There is no place like home. Spending time with my family, unlimited Boston sports games, a huge kitchen to bake in. It’s amazing.
And last week, when I announced via our family text that I wanted to make a gingerbread house, I had no idea what would be waiting for me. When I got home, my mom asked me to unwrap two of my presents early because “I would want to use them”. I hate opening presents early. For starters, I’m a huge fan of routines. Also, it would mean less to open on Christmas morning. But I was curious, and this is what I got:
I was beyond excited. I feel like you aren’t a real adult until you have seasonal bakeware. And it meant I could make a gingerbread house with a whole little village to go with it! And so the Sunday of two blog posts begins.
First up, the gingerbread cake. Grease and flour your pan to start. I just used Pam baking spray because it has flour right in it. And I knew it was going to be impossible to successfully butter this particular pan by hand.
Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking powder.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, brown sugar, and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Or just until combined if you’re impatient.
Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. At this point it will look way better. You can then blend in the vanilla.
Alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk. I did about three additions of each, beating on low after each addition. I started with flour and ended with milk, but I don’t actually believe that it makes a difference.
Finally, spoon the batter into the pan and use the spoon to spread it up the sides of the pan. You want to fill all of the little crevices, so this is actually pretty important. And my gingerbread house is a bundt cake! How cool is that?!
Put the pan on a cookie sheet and bake at 325°F for around 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping onto a wire rack to cool completely. My mom showed me the trick of putting the wire rack on top of the pan and then flipping the whole thing. Miraculously, my cake came out clean!
Now, the cake is beautiful on its own. The detail in the pan makes it pretty awesome. I see no reason why you couldn’t just serve it like this:
But I love decorating. And a gingerbread house at least deserves some icing. So I made some frosting and went for it.
When I took cake decorating classes two years ago, I made a lot of frosting from the Wilton recipe, and that’s what I used here. Also, as you’ll see in the second post, I used the icing on almond cakes as well. So I went with a hint of coconut for the flavoring, and it worked well.
In a stand mixer, blend together the crisco, water, and extracts. You could use any extract you want, and Wilton makes just about everything in clear so that it won’t color your frosting.
Then, add confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder. I used the towel trick to avoid having sugar everywhere.
At first, I made the frosting way to stiff, and I was cramping up trying to decorate my house. So don’t be afraid to add water by the teaspoon to make sure you reach a consistency that will actually emerge from a pastry tip. I used a #5 tip on the house to make lines a little thicker.
Despite being a lot of work, this cake definitely addressed my need for making a gingerbread house. And being a bundt cake, it is far more likely to get eaten than stale gingerbread and candy sitting on the counter, so it has that going for it. In the next post, you’ll see the finished product with the rest of the village, but for now, take a couple of recipes.
Gingerbread Bundt Cake
- 2 3/4 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- Spray bundt pan with baking spray and set aside.
- Whisk together cake flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar, and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition.
- Blend in vanilla.
- Add flour and milk alternately, mixing after each addition.
- Spoon batter into pan and spread up sides. Put on baking sheet and bake at 325°F for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
Wilton Cake Icing
- 1 cup crisco
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 7-8 teaspoons water
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- Cream together shortening, extracts, and water in a stand mixer.
- Add confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder and mix on medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Add water until correct consistency.