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Half of the fun of hosting your own holiday shindig is creating your own traditions. For food blogger Megan Hastings of A Dash of Megnut, a more spacious kitchen led to a better space for developing great recipes. With an interior overhaul led by Tracy Cimba, founder of Bespoke Redesign, the new kitchen is the ideal spot for creating holiday concoctions, including her take on a holiday classic: the bundt cake. 

The recipe for her Gluten-Free Gingerbread Bundt Cake is inspired by classic holiday flavors and snowy mountain peaks. 

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Bundt Cake

For beginner bakers, her biggest advice is clear. “The most challenging part of making a bundt cake is always releasing the cake from the bundt pan cleanly. My favorite method for a perfect bundt is to use granulated sugar to coat the bundt pan,” Hastings says. 

For the Cake:

1 teaspoon butter (shortening or vegetable oil, for coating pan)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar (for coating pan)

2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour)

 teaspoon xanthan gum (if your gluten-free blend doesn’t already contain it)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup molasses

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Topping:

4 oz cream cheese (softened)

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons water

1 cup sugared cranberries

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Grease the bundt pan with butter, shortening or vegetable oil, being sure to get all of the nooks. Add the granulated sugar and turn the bundt pan moving the sugar around the pan until it’s coated. Dispose of extra granulated sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum (if using), baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, add the light brown sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, molasses, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until no more streaks of flour remain.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before inverting into a wire rack.

Once the cake is cool, make the cream cheese glaze by adding the softened cream cheese to a medium bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.

Then add the powdered sugar and beat 1-2 minutes until smooth.

Add the vanilla extra and 2 tablespoons of milk and mix until your desired consistency is reached. Add an extra tablespoon of milk if needed.

Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake and top with sugared cranberries if desired before serving.

Sugared Cranberries

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

2 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)

Instructions

In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar and water. Heat over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved.

Bring to a simmer and let cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool at least 15 minutes. 

Pour the cranberries into the simple syrup and stir to completely coat. Let soak for about 30 minutes.

Then remove cranberries with a slotted spoon and let dry on a wire rack with a piece of parchment paper under it to catch any drops of simple syrup. Let dry for an hour or until cranberries are dry to the touch but tacky. 

Place 1 cup of granulated sugar in a bowl, plate or small baking sheet. In batches, roll cranberries in the granulated sugar until completely covered. Repeat with remaining cranberries. Let dry for at least an hour, or until completely dry to the touch.

Old Fashun’d

Even with the sweet smell of a gingerbread bundt cake wafting through the house, the holiday spirit isn’t in full tilt until you have a spirit of your own in hand. Adam Ferguson’s “Old Fashun’d,” a spin on the classic Old Fashioned, features unique wintery bitters that are guaranteed to transport you — at least mentally —  into a winter wonderland

“When it comes to an Old Fashioned, the ingredients are so incredibly simple — bourbon, sweetener, bitters—  so the bitters are the aromatic element that help tie the drink together, but also become an opportunity to customize,” he says. “For this drink, I wanted to bring in the essence of late fall, the smell of burning wood in the fireplace, the toasting of nuts, and balance that with a hint of sweetness.” 

A simple way to get everyone in the holiday mood, the Old Fashun’d is an ideal cozy companion. “It’s like sitting in a chair by a fire,” he adds.

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz bourbon

1/2 oz. demerara simple syrup

Peach bitters

Black walnut bitters

Citrus peel

Smoked rosemary

Directions

Light the rosemary on fire until it smokes, set down on a plate and cover with rocks glass to flavor the glass. Add ice. Pour alcohol. Add bitters. Stir. Garnish with rosemary.
No matter the space in your kitchen, Hastings has a few tips for balancing a variety of dishes at once no matter the space. “I always like to do as much ahead as I can to keep things simple and organized during the holidays,” she says. She suggests planning your menu before grocery shopping and planning how many dishes can fit in your oven at once to come up with a cooking day plan. “Even gathering all of your ingredients ahead of time before starting a recipe and measuring them out will save you time in the long run, ensuring you have everything ready to go,” she adds. “There is nothing worse than being mid-recipe and realizing you’re out of baking soda” or bourbon for that matter.

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