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…
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!
Gingerbread with Spiced Rum Buttercream
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1/2 cup = 4 oz. / 1 stick
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup fine ground almond flour, or use more all purpose 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
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 3 Tbsp spiced rum
- 1 Tbsp milk , or cream (to thin frosting), or more as needed
- Set oven to 350°F.
- Combine the boiling water with the baking soda and set aside.
- Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use an electric hand mixer and a medium mixing bowl.) Beat the butter until fluffy, then add the sugar and beat well to combine.
- Add the molasses and the water/baking soda mixture.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully combined.
- In a medium mixing bowl or on a piece of parchment paper, sift together dry ingredients. Add them to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix on low speed to combine.
- Pour batter into a well greased pan. *NOTE: 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 to make 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 a springform pan, 40-45 minutes. Cupcakes will take about 14 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack before topping cake with 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.
Other gingerbread treats to try ~
Questions and Reviews
I want to make this cake in a silicon house mold. Do you think it will slip out of the mold and hold its shape?
This is an older recipe, Karen, so I’m going by memory, but as I recall it’s a fairly sturdy cake, and it should work in a silicone mold.
Goodness, this sounds amazing!
I made this and it was dry. What did I do wrong?
I can’t imagine what would make this cake dry…possibly your oven was too hot? And make sure you measured your flour carefully…I always fluff it first, then scoop it lightly and level it off. With all that molasses, and the brown sugar, and almond flour, this cake should be extra moist. I hope you give it another try, Lisa.
Ok, so I didn’t use almond flour. I used more regular flour. But the recipe said I could? One thing I did screw up, I will admit, is I added baking powder to the boiling water instead of soda. So I substituted soda at the end of the recipe. Would that make a difference. Both were added, but just not in the right order.
Well, I’m not sure what happened, but with baking you can never tell, even the littlest things can end up making big changes. I’m so sorry it didn’t work for you. If you like gingerbread, I highly recommend the Copycat Starbuck’s Gingerbread that I posted last week: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/2014/12/copycat-starbucks-gingerbread.html, it’s good and very moist! Have a wonderful holiday Lisa!