great dish to serve.
As a note, I made this in a cheesecake pan. It worked well, but didn’t raise extensively, so it could have been made in a round pan easily.
Cranberry Gingerbread Cake
8 oz fresh cranberries
1 1/4 c maple syrup, divided
1/4 c unsalted butter, ghee, or palm shortening
1/2 c coconut sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 c unsweetened almond butter or sunflower butter
1/4 c coconut flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp ground ginger
zest from 1 lemon
2 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda*
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom or black pepper
*if using sunflower seed butter, substitute 2 tsp baking powder for 1 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan with coconut oil or butter and fit a piece of parchment paper.
Cook the cranberries and 1 c of maple syrup in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the berries have popped. Mash them up slightly with a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, melt the butter, remaining 1/4 c maple syrup and 1/2 c coconut crystals, until the sugars are dissolved, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add the 4 eggs, unsweetened almond butter or sunflower butter, coconut flour, cocoa powder, ginger, lemon zest, and juice, vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt, and cardamom to a blender or food processor. Blend for 30 seconds on high until fully combined and smooth.
Add the melted butter mixture and blend again for 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
Reserve half of the cranberry compote for topping. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining compote all around the pan, and then swirl with a knife until mostly incorporated.
Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 1 hour before serving. Store leftovers tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.
Serve with additional cranberry compote and coconut milk whipped cream, if desired.