I love ginger everything so when it came time to bake a cake for Aaron’s birthday I was in the mood for some Christmas-y ginger flavors so I baked him a gingerbread cake with cream cheese icing decorated with chocolate trees. I never mind a strong ginger flavor but the cream cheese icing I used for this cake gave a nice contrast to the taste of the spices. Naturally, if you want less spicy cake use less spice! Sorry, I have to keep this post short and sweet. But seriously, an amazing cake! Enjoy!
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Mix in a small bowl and set aside.
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
4 teaspoons prepared gingerbread spice
½ teaspoon finely grated orange peel
2 large eggs
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup cane syrup *you can substitute with corn syrup or honey if needed
½ cup butter
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans. Set aside.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, gingerbread spice and orange peel in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar until fluffy. Add cane syrup and beat until smooth.
In a saucepan on low heat melt butter, then add cream and milk and stir.
Add butter mixture to the egg mixture and combine well. Then add to flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
Divide batter into prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for several minutes before transferring cakes to a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.
Cream Cheese Icing:
½ cup butter
1 – 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
With an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth.
Add powdered sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
Add cream cheese and beat until smooth.
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
Lay out parchment paper over a baking sheet or cutting board. Set aside.
Using a double boiler, melt chocolate chips on low heat.
Once chocolate has cooled slightly, but not so much that it is hardening, add to a piping bag. Gently squeeze and draw out your trees with the chocolate.
Place in the fridge until hard.
When ready to place on the cake you may want to wear rubber gloves as the heat from your hands will melt the trees quickly and may leave fingerprints on them. You can add chocolate to the backs of the trees when placing them on the cake for extra “glue” if needed.
Assembling the cake:
If the cakes have a domed shape once cooked, you can level them out using a serrated knife and slicing a small bit of the top or by creating an even layer of icing if desired.
Place the first cake layer on a plate or dessert stand and using a spatula add a thick layer of icing.
Continue with the next layer until the entire cake is frosted.
Press the prepared chocolate trees into the icing all around the cake and place in the fridge to allow icing to set for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
By Three Happy Folk
Adapted from Call Me Cupcake