This cake was meant for Santa. Instead of the usual milk and cookies, I thought Santa would enjoy cake for a change. Cake made with beer. The big guy had to like that, right? Well, I guess we'll never know because he never had a chance to try it. I totally ate all your cake, Santa. Sorry about that. I hope that doesn't put me on the naughty list for next year already.
I'm a sucker for cake made with stout. Gingerbread Stout, Chocolate Stout.. it doesn't matter-- I will devour it! It makes it incredibly moist and flavorful. Add the full, robust flavor of spicy gingerbread to it, and I just can't help myself! I seriously had this cake for breakfast a couple mornings. And a snack. And maybe for dinner..
I even liked it without the frosting. Just sprinkle it with some powdered sugar and eat it plain! My only issue with it-- it sank like the Titanic. I may have overmixed it, which the instructions clearly stated not to do, because both pans puffed up, then dropped like a rock in the center, leaving a huge crater behind. It still tasted amazing, and it was nothing a little frosting couldn't cover up, but the perfectionist in me still hated the sight of the slumped little slice when the cake was cut. Oh well.
Also, the recipe says it makes two 7-inch cakes. I don't own 7-inch cake pans. I'm not sure I've even seen 7-inch cake pans. So I made mine in a 8-inch and a 6-inch pan. Maybe next time, if they don't completely sink in the middle, I might try two 8-inch pans. They'll be shorter, but I'm sure you can stack them like a layer cake with the frosting in the center.
While Santa won't get to enjoy this cake for another year, you should totally whip one up for New Year's! What could be better to celebrate the last day before you start your new diet than a cake filled with alcohol?
Gingerbread Stout Cake
Adapted from Hummingbird on High and Miette
Makes two 7-inch round cakes
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons stout beer (such as Guinness)
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 pound (2 8oz packages) cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter two 7-inch cake pans and dust with flour, tapping out any excess; set aside.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together stout and molasses and bring to a boil. Whisk in baking soda, stirring constantly. (Mixture will foam furiously.) Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, spices, and salt; set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, combine eggs and granulated and brown sugars, beating until well combined and lightened in color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the oil and beat to combine. Reduce speed to low and slowly add stout mixture, scraping down the side of the bowl after all the wet ingredients have been added. Fold in dry ingredients by hand, being careful not to overmix, until just combined.
5. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 35 to 45 minutes. Allow to cool in pans for 20 minutes before inverting cakes onto wire racks to cool completely.
6. While cakes are cooling, make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla extract and salt, beating until well combined. Add cream cheese to butter mixture and mix thoroughly until there are no lumps.
7. Once cakes have cooled, spread tops of cakes with cream cheese frosting.