cranberry gingerbread skillet cake

cranberry gingerbread skillet cake


The holiday season is probably my favorite time of the year. I’m a sucker for everything about it: the food, the weather, the spirit, even the stress of buying gifts for everyone on my list. Thanksgiving just passed, in fact. I could wax poetic about this day, the one day where eating your bodyweight is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. But Thanksgiving isn’t just a day for endless engorgement, it’s also a day for giving thanks for what we have in our lives.

And at this moment, what I’m thankful for most is this lovely cranberry gingerbread skillet cake. In this festive dessert, the tart cranberries melt into a gooey, addictive topping that is like your favorite cranberry sauce, on steroids. The cake batter is warm and spiced, warming your body up with every bite, as truly great spice cakes do. The two components of the cake meld together perfectly, the soft cranberries providing accompaniment for the fluffy cake.

Yeah, I know definitely what’s going on my Thanksgiving table next year (and you should too!).

(if you didn’t guess correctly, it’s the cake).

cranberry gingerbread skillet cake

Course Dessert


for the topping

  • 3 cups cranberries
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

for the batter

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive/coconut/vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey


  1. In a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, melt the butter and brown sugar together until melted and bubbly. Take off the heat and set aside.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.

  4. In a medium bowl, combine the applesauce, molasses, eggs, oil, vanilla, and honey until smooth.

  5. Pour the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and fold together until combined.

  6. In the prepared skillet, dump the cranberries in a flat layer. Pour the cake batter over the cranberries, spreading it evenly over the berries with a spatula.

  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cake. Place a platter over the top of the skillet, then gently overturn the two so that the cake releases from the pan.

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