Twenty-seven years ago I was born in a little village from Romania to a warm-hearted mother and a kind father. When I was a child, I could never imagine spending my birthday apart from my family as nothing could replace the proud look on their faces as I blew the candles. I am for sure looking forward to the birthday that I will be able to spend back home with my family again. But because now I am far from them and because I love baking, this year I prepared my own birthday cake with all the flavors I enjoy the most: cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, maple syrup, cream cheese frosting and candied cranberries.
Christmas is my favorite time of the year therefore my inspiration for the birthday cake are the traditional holidays flavors. Three layers of soft gingerbread are stacked with a thick cream cheese frosting. I decorated the cake with snowy cranberries and an inedible Christmas tree sprig. You can easily serve this festive dessert to an upcoming holiday party.
This moist cake is spiced with cinnamon, cardamon and ginger for a triple hint of warm winter flavor. The classic recipe called for molasses but I used instead maple syrup for an extra layer of taste. This gingerbread cake recipe is very easy to prepare and also very delicious.
As a finishing touch, I used a delicious cream cheese frosting that is smooth and silky. When paired with the gingerbread cake it lends a hint of tartness that balances the rich sweetness. The frosting comes together in less than 10 minutes and very easy to prepare. For this particular recipe, I used a larger amount of butter to add stability to this rather tall cake.
Today, I am grateful for my health, my beautiful family and amazing friends. I am also thankful for your kind support and constant virtual visits! So, let's celebrate together this special day with a delicious cake!
Yield: one 9-inch cake Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Ingredients for the gingerbread cake layers:
Ingredients for the gingerbread cake layers:
- 375 g (3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1.5 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1.5 teaspoon ground cardamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 133 g brown sugar
- 133 ml maple syrup
- 165 g (12 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
- 133 ml heavy cream
- 200 ml milk
- a pinch of salt
- 225 g (1 cup) butter, softened
- 270 g powdered sugar
- 300 g cream cheese, cold
- a couple of handfuls fresh cranberries
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten*
- powdered sugar, for rolling
- For the gingerbread cake layers preparation, preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Butter three 9-inch cake pans and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, cloves, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy and lighter in color, for about 4 minutes. Add the maple syrup and beat until smooth.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Let it cool for 5 minutes then add the heavy cream and milk and mix.
- With the mixer still on, gradually, add to the egg mixture the dry ingredients alternating with the milk mixture. Beat until just incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake layers comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the cake layers from pans. Let them cool completely before adding the frosting.
- For the cream cheese frosting preparation, add the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater and beat the butter until pale, for about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating until smooth and pale, for about 4 minutes. Add the cold cream cheese in batches and beat until just smooth.
- For the candied cranberries preparation, dip the fresh cranberries in the egg white and then place them on a paper towel so the excess liquid is absorbed.
- Roll the cranberries in powdered sugar and set aside.
- To assemble the cake, place the first layer of cake on a cake stand or plate and spread a fairly thick layer of frosting on it.
- Repeat with the remaining cake layers. Spread the remaining frosting all around the outside of the layered cake.
- Decorate it with candied cranberries and a sprig of Christmas tree, if desired and serve.
Tips and Tricks:
- *If you are concerned about eating raw eggs use pasteurized instead.
- Cake layers can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to two days.
- Any cake leftovers can be covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.