Recipe: Gingerbread Cake

Hi! How are you? How was your Thanksgiving? Are you still in a food coma and eating leftover turkey sandwiches? Are you wondering how you went months without really buying anything and then bought everything on Black Friday? Oh, just me? Hmmm...

ANYWAY. Thanksgiving has come and gone and we're gearing up for Christmas and New Years, which honestly feels nice to me. I'm ready for 2016 because 2015 was HARD. So lets talk about something easy today, shall we? Let's talk about cake instead.

As someone who isn't a big cake person, spice cakes have to be my ultimate favorite (evident by nutmeg donuts, chai tea cupcakes, snickerdoodle cupcakes, applesauce cupcakes, and these baked pumpkin donuts). So we are diving into the holiday season head on and making a gingerbread cake. And like every good spice cake, we're topping it with a cream cheese frosting and maybe a little toasted coconut for good measure. Nothing fancy but still pretty dang good.

Gingerbread Cake 

Yields 8 slices

1 1/2 sticks of butter, room temperature (I used salted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep two 9 inch cake pans by coating in butter and a thin layer of flour.

In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes until fluffy and light yellow. Add in each egg and beat until just combined. 

In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg until everything is mixed together. Add a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, then add the buttermilk, then another third of dry ingredients, then the molasses and vanilla, and finally the last bit of dry ingredients, mixing just enough to combine each time.

Split the batter evenly between the two 9 inch cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes enough for entire cake

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
2 cups of powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
toasted coconut for topping (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until completely combined and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stop halfway through and scrape down the bowl. Add powdered sugar slowly and beat until combined. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk and mix. Add an additional tablespoon of milk if the frosting is still too thick. 

To assemble the cake, place one cake on the platter which you plan to serve the cake. Using a rubber or offset spatula, spread about a 1/2 inch thickness of frosting on the top of the cake. Place a pile of frosting in the center of the cake, and spread outward. Place your second cake on top and repeat that process on the top of the cake. To do the sides, use an offset spatula to work your way around the cake, making sure all the cake is covered. Once the entire cake is covered in frosting, use your offset spatula to smooth out the sides and top. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and enjoy!

A tiny tip: If you don't want to get frosting all over your cake stand, take strips of wax paper and slide them underneath the bottom cake so the cake stand is covered. Once you are done frosting, slide the wax paper out and throw it away, leaving a clean base to display the cake.