Gingerbread Cake with (the Perfect) Cream Cheese Frosting

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This time last year: Haystack Cookies (2013)

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I made this cake for a Christmas party during the holiday break.

I am now back at school, eyeballs deep in reading and homework, craving this scrumptious cake and holiday memories it brings!  Ug. Why do the holidays always pass so quickly?!

I have made several cakes in my lifetime, however I tend to save my cake-making for my trips home. The rational for that is entirely health focused, and not at all because I’m a generous person that wants to share my dessert. I want to eat dessert every day, but if I make a cake while living on my own, I know that I’ll eat that entire monster by myself. Thus, I tend to wait until I go home, so I can take my family down with me, and allow them to eat some of this cake for me! Thoughtful, I know.

So, this Christmas, as is my tradition, I tried a new cake recipe, and think I found a winner! We ate that cake up in a matter of hours, oohing and aaahing over the moist consistency, the rich flavor, and the perfect icing. I am pleased to say, my family ranked this cake at the top of my cake recipes- competing only with my Carmel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting.

In my mind, this cake is a winner for two reasons. One, the gingerbread cake is a unique flavor that is a perfect winter recipe, standing out at any dinner party or holiday gather.  And two, the icing is PERFECT.

There is no doubt that cream cheese icing is my favorite type of icing.

For some reason, I really hate all icings where I can noticeably taste the powdered sugar (I know, said no sugar-addict ever), and the presence of the cream cheese adds rich flavor, masking the powdered sugar flavor.  However, Even if I did like the taste of powdered sugar, the addition of the cream cheese makes this icing soooooo much richer, thicker, and in general more delicious. Thus, in my mind, there really seems to be no other option! Cream cheese icing is always the way to go.

And as far as cream cheese icings go, this icing is the best recipe I have found to date! That’s right, every cake from here on out will be topped with this perfect icing recipe. Get excited.  The consistency was perfect, making it easy to ice, not too runny, and long lasting without losing it’s form. Win-Win-Win!

Thus, if you’re missing Christmas, or family, or are eyeballs deep in work, I suggest you treat yourself to this cake. I promise, it will make your day better.

Come back soon!

– Sarah

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Cake Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ~ 1/2 cup cranberries  and mint leaves (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ and grease a 9-inch springform pan.*

2. In a glass or ceramic bowl, whisk together the boiling water, baking soda, molasses, and granulated sugar. Whisk until he sugar is dissolved, and set aside.

3. As the molasses mixture cools, combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, making powder, and salt in a separate large bowl.

4. Whisk the vegetable oil and eggs into the molasses mixture, and then add to the dry ingredients.

5. Fold the dry and wet ingredients together until evenly mixed, and then pour into the baking pan.

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, cool for five, and then gently remove from the pan. Allow to cool completely before icing.

7. While the cake cools, make the icing. Using an electric stand mixer, whip together the cream cheese and butter until pale and fluffy. Thoroughly mix in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar, cover, and refrigerate until ready to ice.

8. Optional: Once iced, chop up 1/2 cup of cranberries and arrange around the rim of the cake for decoration. Garnish with a few mint leaves.

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Notes and Tips!

  • Don’t have a 9-inch springform pan? Using an 8-inch square pan, or a 10-inch spring form pan will work as well! However if you use the later option, decrease cooking time slightly.
  • Source: Cooking Classy
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Like this recipe? Try these other scrumptious treats from A Rented Kitchen as well! (Recipe links found below photos!):

Orange Zest Blue Moon Cupcakes 
with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This Time Last Year:  Edamame Hummus (2013)

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H-o-l-y C-o-W these cupcakes are SO good. Drop what you’re doing, yes, drop everything you’re doing, and make them. Make them now!

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I had a huge paper due yesterday, so naturally, I went to the grocery store and got completely lost in an afternoon of baking. That’s very helpful for my sweet tooth and sense of joy, but less helpful for my paper…..woops.

If you were concerned, I did get my paper done and turned in on time- in between batches of these divine cupcakes. However, if these cupcakes had cost me my paper, it probably would have been worth it. They were that good.

The orange zest and juice in these muffins takes these muffins from normative to incredibly flavorful. The cream cheese frosting tops these cupcakes with moist citrusy tang, and the Blue Moon in this adds a slight hoppy honey tang.

So, good luck not eating them all in one setting. Consider yourself warned- it’s a real challenge!

Come back and see me 🙂 More recipes coming your way soon!

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Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, zested (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 2/3 cup Blue Moon beer

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 376˚ F, and line either 1 mini muffin tin, or two normal muffin tins, with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate, medium sized bowl, cream the butter with a hand mixer for one minute. Add the sugar and beat together for two minutes, or until smooth.
  4. One at a time, add the eggs to the sugar and butter, beating after each until smooth. Once fully incorporated, add the orange zest and vanilla until well combined.
  5. In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the milk and beer.
  6. Combine the ingredients together, stirring the beer mixture and sugar mixture into the flour until fully incorporated.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick can come out clean.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by creaming together the butter and cream cheese. Using a wooden spoon, stir the sugar, ½ cup at a time, until it has all been fully added.
  9. Add the orange juice to the frosting mixture, stir in thoroughly, and chill until ready to use.
  10. Once the cupcakes are room temperature, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using either a piping bag, or a ziplock bag with the corner tip cut off. Sprinkle with orange zest, serve, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 24 mini cupcakes
  • Source: Spoon Fok Bacon
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious sweet treats from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links found below!):