Gingerbread Layer Cake w/ Eggnog Frosting

There are only five days left until Christmas and I cannot believe how quickly it has come. I don't know if it's the lack of snow or the fact that time feels like it's flying by but it doesn't really feel like Christmas yet to me. Luckily, I have this gorgeous cake to get me into the holiday spirit!

I first found this recipe last Christmas in House & Home magazine and it went over so well that I knew I had to make it again this year. It all comes together very easily but once it's all put together it's a real showstopper. The cake is so spicy, moist and delicious and goes along so wonderfully with the eggnog frosting. The original recipe (which you can find online over here) uses two 8-inch cake pans but I decided to use three 6-inch pans and cut each cake in half to make 6 layers (I only used five for my cake though). I find that a layered 6-inch cake is the perfect size and it looks really cute as well!

Ingredients -

Cake Batter -
1 cup of beer (I used Molson Canadian)
2/3 of a cup of fancy grade molasses
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 of a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/8 of a teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 of a teaspoon of salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 of a cup of granulated sugar
1/2 of a cup of packed brown sugar
3/4 of a cup of vegetable oil, plus more for cake pans

Eggnog Frosting -
2 250g bars of cream cheese, softened
1/2 of a cup of unsalted butter, room temperature 
2 teaspoons of eggnog
1/8 of a teaspoon of nutmeg
1 and a 1/2 cups of icing sugar, sifted
Sugared cranberries, for garnish (roll wet cranberries around in granulated sugar)
Sprig of rosemary, for garnish

Method -

In a large saucepan over high heat, whisk your beer and molasses together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add in your baking soda and whisk in. The mixture will foam up quite a bit and let cool to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease your cake pans with vegetable oil and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl whisk together your flour, baking powder, spices and salt until well mixed. Set aside. In a smaller bowl combine the eggs, both sugars and vegetable oil until smooth. Whisk in the beer molasses mixture. Gradually add the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until the batter is smooth and divide evenly amongst your prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from cake pans and let cool on cooling rack.

For the frosting use your stand mixer to beat together your cream cheese, butter, eggnog and nutmeg on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add in your icing sugar and combine. 

To put your cake together, use a serrated knife to cut each cake in half. I had three 6-inch cakes which gave me six cake layers, though I only used five. Place your bottom layer on your cake stand and smooth a generous amount of icing over the top. Repeat this process with the rest of your layers and garnish the top with sugared cranberries and a sprig of rosemary. Keep in your refrigerator until at least a half hour before you're ready to serve. 

I really hope you guys try this recipe out, it's perfect! So simple and tasty but it looks so lovely once it's all been put together. Everyone will be so impressed with you! Thank you for reading and have a very merry Christmas and a happy holiday season!


Pistachio + Cherry Cornmeal Biscotti

It is hard to believe just how quickly Christmas is approaching. It feels like most of my spare time has been spent in the kitchen baking all kinds of things for the holiday season. I think these Biscotti have been the biggest hit so far. Three batches have already been made, everyone loves them! It's a really wonderful recipe that is simple enough to follow and can be made ahead of time. This makes them perfect to keep on hand for when guests stop by or even give them as hostess' gifts.

The cornmeal gives a whole new texture to your typical biscotti. The saltiness of the pistachios and the tartness of the dried cherries work so well together. Not to mention the colours are super appropriate for the season, but you can add whatever you like to these - almonds, chocolate chips, citrus zest, dried cranberries. I'm sure whatever combination you come up with would be delicious.

I followed this recipe but made a few changes.

Ingredients -

1 and a 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 of a cup of yellow cornmeal
5 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
just over 3/4 of a cup of white sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of salted and shelled pistachios
3/4 of a cup of dried cherries

Method -

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking tray with parchment paper. In a medium bowl whisk together your flour,  baking powder, salt and cornmeal.

With a stand mixer, beat your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about three minutes) on medium speed. Add in your eggs and continue to beat for two more minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl. Add in your vanilla extract. Reduce the speed of you mixer to low and add in your dry ingredients in two additions and mix until just combined. Add in your pistachios and cherries and mix until everything seems evenly dispersed.

Sprinkle your worktop with flour, roll your dough into a ball and cut in half. Taking one half of dough, form a long and narrow log on your parchment and gently flatten with your fingers. Do this with your second lump of dough. Bake your logs for twenty-five minutes of until just golden brown and still soft. Place on a rack and let cool for thirty minutes.

Bring your oven back up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Move your logs onto a cutting board and with a serrated knife cut into 3/4 inch slices on a diagonal and place back on your baking tray standing upright. Bake for twenty-five minutes or until golden and firm and dry.

Enjoy these dunked into your tea - it makes them nice and soft! Thank you for reading and have a happy holiday season!