This cranberry gingerbread bundt cake is so easy thanks to box cake mix and store-bought caramel sauce. No one can resist the classic holiday flavors, and you hardly broke a sweat!
Upside-Down Cranberry Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Whisky Toffee Sauce
Well, that’s a mouthful! Even though this recipe takes advantage of easy, semi-homemade ingredients, it’s packed full of complex flavors!
Wonderful, warm spiced cake, tart fresh cranberries and spiked caramel sauce come together to create something akin to sticky toffee pudding, but with very little fuss and tons of holiday cheer.
Ingredients for Cranberry Gingerbread Bundt Cake
The convenience of store-bought cake mix makes this a breeze, and depending on the brand, there will be some differences in the quantities of ingredients.
I made this cake with Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix (14 oz). Betty Crocker’s Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix (14.5 oz), is a great substitute, and requires more water, no oil and a longer baking time. Notes on this are provided in the recipe card below.
What I used:
- TJ’s Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix
- Vegetable Oil
- Sea salt caramel sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce)
- Whiskey (totally optional)
- Fresh cranberries
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How to Make an Upside-Down Cranberry Gingerbread Bundt Cake
First, preheat your oven to 350°F, then grease a bundt pan with cooking spray.
Prepare the gingerbread cake batter by combining egg, vegetable oil and water in a bowl, then mix in the dry cake mix. (Or, follow the instructions on your box of cake mix.) Set this aside for now.
Pour the caramel sauce into a microwave safe bowl and warm for 20-30 seconds to loosen it up. If you’re using it, stir in the whiskey until it’s well incorporated with the caramel.
Pour the caramel sauce across the bottom of your bundt pan, then sprinkle fresh cranberries evenly over the sauce.
Finally, carefully add the cake batter to the pan. Try not to disturb the cranberries and caramel too much — we want those ingredients to stay in the bottom of the pan.
This part is super important! You have to bake the cake longer than what is instructed on the box. Because we’ve added fresh cranberries and caramel sauce, additional moisture has been introduced. The cake needs to bake for an extra 5 to 10 minutes until much of the moisture has evaporated. What we end up with is a sticky toffee texture around the edge of the cake that is so delicious!
Add 5 extra minutes to the box bake time, then test the cake. An inserted toothpick should come out relatively clean. If not, and the cake is still jiggly, bake for another 5 minutes and test again.
Allow the cake to rest and the pan to cool for a few minutes before carefully turning it out onto a cake plate.
Serving Suggestions + Tips
Cranberry Gingerbread Bundt Cake is most delicious when it’s still warm, but still great for breakfast the next day (believe me, I know!).
To present it on your holiday table, garnish with sprigs of rosemary and fresh cranberries. For serving, add a dollop of whipped cream and a little extra caramel sauce if you like.
Store leftovers, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Warm individual slices in the microwave in 20-30 second increments.
Want More Easy Desserts?
- Mini No-Bake Key Lime Cheesecakes
- Deliciously Decadent Raspberry Java Brownie Sundae
- Easy Mini Desserts for Tea Time
- Red Velvet Pop Tarts (from Box Cake Mix)
- Strawberry Lemon Pound Cake Ring with Cream Cheese Icing
Easy Cranberry Gingerbread Bundt Cake
- cooking spray
- 1 box Trader Joe's Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix* 14 oz box
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup sea salt caramel sauce warmed slightly in microwave
- 1 tbsp whiskey
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a bundt pan with cooking spray.
- Prepare the gingerbread cake batter per the box instructions using the appropriate amount of water, eggs and oil.
- Combine the prepared caramel sauce and whiskey in a small mixing bowl. Pour this into the bottom of the bundt pan. Sprinkle the fresh cranberries on top of the caramel. Finally, pour the cake batter into the pan trying not to disturb the caramel and cranberries too much.
- Bake the cake for the amount of time listed on the box PLUS an extra 5-10 minutes.** The caramel sauce and cranberries in the bottom of the pan add moisture and bubble up through the cake. Therefore, you'll need to bake the cake longer than the box instructs. Use a cake tester or toothpick to help determine when the cake is done. When inserted, it should come out clean and the cake should not jiggle.
- Let the cake rest for a few minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a cake plate.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only.