I’ll begin with an unpopular opinion that Gingerbread cakes are better than gingerbread cookies. Yes you read that right, cookies are great and I love them. However, nothing beats a nice soft cake and like I have said before in my other post, cakes are my first love. This Gingerbread sponge cake is soft and delicious, with the warmth and cosiness of some of my favourite spices.
I’m a huge fan of spice mix, even more so when used in desserts. The combination of fruity/ sugary sweetness, a spicy kick or a sharp tang and creamy sweetness is one that never fails. Similar to my cinnamon/chocolate half & half rolls, I finished this gingerbread sponge cake with a rich cream cheese icing (If you’re American you might know this as frosting).
Although you might be able to buy an already made gingerbread spice, I highly recommend making it yourself. You can make a large gingerbread mix using a 4:4:2. You can store this in a jar to use whenever you want. That is:
- 4 parts cinnamon sticks
- 4 powdered ginger (it’s best to buy this already in a powdered form, If you want you can buy some fresh ginger, dry/dehydrate them and then blend. I just think this is a tedious job that can be avoided)
- 3 parts whole cloves
- 2 parts nutmeg
- 2 parts start anise
Gingerbread Sponge Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
- 270 g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 2 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp freshly ground cloves
- ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp freshly ground star anise
- 2 large eggs
- 100 g dark brown sugar
- 125 g butter (melted)
- 100 ml heavy cream
- 150 ml milk
For the cream cheese icing
- 150 g butter (at room temperature)
- 200 g icing sugar
- 200 g cream cheese (chilled)
- Pre-heat oven to 175°C. Grease a 6-inch cake pan and line with baking paper or dust with flour. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
- Break the eggs and separate the yolk and white in two separate bowls.
- In the bowl with the egg whites, add the brown sugar and whisk to a stiff peak.
- In the bowl with the egg yolk, add the melted butter heavy cream and milk, then beat for 3 minutes or until it turns into light pale colour.
- Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts to the wet egg yolk mixture and gently mix together until smooth.
- Gradually and gently fold in the beaten egg white using a spatula until combined, do not over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until a skewer (or a toothpick) comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn unto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the cream cheese icing
- Whisk the butter for about 2 minutes until its pale in colour.
- Add the icing sugar and continue whisking for 3 to 5 minutes until it becomes very pale and fluffy.
- Add the chilled cream cheese and whisk until it is incorporated (once you add the cream cheese, you don't want to whisk too much, just enough to combine with the butter mixture)
Assembling the cake
- Using a serrated knife of a cake leveller, cut the cake into 3 round layers. (cut it as even as you can but it doesn't have to be perfect)
- Place the first cake layer on stand, tray or plate and spread a fairly thick layer of frosting on it using an offset spatula.
- Repeat with the other two layers until all three cakes are stacked together. Finish with a little spread of icing over the last layer.
- Spread the remaining icing all over the cake for a thin coating.
- Place the layered cake in the fridge and chill for 10-20 minutes (this will help set it, in case you're working in a warm area.)
- When you're ready to serve, decorate with some cinnamon sticks and star anise. You can also sprinkle some icing sugar all over.