Come December, I find it very difficult to control my excitement about Christmas. It really is my favourite time of year and I almost enjoy the lead-up as much as the day itself. Christmas carols playing in the supermarket, fruit mince pies appearing at the bakery, decorations on every street corner of Melbourne, I love it all!
Of course, one of the best parts about Christmas is the food. Unfortunately, I find Christmas desserts a little hit or miss; I don't enjoy Christmas pudding, for example, but I do love a good panettone. One dessert I always go to, though, is gingerbread. I love it in all forms and its the perfect Christmas treat. This year, rather than constructing a gingerbread house, I decided to make a gingerbread cake to share with my friends on our annual lunch we hold the week before Christmas.
This cake will make your entire house smell like gingerbread when you're baking it, it's absolutely heavenly. I found this recipe over at A Cookie Named Desire and tweaked it with a couple of minor changes. Pair this with the She & Him Chrismas album and you've got yourself a fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream
3 cups baking flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1¼ cups milk
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3½ cups powdered sugar
2½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and lightly flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
In a medium bowl, mix together the baking flour, spices, baking powder, and baking soda together and lightly whisk. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, then the eggs and beat well. Add in the ginger.
Alternate between adding the flour and the milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Do not over mix, but keep the lumps to a minimum.
Evenly distribute the batter to the cake pans and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it when inserted in the middle of one of the cakes.
Remove the pans and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes cool, make the buttercream. Beat the butter until completely smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar slowly, one cup at a time. Add the ground cinnamon.
Frost the cake as desired. I simply placed half the buttercream on top of each cake for a classic naked cake look.