Serves 10 to 12
2 bags (12 ounces each) cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
½ teaspoon pure orange extract
2 cups heavy cream
2 homemade or store-bought gingerbread or pound cakes (about 12 ounces each), cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
Candied orange zest, optional, for garnish
1. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, 2 cups granulated sugar, ginger, and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium; cook until cranberries begin to burst, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), whisk cream cheese, brown sugar, orange zest, remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar and extract on high until well combined. With mixer on medium, gradually add heavy cream; continue beating until soft, billowy peaks form.
3. Arrange 1/3 of the cake slices in a 3-quart glass serving dish. Spoon 1/3 of the cranberry mixture over the cake, spreading to the sides of the dish. Dollop 1/3 of the cream filling over cranberries, spreading to the edges. Repeat twice, ending with cream filling. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 1 day). Garnish with Candied Orange Zest, if desired.