Gingerbread Spice Cake with Cream Cheese filling
I am back from my mid-fall hiatus and back with a vengeance! Well, back with a delicious cake at least! This cake was born from my craving for a delicious cake at 1:00 am and at the same time fulfill my desire to bake a tribute to fall and the holidays. After flipping through a few books for inspiration I decided on a gingerbread spice cake–because whats better than spice cakes in fall, and gingerbread cookies around the holidays.
Of course, since I was making this cake as a glorified midnight snack, I wanted something simple–at least simple for a cake. So, instead of worrying about having to ice the entire cake, I figured an easy cream cheese filling between the two layers plus some sprinkled powdered sugar on top would work. And it does. This is one of those cakes where you want to taste the delicious spiced cake, not just the sweet icing.
This is also the first time I have baked something with cardamom. I am in love. The aromatic, almost floral sweet and slightly savory spice pulls together the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. It also gives the cake a little hint of, “what is that?” Your answer to that question will undoubtedly be, “Delicious! That’s what it is.”
As with any and all baking, precise measurements are a must. Because of this I use weight based measurements for dry ingredients, not volume based. I suggest you do the same; it is as easy as investing in a $30 electronic scale at any kitchen store–or any store for that matter. You will use it so much more often than you think.
Gingerbread Spice Cake Ingredients
8 oz light brown sugar
3 eggs (room temp)
8 oz bread flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 oz melted, unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half (room temp)
Cream Cheese frosting (recipe follows)
Gingerbread Spice Cake Instructions
1. Butter and flour a 13″ x 9″ pan. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Whip the brown sugar and eggs together to a thick consistency.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg & cardamom) and salt. Add to the egg mixture, mixing slowly.
4. Combine the melted butter and half-and-half, then add to the mixture, mixing in slowly. Be careful not to overmix.
5. Pour the batter in to the pan and bake for 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when depressed lightly.
6. Cool the cake completely before icing.
Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients
16 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
4 oz butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz powdered sugar, sifted
Cream Cheese Filling Instructions
1. Add the cream cheese to the mixer, using a paddle attachment, mixing until soft.
2. Slowly add the butter until well blended.
3. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth.
To assemble the cake, I cut the sheet cake in half, length wise, placed one half on a plate and scooped the filling on top of the first layer (messy & random is better than perfect here since there wont be any icing). Then I add the other half to the top and sprinkle the entire plate–and subsequently my entire counter–with powdered sugar. It is as easy as that.
Serving is as simple as cutting rectangular slices away from the cake. Because it doesn’t snow here in Houston but once every ten years, I like to sprinkle the plate with more powdered sugar–wishful thinking for a white winter.
Not only did I enjoy a couple slices for my midnight snack, but I decided I’d have some for breakfast this morning too. I can also assure you that I will be making this cake again at least once–probably twice or thrice–more this year. If you make it I bet you’ll do the same.