Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan (or an 8-inch square. Or a 10-inch springform would work too just reduce baking time slightly). Line bottom with a round of parchment paper (or square if using a square dish) and butter parchment, set aside.
In a heat proof mixing bowl whisk together boiling water and baking soda. Stir in molasses and granulated sugar, whisking well to dissolve sugar, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and salt.
Stir vegetable oil and eggs into molasses mixture, then whisk wet mixture into dry mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 - 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then run a knife around edge of cake to loosen and remove ring. Cool completely on a wire rack then frost top with cream cheese frosting and decorate with cranberries and mint leaves if desired.
For the frosting:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and mix until pale and fluffy.
Recipe source: adapted from Cook's Illustrated via KCET