Happy December, everyone! I know preparing for the holidays can be a source of stress – everywhere you look, it seems like friends and family are ahead of the game with decorations, party planning, sending cards… It’s enough to make anyone want to just take a big long nap until January is here. So this year, at almost eight months pregnant, I’ve made the decision to only take on a little bit this holiday season, and so far it’s been the most wonderfully relaxed and stress-free one I can remember! We’re hosting just one holiday party at our house and it’s going to be a casual potluck. We’re sitting out far away family gatherings because long car rides make me queasy, so there won’t be the usual running around. Scaling back leaves me with the time, energy and sanity to actually enjoy the holidays this year, and for me that means lots of leisurely baking while listening to Christmas music!
This gingerbread cake is my first bake of the season, and everything about it says holidays. It’s loaded with rich molasses and lots of wintry spices for a dose of nostalgic gingerbread flavor, then coated in silky Stash Chai Spice Tea-infused buttercream. I finished it off with a cream cheese glaze snowcap and some rosemary branch fir trees for a simple yet charming winter scene that makes this cake a perfect centerpiece for holiday gatherings. I might try making a cupcake version for that potluck we’re having, with a dollop of buttercream piped on the top and a mini snowcap. I love the extra sweetness and spice the tea-infused frosting adds to the cake; it makes this a much more complex and flavorful dessert than, say, biting into a sugar-iced gingerbread house (though I’m still fond of those!).
I hope your holiday season is off to a relaxing start, full of good food and company, or whatever the perfect season looks like to you. If you give this cake a try, I’d love to hear what you think!
Gingerbread Cake with Chai Spice Buttercream
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup mild or full flavor molasses
- 1 cup hot water
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Chai spice buttercream (makes enough to generously frost a three-layer cake)
- 6 bags Stash Chai Spice Black Tea
- 2 cups butter
- 5 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3-4 Tbsp milk
Cream cheese glaze
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl.
Stir the molasses and hot water together in a bowl until dissolved. Set aside.
Beat the butter until fluffy in a large bowl, then beat in the molasses, sugar and vanilla. Slowly add the eggs, beating until smooth. Mix in the dry ingredients in three batches, stirring just until combined.
Divide batter between three 8" cake pans lined with parchment and greased and floured. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the edge of the cake is pulling away from the pan.
Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning onto a cooling rack.
Chai spice buttercream
Melt butter in a small saucepan and heat until just simmering. Remove from heat and submerge the tea bags for 15 minutes. Discard tea bags.
Transfer butter to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes until opaque but still soft. Beat until very fluffy, then sift in the sugar one cup at a time, beating until smooth.
Add the salt and cinnamon and beat. Add milk a little at a time, beating between additions, until the buttercream is smooth and spreadable. Frost the cake as desired.
Cream cheese glaze
Beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then sift in the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in milk a tablespoon at a time until slightly runny.
Spoon glaze over the top of the cake and use the back of the spoon to spread the glaze evenly and create drips down the side of the cake.
This post was written in collaboration with Stash Tea. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog!