A Great Alternative to Gingerbread Houses
For years, I have been thinking about making a gingerbread house. When I was growing up in Germany, the bakery downstairs had an amazing nativity set in their display window. All people and animals were made from marzipan, the buildings were made of gingerbread, and the snow was spun sugar. It must have taken them days to make it all. My mother would get me a marzipan apple if I was really good.
A few years ago, at a garage sale, I found a castle shaped Nordicware bundt pan. It languished on my shelf until I had the brilliant idea to use it to make a gingerbread cake. There is no need to assemble anything, so no need to make royal icing. Piped buttercream works perfectly. This cake tastes better if it can sit for a day without being disturbed.
-- Cake --
- 2 1/2 cups Flour
- 2 tablespoons gingerbread spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup Butter, 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoon Candied ginger , minced
- 1 cup water
-- Glaze --
- 1/3 cup Apple Brandy
- 1/2 teaspoon gingerbread spice
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
-- Gingerbread Spice --
-- Icing --
- 1/2 cup Butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar , sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon Gingerbread Spice
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 tablespoon Apple Brandy
- 1 tablespoon Milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 10- to 12-cup bundt-style pan. I used the Castle bundt pan from Nordicware.
- Chop the candied ginger finely.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, gingerbread spice, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the molasses. Add the candied ginger.
- Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the water, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- Bake the cake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, make the glaze by stirring together the water spice and sugar. Set aside.
- Remove the cake from the oven, cool it in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack.
- Brush the cake with the glaze, and allow it to cool completely.
- To make the icing, beat the butter until fluffy, then add the remaining ingredients. You will have to use your eye for this - if it's too thin, add more sugar, too thick, add more milk. Put the icing into separate bowls to color whatever colors you want to use, then put into a piping bag and have fun decorating your cake. Use more powdered sugar to make snow on the ground.