Soft gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting and sugared cranberries

Gingerbread spice mix
This recipe makes more than you need for the cake but I figure why not make some extra for other uses? I highly recommend grinding cardamom and cloves with a pestle and mortar instead of buying ready made. It does make a huge difference!

4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp freshly ground cardamom
3 tsp freshly ground cloves

Soft gingerbread cake
270 g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
4 tsp gingerbread spice mix
1/2 tsp ground bitter orange peel (can be omitted)
2 large eggs
100 g light muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
100 ml* cane syrup
125 g butter
100 ml heavy cream (about 35-40 % fat content)
150 ml* milk

Sugared cranberries
Fresh cranberries, a couple of large handfuls
1 egg white (use pasteurized if you're worried about eating raw eggs)
Granulated sugar, for rolling

Cream cheese frosting
I'm using a large amount of butter for this recipe to add stability as this is a rather tall cake. Cream cheese frosting tends too be a bit on the loose side, but not this one! 

150 g butter, softened
180 - 210 g (1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
200 g cream cheese, cold

Soft gingerbread cake
1. Heat oven to 175°C (350F). Butter and flour three 15 cm (6 inch) baking pans. Set aside.
2. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, gingerbread spices and ground bitter orange peel in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy and lighter in color, about 3-4 minutes. Add cane syrup and beat until smooth.
4. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add cream and milk.
5. Add dry ingredients and butter mixture to the egg mixture in additions.
6. Divide batter between prepared cake pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then unmold onto a wire cooling rack.

Sugared cranberries
1. Dip cranberries in egg white and put them on a piece of kitchen paper so they're not soaking wet when rolling them in sugar (this will make the sugar lumpy).
2. Roll in sugar and leave to dry for 30 minutes or so. Make the frosting while you wait.

Cream cheese frosting
1. Beat butter until pale, about 2 minutes.
2. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until frosting is very pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
3. If you want the frosting to be as white as possible, add just a tiny bit (start off with a super small amount, like the tip of a toothpick and then add more if needed) of purple/royal blue icing color.
4. Add cream cheese and beat until just smooth.

Assembling the cake
1. If cake layers are domed on top, even them out just slightly using a serrated knife (you can correct this with an even layer of frosting instead).
2. Put the first cake layer on a cake stand or plate and spread a fairly thick layer of frosting on it using an offset spatula.
3. Keep doing this until you've used all three cake layers. End with a layer of frosting on top of the last layer.
4. Spread a thin layer of frosting all over the cake and put it in the fridge to set for a 10-20 minutes if needed.
5. Decorate with sugared cranberries and a sprig of spruce if desired.

A few notes
-*100 ml = 6 tbsp + 2 tsp
-*150 ml = 10 tbsp
-If you don't want to use egg whites for the sugared cranberries, Naomi over at Bakers Royale has another way of making them with a simple syrup.