I say “Christmas”, you say … “peppermint”!
If I were to choose one flavour that screams “holidays”, it would be that minty, red and white name-sake candy. Whether you get your dose in candy cane form, a paper cup topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, or those swirly starlight candies, it’s impossible to avoid peppermint everything this time of year.
In this simple recipe, I incorporated a holiday twist with a classic treat for a simple, seasonally appropriate goodie that anyone can make. Crispy squares also make a great party treat/dessert because they can be made in advance, take less than 10 minutes to put together, and are a universal favourite – with kids and adults alike! (A healthy drizzle of white chocolate also helps!)
Gingerbread Layer Cake
Garnish with gingerbread men or sugared cranberries for an extra special touch!
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 cups brown sugar packed
- 3 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 4 1/2 tsp ground ginger softened
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine melted
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups hot water
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1 1/2 pckg cream cheese softened
- 1 1/2 cups butter softened
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 9 cups icing sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour three 8" round cake pans. Set aside.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, ginger cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Whisk in eggs, melted butter, molasses, and vanilla. Slowly whisk in about 3/4 cup of the water; whisk in remaining water just until combined (batter will be thin).
Scrape into prepared pans, smoothing tops.
Bake until cake tester or tooth pick inserted in centres comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pans for 15 minutes. Invert onto greased racks; let cool completely.
Use a serrated knife to trim and level the tops of cakes, if necessary.
Spread 1 tsp of the icing in centre of cake plate; top with 1 cake layer, cut side up.
Spread 1 1/4 cups of the icing on top of cut side; cover with second cake layer, cut side down. Spread 1 1/4 cups of the icing over top. Cover with final cake layer, cut side down; spread with 1 1/2 cups of the icing.
Using offset palette knife, spread thin layer of the Cream Cheese Icing all over cake; refrigerate until firm, about 30-45 minutes.
Using offset palette knife, spread remaining icing all over cake, smoothing side and top; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Garnish with pre-baked or store-bought gingerbread men.
Store at room temperature for up to 4 hours or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
In large bowl, beat cream cheese with butter until smooth; add vanilla. Beat in icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, until smooth.
Makes appr. 7 1/2 cups.
Adapted from: Canadian Living