Gingerbread Cake with Spiced Marshmallow Buttercream:
This soft and fluffy gingerbread cake features fresh ginger and a spiced marshmallow buttercream frosting.
Delicious and a perfect adornment for any Christmas dessert table!
So I have a question for you guys: traditions. What are some of your Christmas traditions?
Some of ours include piling in the car to look at Christmas lights – sometimes with a dog in tow (yes, we’ve been those people that put the reindeer antlers on the dog and let him hang out the window to draw laughs from other light-lookers… And get this, we’ve even taken a cat. Seriously. He loved it, especially the pop-up yard decorations. No, I’m not kidding!). This is one of those loose traditions, though that in some years can get shoved aside due to busyness of the season, schedule conflicts, etc.
Another tradition is every year, my mom always gets everyone together for a tree decorating party to eat chili, watch Charlie Brown, and gift everyone with a special ornament to hang on the tree. After Christmas, those not living at home take their ornament to hang on their own tree next year.
A personal tradition and one of my favorites, is to spend a day (well, maybe days) in the kitchen with the Christmas music cranked up baking bunches of cookies and sugary sweets for us to let loose and gorge to our heart’s content on Christmas day.
Now, a fairly new tradition – this one’s my favorite – is to do absolutely nothing on Christmas day. We have a big family breakfast, and then when everyone’s gone, we sit around and watch movies and eat all the good food. It’s so relaxing and fun. And it’s the ONE day of the year where I don’t feel weird staying in my PJ’s past breakfast!
But to get to back my question, what do you do gift-wise? Over the past few years, as our family grows, we’ve done some experimenting, from drawing names, to a family trip, but haven’t quite settled on anything yet. This year, we’re considering drawing names and making the trip an every-other-year thing.
But what about you guys, do you have any super fun gifting traditions? I’d love to know!
OK, now let’s move on and talk Gingerbread Cake.
What I love about this gingerbread cake is not only its moist and fluffy texture, but the unique flavor provided by the use of fresh ginger. It really adds an element of spice and flavor different from that of ground or crystallized ginger and truthfully, I would say that it’s the fresh ginger that really puts this cake up another notch.
Then there’s the frosting. Ohhh, the frosting.
If you have never added marshmallow to your buttercream you are MISSING OUT! It is incredibly delicious. I’ve used this marshmallow buttercream once before, but this time around added a little spice to compliment the flavors from the cake.
The marshmallow buttercream is also great for cutting down the spice from the cake without detracting any flavor.
This gingerbread cake would be a lovely addition to your Christmas dessert table and is sure to please all gingerbread lovers! (Oh, and don’t forget to adorn the top with some of these Gingerbread Cookie Marshmallows! They make for such cute toppers.)
- 3 C. all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp. + ½ tsp. baking powder
- 2 ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. kosher salt (table salt is fine, too)
- 1 ½ C. packed dark brown sugar
- 4 tbsp. + 1 ½ tsp. turbinado sugar
- 4 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger (a 2-ounce piece, peeled)
- 2 small oranges (or 1 large), zested
- ¾ C. canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 C. + 2 tbsp. apple cider (beer can be used as well)
- 1 C + 2 tbsp. molasses
- ½ C. fresh brewed coffee
- 1 ⅛ tsp. baking soda
- 3 C. powdered sugar
- 1 C. (2 sticks butter), softened
- 1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme (you could try fluff as well)
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Small pinch ground cloves
- Sparkling Sugar
- Gingerbread Cookie Marshmallows, optional
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Grease 3 (8-in. round) cake pans with butter and line bottoms with parchment paper, or spray well with baking spray (< this is cooking spray with flour in it).
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine brown & turbinado sugars, fresh grated ginger, orange zest, and oil.
Beat in eggs.
In a deep pot (at least 3 qt), place apple cider, molasses, and coffee and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, immediately remove from heat and stir in baking soda (mixture will bubble up), then allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Add the flour mixture alternately with apple cider/molasses mixture into brown sugar mixture, in 3 shifts, whisking after each addition.
Divide batter evenly between pans (I like to use a measuring cup for this) and bake 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs when inserted.
Place pan on a cooling rack and allow to cool. Once cool, invert cakes onto rack to cool completely.
Once cakes are completely cool, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap, making sure they are covered well.
Place cakes in freezer for at least one hour and up to overnight.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment (I like to use my rubber paddle - it creams butter so well!), cream together softened butter and powdered sugar for 2 minutes.
Add marshmallow creme, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
Note: If cakes have been frozen overnight, remove from freezer and let thaw while you make the frosting.
Place one cake, flat side up, on a cake stand/plate and spread about ¾ C. frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the second layer.
For the third and last layer, spread frosting evenly over the top and then apply a thin coat of frosting around the sides, so you can still see some of the cake peeking through.
If you have one, use a bench scraper, to smooth sides (you can also use an offset spatula).
Top with sparkling sugar and gingerbread marshmallows, if desired.
Serve immediately or store in fridge and about 30 minutes before serving, remove to allow cake to come to room temperature.