Gingerbread Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Everyone loves cake so we decided to share

Gingerbread Cake with vanilla bean frosting recipe and blog post slofoodgroup
Gingerbread Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Looking for ways to use your wonderful vanilla beans?


David Dial from Spicedblog came up with the perfect way.  Thinking of the holidays and his favorite flavors David recalled a previous Christmas of  running through the backyard dressed as Santa Clause to delight all the children in his neighborhood.  The visualization of success the first year and the failure in his second year of being tackled by the local teenage kids cannot help but make us laugh. The next neighborhood holiday party David made cakes, a gingerbread pound cake to be specific.  This year he decided to give Gingerbread cake a fresh new twist and add vanilla bean frosting.  For this recipe David uses the Papua New Guinea Vanilla Tahtiensis, but you can use and type of vanilla bean, vanilla powder or vanilla extract you like.  We hope you enjoy and would love to hear your thoughts.






For the Cake
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
For the Frosting

  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 vanilla beans, scraped
  • 3-4 Tbsp milk



For the Sugared Cranberries

  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp sugar, divided
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup cranberries

For the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (3) 8” round cake pans; set aside.
  2. Using a medium bowl, sift dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg) together until well combined; set aside.
  3. Using a countertop mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (~3-4 minutes on medium speed). 
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until just combined. (Tip: Scrape down sides of the mixing bowl with spatula afterwards.) 
  5. Add dry ingredients; mix on low speed until just combined.
  6. Add molasses, buttermilk and scraped vanilla bean seeds; mix on low speed until just combined.
  7. Divide batter evenly between 3 cake pans. Bake for 26-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans before turning them out onto cooling racks until completely cool.
For the Frosting
  1. Using a countertop mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy (~3 minutes).
  2. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition.
  3. Add salt, scraped vanilla bean and milk; mix on low speed until well combined.
For the Sugared Cranberries
  1. Using a small saucepan, add ½ cup of sugar and water. Place pan over low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Bring mixture to a light simmer and then remove from heat.
  3. Stir in cranberries. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.
  4. Drain cranberries. (Tip: Reserve this soaking liquid for holiday cocktails!)
  5. Place remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar in shallow bowl. Add cranberries and toss until well coated.
  6. Spread cranberries out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Let dry at room temperature for 1 hour.
To Frost Cake
  1. Place one layer of cake on large platter. Spread ~¾-1 cup of frosting on top. Repeat with 2nd and 3rd layers of cake. Use remaining frosting on top and sides of cake.
  2. Garnish top of cake with sugared cranberries.


As the sugared cranberries need to soak overnight, David recommends making them the day before you make the cake!

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How to clean a Tahitian Vanilla Bean

Check out this  great video for a quick and easy tip on how to effortlessly clean our delicious Tahitian Vanilla beans from Tahiti, by Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey of the SLS Beverly Hills.  


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