Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake with Buttercream Frosting

raspberry cake 14

raspberry cake 11

So we realize that Valentine’s Day was three days ago and we’re sharing this pretty pink cake with tiny frosting hearts with you today. Yes, we’re a little delayed in our effort to help you celebrate the big day dedicated to love, but why not celebrate love everyday? You know you agree! Candy hearts and sweets shouldn’t be shared just one day a year!

raspberry cake 12

We made this lemon layer cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting this past weekend with our friend, Jen who is an all-star baker and has amazing cake decorating skills. She’s made such creative and fun “smash cakes” (the cakes for kids’ 1st birthdays) for her friends’ and co-worker’s. So, piping little butter cream hearts was a piece of cake for her (pun intended).

raspberry cake 9

We used cream instead of butter, which gives the cake a texture and taste that resembles a short-bread biscuit. The raspberry filling adds a welcomed tart bite that is sweetened by the buttercream frosting. Since we’re girls who like pretty things, we added decorative pearls around the sides.

raspberry cake 13

Life is about celebrating friends, family and love, and making cakes!

Happy double dipping!

*p.s. please excuse the semi-smashed frosting hearts in the pics…the cake got a little messy in the container on the drive home from Jen’s house. That just meant more frosting-licking for us!

 raspberry cake 5

 

The recipe is inspired by Martha Stewart and Naturally Ella

 Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar (1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Butter, to grease pan

 Filling

  • 15 ounces raspberries (8 ounces, fresh or frozen)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons corn starch

 Frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 7-8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup raspberry filling

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat 2 9-inch round cake pans with butter. Whisk together flour, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. In a separate bowl, combine cream, almond milk, baking powder, egg whites, and lemon. Whisk in vanilla.
  1. Fold in flour mixture, then divide among pans. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. (Each cake layer will be approximately 1/2 inch in height.) Let cool in pans 30 minutes. Remove; let cool completely on a wire rack.
  1. While the cake is baking, prepare raspberry filling. Combine the raspberries in a pot and heat over medium heat until juices have released. Add sugar and stir. In a small bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup warm water, stirring until the starch is dissolved. Add to the pot and stir well. Cook until raspberries have thickened slightly and the cloudiness from the cornstarch has disappeared. Remove from heat and let cool completely. If filling is still too runny, continue to add cornstarch/water mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. Let cool. The filling will thicken while cooling.
  1. For the frosting, beat together butter, 7 cups of powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla. Frosting should still be slightly stiff. Finally, beat in ¼ cup of the cooled raspberry filling.
  1. Spread half the filling over top of 1 cake layer, and sandwich with another layer. Swirl frosting over top and sides of cake. Add sprinkles, pearls, and decorate until your heart’s content!

Apple Pomegranate Galette

 Tart 4 

It snowed! It finally snowed! Which means we’ve been frolicking outside in our mukluk boots, making snow angels, and best of all we got to use the snow blower we got for Christmas from our Big Dipper parents! Does our dad know how to buy gifts for his daughters or what?! A big, mighty, orange snow blower that shoots snow across the yard like a fire breathing dragon is every girl’s dream, really. Snow blower before diamond rings and bling, that’s our new phrase.

Tart 7

The snow blower was a highlight, and we really did have an amazing Christmas spent with friends and family. As always, we indulged in a Scandinavian smorgasbod on Christmas Eve, complete with Swedish meatballs, lefse, pork roast topped with sugary-tart lingonberries, pickled cucumbers, and twice baked potatoes. We love (italicized for emphasis) this meal and love that it does not change from year to year. That’s tradition. The one part that does change is the dessert. Our Mom has made chocolate raspberry pie, fondu, and pear torts in the past. All delicious! This year we were in charge of the dessert. Lots of pressure! But we think we delivered on dessert with this colorful, sweet and tart apple pomegranate galette.

Tart 6

Our Dad said it was the best dessert we’ve ever made! We gave ourselves a little pat on the back for that.

Tart 2

The crust is buttery and flakey. The apples and pomegranates are just tart enough to make your tongue pucker on the first bite. The brown sugar and cinnamon give simple sweetness which provides the perfect counter-balance.

This dessert is a fantastic end to a winter meal shared with friends.

Happy snow frolicking! Happy baking! Happy double dipping!

Tart 8

Apple Pomegranate Galette – adapted from FoodNetwork.com

Ingredients:

For the crust

  • 1 cup whole-grain flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 5 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling

  • 3 medium Honey Crisp apples (or other variety), unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dried pomegranates (divided into two 1/4 cup measurements)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

To prepare the crust, put the whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor (we use our Vitamix) and pulse 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse about 12 times, until you get a pebbly coarse texture. Add the water and pulse 3 to 5 times more to combine. Pat the dough into a 4-inch round and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, or make ahead and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and prepare the filling. Core the apples and cut them into 1/4-inch slices. In a large bowl toss the apple slices with the lemon juice. Add half of the pomegranates (1/4 cup), then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon and toss until the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a large circle about 9 inches in diameter. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and draping the dough over the rolling pin, transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. If the dough breaks (it will likely break and don’t sweat it!), patch it up with your fingers.

Arrange the apple mixture in a mound in the center on the dough, leaving a 1 to 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling. It will only cover the filling partially and does not need to be even.

Bake the pie at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, keeping the pie in the oven all the while, and bake for another 40 minutes, until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown.

When the pie is done transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Add the reaming 1/4 cup pomegranates on top. Cut into 6 wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Maple Panna Cotta with Sea Salt Blackberries

Maple Panna Cotta

Sometimes we get these brilliant ideas, like an idea to make maple cinnamon gelato. We get super excited, put the jams on loud in the kitchen and whisk away making gelato.

Maple Panna Cotta  

Gelato is complicated if you’ve never made it. It requires patience, attention and finding the balance between different temperature states. If you lose focus and turn away for a moment you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.

Maple Panna Cotta

We ended up with scrambled eggs instead of gelato. Sometimes in the kitchen you just have to let go. Let the scrambled eggs be what you made them to be on move on. The weekend meditation on The Kitchn says this perfectly. We practiced letting go and turned to this easy and delicious panna cottta instead. No eggs required for this!

Maple Panna Cotta

This maple panna cotta was inspired by one of our favorite restaurants, Mill Valley Kitchen. It’s lucious and creamy, tart and tangy, sweet and satly. This dessert has it going on! The base is made with European style yogurt and full fat milk (splurge!). It melts in your mouth and leaves the sweet maple taste on your tongue. But what makes this dessert really pop is the sprinkle of sea salt on top. We can’t take credit for this ingenious idea. Mill Valley Kitchen tops their panna cotta with black sea salt. Divine. Our copy cat recipe is a homage to Mill Valley Kitchen.

So, if you end up with scrambled eggs let it go and make panna cotta. Happy double dipping!

Maple Panna Cotta

Recipe – adapted from A Cozy Kitchen 

Makes 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (grade A)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups European-style whole milk yogurt

Method

1. In a medium bowl, pour in 1/4 cup milk and stir in the gelatin powder. Set aside for 15 minutes, allowing the gelatin to bloom.

2. Pour in the remaining 1 1/4 cup milk, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until boiling, about 3-5 minutes.

3. Pour the gelatin/milk mixture into the saucepan with the milk/sugar mixture and stir until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl (you can use the bowl where the milk and gelatin were) and allow the mixture to cool to a lukewarm temperature. Whisk in the yogurt (it’ll be lumpy at first – just keep whisking) and mix until smooth.

4. Divide the panna cotta between ramekins. (We filled 4 ramekins, but if you use smaller ones, you can get enough for 6.) Transfer the panna cotta to the refrigerator and chill until firm, at least 6 hours, but ideally overnight. Since there isn’t THAT much gelatin in this, overnight is preferred.

Salted Honey Ice Cream S’mores

Salted Honey Ice Cream S'mores

We made the ultimate summer treat…salted honey ice cream s’mores. You can thank us later as you are licking the sweet, melted ice cream off your fingers and wiping the smudged chocolate off your face.

Salted Honey Ice Cream S'mores

This treat was inspired by our long, deep love for both s’mores and ice cream. The gooey marshmallow and melty chocolate squished between two crunchy grahams is irresistible. The cool, sugary ice cream is our go-to on a steamy summer day. Rather than choose one or the other, we ingeniously combined the two.

The salted honey ice cream mimics the marshmallow. The chocolate is layered on the outside of the graham and is sprinkled with sea salt. Sweet meet salty. Who can resist it?

Salted Honey Ice Cream S'mores

These ice cream sandwiches are everything summer should be. Happy double dipping!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 16 honey graham crackers (we used Honey Maid)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk (we used 1%, but 2% or whole milk would be delicious as well)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, plus more for sprinkling graham crackers
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (a vanilla bean would be a great, fresh alternative as well)

Method

Making the salted honey ice cream:

1. Combine milk, buttermilk, heavy cream, honey, vanilla, and sea salt in a blender and process until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Chill mixture in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Transfer sherbet to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

Double Dipper Tip: To prevent the ice cream from become icy we learned you should store the sherbet in a low, long airtight rectangular container. This increases the surface area of the sherbet, preventing ice from forming easily. Also, make sure you spread the sherbet evenly in the container to prevent ice from forming.

Making the chocolate covered graham crackers:

1. Melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips using a double boiler. We made this dessert at our cabin, where we do not have a double boiler and if you find yourself in a similar position here is an alternative method.

Bring a pot of water to a boil over the stove. Place a shallow glass dish in the boiling water and pour the chocolate chips into the glass bowl. Reduce heat to low and stir chocolate until it is creamy and smooth.

2. Break each graham cracker in half (you should have 32 squares). Dip half of each square in melted chocolate and place on a freezer-safe dish lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle each square with sea salt.

3. Freeze graham crackers in freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate hardens.

Assembling the ice cream S’more:

1.  Spoon 1 scoop (about 1 Tbsp.) ice cream on graham cracker half. Place the other half on top, pressing down slightly. Repeat for remaining graham crackers.

2. Freeze ice cream s’mores for at least one hour before serving.

3. Serve as a cool treat and enjoy!

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbert

Happy Fourth of July! We hope you have exciting plans to celebrate today! We are heading out to the golf course to play 9 holes this sunny morning and then the lake is calling our name this afternoon. We’re planning on waterskiing, floating in the lake and playing some lawn games. Tonight our neighbors are lighting off an incredible fireworks show over the water, as they do every year. This year they told us they’ve gone all out. Can’t wait for the colors and sparks that are in store!

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbert

If you’re looking for a last minute cool, refreshing and patriotic dessert to celebrate the 4th this roasted strawberry buttermilk sherbet is your ticket!

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbert

This sherbet delightfully teases your taste buds. We start with a creamy Greek yogurt base and add layers of flavor with vanilla, honey, buttermilk and yeah, roasted strawberries. The tangy buttermilk plays with the sweetness of the roasted strawberries and will leave you licking your bowl. Which is totally acceptable and encouraged. There is no judging here when it comes to eating frozen treats.

We topped our sherbet with fresh strawberries and Raspberry Liquor Hot Fugde from Stonewall Kitchens. Oh yes we did.

Enjoy this sherbet! Enjoy celebrating the 4th of July! Happy double dipping!

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbert

Recipe – from bon appetit magazine July 2013

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 4 cups strawberries (about 1 lb.), hulled, halved or quartered if large
  • 1/2 honey
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup full fat or 2% Greek yogurt
  • pinch of sea salt

Method

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine strawberries and honey in a 13x9x2″ baking pan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add pod; toss to combine. Roast berries, stirring occasionally, until juices are bubbling, 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

2. Discard vanilla pod. Puree berries, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, and sea salt in a blender until smooth.

3. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Transfer sherbet to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

Double Dipper Tip: To prevent the sherbet from become icy we learned you should store the sherbet in a low, long airtight rectangular container. This increases the surface area of the sherbet, preventing ice from forming easily. Also, make sure you spread the sherbet evenly in the container to prevent ice from forming.

Do Ahead: sherbert can be made 1 week ahead. Keep frozen. Let soften at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

Magical “Ice Cream” Sundaes: Coconut Cinnamon Dulce, Fresh Strawberry, Dark Chocolate

 Magical One Ingredient Ice Cream

Sundays were made for ice cream.

Driving home from the cabin on Sunday evenings it was always an unspoken rule that we would stop at the Albany Dairy Queen for a sweet treat. Each time the order was the same; a small hot fudge sundae for Mom, a buster bar for Dad that he would inevitably spill on his shirt each time, an oreo blizzard for E, and a cookie dough blizzard for K. As we approached the exit we would anxiously eye each other, wondering will we stop this time? Anticipation was part of the ice cream experience. Even the weekend our refrigerator died and our neighbor called us in the car to tell us that he was in our kitchen cleaning up rotting meat and water that had seeped all over the floor, we still stopped at DQ. We’re not terrible neighbors, it’s just that rituals cannot be changed.

Magical One Ingredient Ice Cream

Sunday ice cream is still our ritual, but with a new flare. We have a secret to share. This ice cream is not ice cream. It’s frozen bananas blended into the consistency of that familiar irresistibly creamy soft serve. We chopped two ripe bananas and froze them on a plate for a few hours. Then we brought out the VitaMix, added the frozen bananas with some goodies, and WHA-BAM! Ice cream.

We made three varieties. An ice cream sundae platter if you will.

The first is coconut-cinnamon dulce (banana, coconut milk, and cinnamon). A fiesta for your taste buds.

For our second creation we added a bright spark, strawberries. A perfectly satisfying classic.

And last, a decadent dark chocolate. Because dessert really isn’t complete without chocolate. This one is bowl lickin’ delicious.

It’s Sundae Sunday. Don’t ditch tradition. Blend your nanners, mix in whatever goodies your heart desires, and grab a spoon.

Happy double dipping!

Magical One Ingredient Ice Cream

Recipe –  Adapted from The Kitchn. Find it here.

Lemon-Yogurt Icebox Tart

Lemon Yogurt Icebox Tart

We are avid readers of “The Kitchn,” a daily blog publication that offers great recipe ideas, product reviews, organization tips for your home, kitchen renovation ideas, and DIY projects. It’s inspirational. Check it out.

Lemon Yogurt Icebox Tart

Last week was dessert week on the Kitchn…yes please can we make/eat every treat posted?!!! The timing of dessert week could not have been more perfect since we were tasked with bringing a dessert to our family’s Easter celebration. It was an arduous decision, but we finally landed on this lemon-yogurt icebox tart. It seemed like the perfect flavors for spring.

Lemon Yogurt Icebox Tart

This tart is made with Greek yogurt, lemon curd and honey. We have a confession: we cheated a little and used Trader Joe’s lemon curd and frozen pie crust. But let’s be honest, we all lead busy crazy lives outside of the kitchen. So using a pre-made buttery, flaky pie crust is and buying lemon curd is perfectly acceptable. It is. Free yourself, follow our lead.

An Great Shortcut: Trader Joe's Lemon Curd and Pie Crust

The tartness of the lemon curd will make your taste buds tingle and the greek yogurt, whipped cream, honey, and blueberries provide a subtle,cool sweetness. Embrace spring’s fresh, light and vibrant flavors with this dessert.

Happy double dipping!

Lemon Yogurt Icebox Tart

Recipe – from The Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-lemon-yogurt-ice-box-tart-recipes-from-the-kitchn-169454 

Makes one 9-inch tart

  • 1/2 recipe pie/tart dough of your choice (we used Trader Joe’s pie crust)
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup lemon curd (we used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or more, depending on tartness of curd)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Whipped cream
  • Citrus slices or berries (optional, for garnish)

1. About two hours before assembling tart, roll or press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan and fully bake according to recipe instructions. Let cool on a cooling rack for at least one hour, until room temperature.

2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon curd, honey and vanilla. Taste and add more honey, if needed. Put the water and gelatin in a small microwave-safe measuring cup and let sit for 5 minutes. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, stirring once or twice, until the gelatin is dissolved. Do not allow to cool. Thoroughly whisk the hot dissolved gelatin into the yogurt mixture and pour into the tart shell.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and sliced citrus or berries before serving.

Paleo Roasted Banana-Nut Bread (and gluten free)

Paleo Roasted Banana-Nut Bread 

 Mr. Caveman (or Miss Cavewoman) would have been very happy to eat this bread. We certainly were.

Paleo Roasted Banana-Nut Bread

The Paleo (or Caveman) diet seems to be the hot trend in the healthful foodie sphere. And although we don’t adhere to it, we wanted to see what all the buzz was about so we made this roasted banana-nut bread. It’s Paleo because it contains no wheat, dairy products or processed ingredients. Basically Mr. Caveman could have made this over the open fire (the oven of his day).

 Paleo Roasted Banana-Nut Bread

The roasted bananas make this bread so moist and sweet and creamy. The almond meal provides a rich nutty flavor and crunch. We ate this fresh and hot out of the oven with spoon. It was like eating cake.

Happy double dipping!

 Recipe – adapted from http://www.runningtothekitchen.com/

Makes 1 Loaf (8 x 5 pan)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flax meal
  • 1 cup almond flour*
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 very ripe bananas, roasted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

*To make homemade almond flour we ground 1 cup of raw whole almonds in a food processor for 20 seconds. We did not sift the flour so it was not as fine as store-bought almond flour. We kept the larger almond pieces to add texture to the bread. However, if you want finer flour place it through a sifter after pulsing.

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place bananas on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Keep the peel on. After 10 minutes, remove from oven and mash.

3. In a large mixing bowl combine flax meal, almond flour, baking soda and cinnamon.

4. In a small mixing bowl whisk together eggs, coconut milk, vanilla and honey.

5. Add wet ingredients and roasted mashed bannans to dry ingredients, and mix gently until fully incorporated.

6. Pour batter into greased 8 x 5 bread pan. Bake for 35 minutes.

7. Serve fresh out of the oven and enjoy!

Chocolate Coconut Avocado Mousse

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It’s spring break time! Do you have a trip planned to escape to a tropical oasis? Or are you like us and still shivering in the freezing cold? We’re not spring breaking it this year…reality of being working girls. But we are dying for some vitamin D and a taste of the tropics. So last weekend we escaped to a sweet retreat with this chocolate coconut avocado mousse, served in a margarita glass and enjoyed while relaxing with friends and listening to the island tunes of Jimmy Buffet. We were truly in Margaritaville.  

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This mousse is so easy to whip up and can be made a few days ahead of time making it the perfect dessert when hosting a party. Don’t be scared by the avocado. It provides silky, smooth texture without being overwhelming in flavor. The chocolate, cinnamon, and coconut milk are the flavor stars here.

 

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Now for presentation…we got kind of fancy here and served the mousse in margarita glasses. We also added some goodies. You can see the raspberry, dark chocolate chips, and chopped almonds on top, but there’s a surprise at the bottom of the glass. No, not tequila although that is an awesome idea! More dark chocolate chips and raspberries! Our friends loved the surprise. One of them even said she had been saving the raspberry to eat with the last bite and was ecstatic that more awaited! It’s so much fun to surprise your friends!

So if you’re itching for the tropics, invite your friends over, jam out to Jimmy Buffet, and make this mousse. Happy double dipping!

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Recipe

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 6 tbsp. coco powder
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 vanilla beans or 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 handful raspberries (for topping)
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds (for topping)
  • 1-2 handful dark chocolate chips (for topping)
  • 6 margarita glasses (for serving)

Method

  1. In a food processor (we used our VitaMix) combine avocado and coconut milk; process until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and continue to blend until thick and creamy. Stop occasionally to make sure all ingredients are being fully incorporated, scraping down sides as needed.
  3. Place a few raspberries and dark chocolate chips in the bottom of each margarita glass. Evenly divide mousse between 6 glasses. Garnish with a raspberry, a few chocolate chips and a sprinkle of chopped almonds.
  4. Store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Mousse can be made up to 3 days before serving.
  5. Savor each bite and enjoy!

Orange Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Merry Christmas Eve to all! We wanted to share one last treat with you before the big dance tomorrow, Christmas day! This year we are going over to our uncle’s house to celebrate Christmas with family and of course…food. We were asked to bring a dessert to share and saw this to-die-for orange gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting on Joy the Baker and knew our little cousins (and big uncles) would eat this right up. As we were digging through the cupboard for the 8×8 baking pan we came across the perfect cake pan. Yes, what you see featured above is a cake pan in the shape of a Christmas tree! Cake in the shape of a Christmas tree is infinitely better than cake in a regular shaped pan. Ok, you can’t really taste a difference so don’t fret, you won’t have a blue Christmas if you must resort to using a normal cake pan. We decorated the tree with pomegranates and green sprinkles and topped it with a yellow star. This gingerbread cake tastes and looks like Christmas. So, if you’re searching for one more treat to bake this orange gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting is the winner.

Recipe

Orange Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – adapted from joythebaker.com

makes 9 generous pieces in an 8×8-inch square pan

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsulphered molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3/4 cup warm water

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese frosting, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • big pinch of salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (plus half of a scraped vanilla bean if you’d like)
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish

Method

  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8×8-inch square (or 9-inch round) baking pan.  Line with parchment paper and grease and flour the parchment paper.  The parchment paper isn’t entirely necessary, it just makes the cake easier to remove from the pan.  Set pan aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs until thick and pale.  Stir in molasses, honey, and orange zest.
  4. Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the wet ingredients.  Stir together until entirely incorporated.  Add the warm water and gently stir until entirely incorporated and the mixture is silky smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  If you find that the mixture fills the pan more than three-quarters of the way full, you might consider using a larger pan (a 9 or 10-inch pan may serve your better).
  6. Bake cake for 35-45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. While the cake bakes, make the cream cheese frosting.In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese (yea… just the cream cheese) on medium speed.  The cream cheese should be as soft and smooth as possible.  Stop the mixer.  Add the softened butter.  Scraped down the sides of the bowl and beat the two together over medium speed until smooth and incorporated.  Add one cup of powdered sugar.  Blend until incorporated.  Add vanilla extract (and bean, if using) and remaining cup of powdered sugar.  Beat on medium high speed until frosting is smooth and silky.
  8. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting the cake.  Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds before serving.
  9. Serve as a Christmas treat and enjoy!

*This cake can be stored, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.