Gingerbread Cake

The last couple weeks of the year sure seem to fly by fast. And no matter how much I try to prepare, and get ahead of what I need to buy, borrow or make to be able to entertain or share gifts with friends or family, it always seems to come down to the wire!

This year, I was still baking on Boxing Day because one of the family celebrations was taking place several days after Christmas. The brief: bring one boy gift, one girl gift (for a white elephant game), and one savory and one sweet dish for the buffet table.

As much as I love to bake, I wanted to find something that was a little different from our family’s usual that wouldn’t take a lot of time to pull together, or be too fussy to decorate. When I saw the Glazed Gingerbread Bundt Cake from Sue at The View from Great Island, it sounded like the perfect thing to bring for my sweet dish.

And it was! The cake is moist, light, and the simple glaze is perfect on the top. It can be eaten with a fork, but holds together well enough that if you cut it thick enough, you can pick it up and eat it like a quick bread from your hand.

As Sue also notes in her blog entry, it’s almost like eating a piece of Starbucks gingerbread, but tastes so much better. And not being overly sweet, I’ll admit to having had it for breakfast several days in a row – it’s delicious with a cup of tea.

I haven’t reprinted the recipe here – you can retrieve it at this link – though I did make a few minor amendments of my own, including:

1. The spice is rather light in flavor, so I added extra of all the spices instead of leveling them off. That is, added a heaping teaspoonful of whichever spice, rather than just leveling off the measure. I just happen to like the spice to add a little more kick; if you prefer a milder spice, no need to add the extra.

2. Instead of a Bundt pan, I went with the Nordicware Cinnamon bread and Almond loaf pan – and it worked GREAT for this cake. It was just the right amount of batter for this pan, though I did withold about a cup or so to make a few individual-sized “puddings” that I could freeze and pull out later to have for tea at later points in time.

3. Instead of water, I used milk with the powder sugar to make the glaze – just personal preference. I wanted a little more of the frosting to show white on the top of the cake – it still took several drizzlings to use it all up and get the look I wanted.

I had bought a little pre-colored fondant from a local cake shop, so rolled out the green to make some rough holly leaves while the cake was in the oven. I literally just cut out shapes from memory with a paring knife – nothing terribly fancy! But by the time I created indents for veining, and shaped them a little, then added a few berries, I thought it didn’t look half-bad when it was on top of the cake.

And it was really that simple, mix the cake according to the recipe, pop it into the oven, let it cool a little before glazing, then top with decoration, if you want to. It’s lovely when you can steal a piece just after glazing and before it completely cools! It would make a great cake to bring over to a housewarming, or to a friend for tea. The crumb is absolutely lovely, and it’s so light it’s hard to stop eating it!

It works well in individual pudding size as well, as you can see!

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