Gingerbread with Spiced Rum Buttercream ~ a holiday dessert with all the bells and whistles of the old time ginger molasses cake, brought up to speed with a to-die-for spiced rum frosting.
My mother used to make a square gingerbread cake, I think it was probably from a box mix, and she always topped each piece with a little blob of redi-whip. I loved it, but I have to admit, this one is waaaaay better.
My version is earthy, luxurious, heavily spiced and enriched with a whole cup of molasses. Sometimes you’ll see this kind of gingerbread cake made with fresh ginger, but for some reason I prefer to use only the dried spices, the bite of the fresh ginger seems out of place to me. If you love that zesty flavor, then by all means grate some into this batter.
Most gingerbread cakes are served with a modest dusting of powdered sugar or, like my mom did, a dollop of whipped cream. I’ve stepped it up to include a generous layer of spiced rum buttercream which absolutely makes this cake spectacular. And yes, you can really taste the spiced rum!
The light is streaming through the window at a decidedly different angle these days, but Los Angeles is still in the throes of summer. I think we’re the last place in the country to get a whiff of fall. The thermometer read 105 yesterday.
1. 0. 5.
Send good thoughts our way, please.
In the meantime, I offer up the most wonderful, old-timey seasonal dessert, in hopes that it might appease whichever spirits are in charge of cool breezes, nips in the air, and chilly mornings. Just in case your good thoughts aren’t enough. I have to cover all my bases…
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup almond flour (or use more regular flour)
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 3 Tbsp Spiced Rum
- Milk or cream to thin
- Set oven to 350F
- Combine the boiling water with the baking soda and set aside.
- Beat the butter until fluffy, then add the sugar and cream them together well.
- Add the molasses and water/baking soda mix.
- Sift together dry ingredients and add them to the wet.
- Beat in eggs.
- Pour into a well greased pan. This recipe makes enough batter for a 9x12 rectangle baking pan, but I wanted to use my 9" round springform pan, so I had enough batter left for 6 cupcakes. Go either way, but be sure to grease up your pan well, this cake is sticky.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes for the rectangle, and a little longer for the springform, 40-45 minutes. Cupcakes will take about 14 minutes, till a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack before frosting.
- To make the frosting, blend the soft butter and sugar with a wooden spoon.
- Add the rum and then the milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time, beating well, until the frosting is smooth and of spreading consistency.
I loved this cake. And not just because cake is my weak spot. I could barely make it through a quick photo shoot. That first bite, the point, that bit that droops down under the weight of the frosting there, that’s the best part.
Here’s hoping for a cold front from the north!