Gingerbread Sandwich Cake

The Great British Baking Show has influenced my baking in many ways, among them what I’m starting to call things. Two-layer cakes have become sandwich cakes, baking pans have become tins, rising time for bread has become proving time. I don’t mind – I’m an Anglophile after all. This week I re-watched a few episodes from a previously viewed season where the bakers made highly creative sandwich cakes, and wanting to make something fun for the impending arrival of fall, I settled on rich spicy flavors.

This gingerbread sandwich cake features apple pie spice rather than traditional gingerbread spices, although truth be told, they’re quite similar and next time I’ll probably go with the regular gingerbread spice blend. The frosting is a lovely creation of buttercream with molasses and ginger that I found at Two Sisters Crafting and tweaked to suit my own taste for a stronger molasses flavor. The cake itself was a bit on the dry side, so I suspect I may have baked it just a bit longer than necessary. Good to know for next time, as I’ll definitely make this again.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water

For the frosting

  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

Preparation

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 8-inch square cake pans (or tins, if you prefer the British version!) and line the bottoms with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, apple pie spice, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl well. Add molasses and egg and beat well to combine.

Add flour mixture and water alternatively in three batches, starting and ending with the flour and mixing to combine between each.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 15-17 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for about 1 minute, then add all the powdered sugar at once and beat on low, then medium speed until the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter. Add molasses and ginger and beat to fully combine, scraping the sides of the bowl at least a few times.

To assemble, place one layer on your cake stand and top with half the frosting; repeat with the second layer and remaining frosting, leaving the sides bare. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Makes about 12 servings.

Molasses Snack Cake

Cake can be a snack, right? The folks at Little Debbie, Tastycake, and Hostess certainly think so, as do I. But my molasses snack cake is quite different from the cream-filled, waxy-icing-covered treats you can find at your local grocery store or quick mart. This snack cake, created from a “make-it-mine” recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens Baking book, is a delicious creation of tender spiced cake, crunchy pecans, and a gentle drizzle of icing.

“Make-it-mine” recipes are among my favorites because they lend themselves to such creativity. Reading over my options for flavor combinations, I decided on a molasses cake with a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. You could leave this cake un-drizzled, but I think the icing adds a nice contrast of sweetness to the spices in the cake itself.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons water

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add molasses, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla and beat on low to medium speed for two minutes. Add eggs and beat, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times; beat for an additional 2 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes; top with chopped toasted pecans and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes, until top of cake springs back lightly when touched and a cake tester comes out clean.

Once cake is completely cool, make drizzle; stir together powdered sugar and enough water to make a thick drizzling consistency. Use a spoon to pour drizzle over cake.

Store, covered, at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Makes 12 servings.

 

Gingerbread Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting

gingerbread-cakeThis Christmas, I wanted to make something different for dessert, and I found this amazing recipe on Pinterest. Sometimes you never know with Pinterest recipes – but this one is top-notch.

Adapted from a recipe at Great Grub, Delicious Treats (which was adapted from a recipe from Better Homes & Gardens), this cake and frosting are absolutely delicious. I added allspice and cloves to my batter in addition to the ginger and cinnamon, and I’m very glad I did. My mom and I couldn’t decide whether we liked the cake or the frosting best, and Mike is yet to weigh in. Either way, this cake was a huge hit after our Christmas dinner yesterday.

I cut the original recipe in half for a single layer for just the three of us, and I cut the frosting recipe in half as well, but it was still far too much. The measurements below are adapted further for what I believe would be an appropriate amount of frosting for a single layer 9-inch cake; I have a ton left over in my fridge, which will probably go in cupcakes this week.

Gingerbread Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line with a circle of parchment; lightly grease the parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl well. Add molasses and egg and beat well to combine.

Add flour mixture and water alternatively in three batches, starting and ending with the flour and mixing to combine between each.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 28-32 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Be careful not to over-bake this cake, as the sides can easily burn.

Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese until combined, about 2-3 minutes.

Add molasses and vanilla, beating well to combine. Scrape down your bowl well.

Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating to completely combine; continue to beat for 1-2 minutes, scraping the bowl well, to reach an easily spreadable consistency.

Frost top and sides of cake.

Store in the refrigerator, but let the cake sit at room temperature for about 30-45 minutes before serving.