For the 6” Cake:
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
- 1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 3/4 c Unsalted butter
- 2/3 c Molasses
- 3/4 C Dark brown sugar
- 2 Large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/3 plus 2 Tbsp Ninkasi Vanilla Oatmeal Stout, room temperature
For the Filling:
- 1 1/2 C Colonial Cranberry Sauce
- 1 1/2 C Dalmatia Fig Spread
For the Frosting:
- 3 C Unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs Powdered sugar
- 8 oz white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- white food coloring
For the gingerbread houses:
- 2 Gingerbread House Kits
- Gingerbread Train Kit (optional)
- Royal Icing**
- White, Red and Green food coloring
- assorted sprinkles and holiday treat toppers
- Simple Syrup
- Clear Sugar Sprinkles
1. For both the 8” and 6” cakes: Make the cakes separately. 8” first then the 6”. Do not combine both recipes to make all at once.
2. Prepare the cake pans. Lightly grease with butter then place parchment circles on top. Then, butter and flour the parchment circles. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Mix the flour, spices, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk well to combine.
4. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar and molasses and mix until creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla and stout. Add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Divide evenly amongst the pans. Bake the 8-inch pans for 22-26 minuted to until the center bounces back when pressed lightly. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then run a spatula around the edges and invert onto a wire cooling rack.
5. Bake the 6-inch cakes 30-35 minutes. Cool as you would the 8-inch cakes.
6. While the cakes are cooling, make the filling and the buttercream.
7. In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients, keep chilled until ready to use.
To make the buttercream:
Cream the butter on medium speed and add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating on high for about 30 seconds after each addition. Once half of the sugar is added, slowly add in the white chocolate, vanilla and salt. Continue adding in sugar until you have reached desired sweetness and thickness. Add in white food coloring until the buttercream is white. Keep covered at room temperature until ready to use.
Assemble the cakes: (Same instructions for both 8” and 6” cakes)
Trim the tops of the cakes to even out. Place one cake layer on a cardboard cake circle onto a cake plate, trimmed side up. Brush with some simple syrup. Spread a thin layer of buttercream then pipe buttercream around the edges to form a lip so the filling doesn’t ooze out. Spoon some of the filling evenly. Top with another layer and repeat. Place the third layer cut side down so the smooth bottom is facing up. Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream then chill until firm. Once the crumb coat is firm, place the cake on a baking sheet and frost with a thicker layer of buttercream. smoothing out the sides and top. Then press sugar sprinkles onto the sides and top. Either with your hands or with a small spatula gently bringing the sprinkles up from the bottom of the sides to the top. Let chill to firm up before adding the gingerbread houses to the side.
To decorate the gingerbread houses, use the fronts, back and sides of the houses to create house fronts. Use the royal icing included in the gingerbread house kit or make your own (recipe below). I find the royal icing included in the kits tends to be best for gluing the sides together to make a house, not as good for dying and decorating.
Dye 1 cup of the icing red, another green and another white. Decorate as you wish, adding in sprinkles, holiday decors such as candy canes, snowflakes, etc. Let dry fully before adding to the cake. Make one full house for the top of the cake. Decorate all the sides and roof before gluing together.
Place the 8” cake on a cake stand and using a blob of butter cream on the back of one of the houses and gently press into the side of the cake, about 1/2” up from the base. Pipe snowdrifts or trees in between the houses with buttercream or royal icing. Once set pipe buttercream until the houses to look like snow. Repeat with the 6” cake, adding the houses before placing the 6 inch cake on top of the 8 inch cake. After the houses are attached to the 6 inch cake place on top of the 8 inch cake then pipe buttercream around the sides to look like snow and to glue it to the cake.
Simple syrup 1:1 sugar water ratio. Simmer then cool
Royal Icing Recipe:
1 lb of powdered sugar
3 Tbsp meringue powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 c warm water
Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder. Add in 1/4 water and mix on medium high until stiff peaks form. About 5 minutes, slowly add in more water until you reach piping consistency. About the consistency of thick honey. Keep covered at room temperature until ready to use.
If you don’t have 3 of each cake pans, divide the batter between the pans and a bowl to make sure the batter division is even. Keep remaining batter at room temperature while cakes bake. Cool the pans and prep again with butter, parchment, butter and flour again then bake the remaining batter.
The cakes can be made ahead of time. Once released from the pans immediately wrap in plastic wrap then in a resealable bag and freeze. The cakes can be trimmed and assembled while still frozen.
You will have leftover gingerbread house pieces so you can use those to make a few houses to use on your display table as well as the gingerbread train if desired. If you wish to have the train going around the outside of the one of the cakes it is best suited for a 10-12” cake as it is rather large and on a larger cake stand as well. Or have it next to the cake on your display table as well.