Last gingerbread recipe for 2014, cross my heart. I know I have gone slightly gingerbread crazy lately but ’tis the season. And gingerbread in cake form is worth both the effort and the calories. This cake was made for my son’s nursery and I was madly scrambling to finish it and photograph it before having to deliver it (with a slice missing – I know, terrible, but they are used to my ways). It was my son’s last nursery Christmas ‘play’ (I use that term very loosely) and there he was dressed in a crusader costume (not sure why – suspect it was simply available) singing Frosty the Snowman together with other slightly stunned kidlets. They were heartbreakingly cute. I am so proud of Sam – he didn’t burst into tears and run into my arms but stood his ground and took his bows like a pro.
The cake was a big hit – solidifying my ‘cake lady’ status at nursery. And it is actually so easy to make, fluffy, Christmassy and delicious. I couldn’t resist topping it with the gingerbread cookies but I think the meringue kisses are my new favourite cake decor. You can make a large batch and keep them in an airtight tin for decorating emergencies. I have made this cake using fresh ginger (grated) instead of the candied ginger and also stem ginger. They give slightly different results – the fresh ginger definitely gives a very strong taste which wasn’t terribly popular with my kids. If you can find stem ginger in syrup (try Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup) you can also add a tablespoon of the syrup in the frosting. If you aren’t a big fan of ginger replace with caramel sauce – it goes really well with the flavours of the cake.
For the gingerbread cake
350g | 12.3oz plain flour
330g | 11.6oz dark brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 tbsp treacle (molasses)
200g | 7oz cold unsalted butter, cubed
200ml | 7fl oz whole milk + 1 tbsp fresh orange or lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
3 tbsp very finely diced candied (crystallised) ginger
For the frosting
300g | 10.5oz full-fat cream cheese
½ tbsp ground cinnamon (or vanilla paste)
400g | 7oz double cream, whipped to soft peaks
200g | 7oz icing (powdered) sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line three cake tins – or spray with cake release.
Sift all the dry ingredients and add them to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to combine.
Add the cubed butter and mix for a couple of minutes until the mixture resembles sand.
Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the treacle.
You can find complete recipes of this GINGERBREAD CAKE WITH CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING in supergoldenbakes.com