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!):

Chocolate Mint Puddle Cookies

 

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Today is December 2nd, the first Sunday of Advent. That means that it is the beginning of holiday shopping, ugly sweater parties, and lots of baking. One struggle with being in college is that the holiday season does not really start until final exams are over- which for many may not until the week of Christmas itself!

One thing that always makes it feel like Christmas for me, even being miles from home and in the hardest weeks of my semester, is turning on some Christmas music and baking. That may sound cheesy, but it’s the truth. And it is exactly what I did this weekend

These cookies are the perfect recipe for any holiday occasion. Chances are your friends have never had a cookie quite like this, and not only are they going to be asking for seconds, but they’ll be asking for the recipe as well! Chocolate and mint combined create a delicious holiday treat that is sure to please everyone.

I hope wherever you are, you are able to take a break and enjoy some of this holiday cheer. Maybe make some cookies, and pass them on- just a thought 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 (4.6 oz) packages Andes mints

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, and water- stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until smooth and completely melted.
  3. Allow the chocolate/butter mix to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
  5. Once the chocolate/butter mix has cooled for 10 minutes, pour it into a separate medium sized bowl, and beat the two eggs into the mixture one at a time.
  6. Combine the dry and wet ingredients, stirring well.
  7. Cover and refrigerate the dough for one hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350˚ and spray a cookie sheet with a light layer of non-stick cooking spray.
  9. Roll the dough into small balls and arrange on the cookie sheet two inches apart.
  10. Bake for 7-9 minutes, remove the cookies and quickly press an Andes mint into the center of each cookie. Place the cookie sheet back in the over for an additional 30 seconds then remove the cookies.
  11. Use a toothpick or a small knife to swirl the Andes Mint into a melted pattern.
  12. Allow to cool before serving and enjoy!*

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Notes and Tips!:

  • I suggest baking the cookies all at once the same day you make the dough. The cookies keep well once cooked, and the dough firms up after being refrigerated, making it more difficult to bake the longer you wait.
  • I used two cookie sheets and alternated using them to make the process quicker.
  • I suggests spraying each sheet with a thin layer of non-stick cooking spray at the beginning, however that is the only time you probably will have to apply it. I only used it once and my cookies came off the pan easily!
  • If you place your cookies in the refrigerator for 30+ minutes after they come out of the oven, it helps the Andes Mint harden up much quicker.
  • Source: Gimme Some Oven
  • If you like this recipe, try these Rolo Crinkle Cookies, Apple Spice Cookies with Cardmon Cinnamon Frosting, and my World’s Best Cookie Bar Recipes!