Updated: Jan 4
I wanted to make a festive cake and thought I would try my luck at a gingerbread cake, I wasn't sure how it would turn out but it was perfection! I covered it with cream cheese butter cream and filled it with some crumbled up shortbread cookies between the layers. I decided to decorate it using an NZ plant called Pohutakawa, it is essentially our Christmas tree as it comes into bloom at Christmas time and its' flowers are red. To contrast the red I made a teal blue icing and I love how it turned out. Of course, when decorating a cake, the world is your oyster so you can get to google for some inspiration and just have fun!
I baked this in a 6" tin and cut it into 2 layers for a taller cake, but you could also make this in a 8" tin and make one layer, the cooking time will be significantly less though, so keep an eye on it.
200g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
Cream Cheese Buttercream
100g butter, at room temperature
100g cream cheese OR 50g more butter
400g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 170°C and line a 6 inch cake tin with baking paper (see size note above).
In a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, use electric beaters to cream together butter and brown sugar.
Add vanilla, spices, eggs and golden syrup and beat, until combined.
Add flour, baking powder, salt and milk and use a spatula to gently fold together, until combined.
Transfer to prepared tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before icing.
To make icing, place butter and cream cheese in a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer. Use electric beaters to beat for about 5 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Add icing sugar, vanilla and milk (and remember to start on lowest speed so it doesn't poof everwhere!) and beat a further 2 minutes. Add any colours you desire.
If you would like to cut your cake into 2 layers, use a serrated knife to mark around the edge of the cake through the centre. Then follow the line to cut right through. Place your first layer onto a presenting plate and cover with icing. This is where you can fill it with things like shortbread or caramel sauce. Place your second layer on top (with the flattest side facing up) and cover the remainder with icing. Use a spoon to make a swoop pattern or use an offset spatula or butter knife to make lines around the whole cake - decorate to your heart's content!