From gingerbread houses to gingerbread biscuits, the heady aromas of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are a major part of Christmas. In this moist layer cake, all those familiar warming spices are in the sponge, making a wonderfully festive dessert. The salted honey buttercream adds an extra special dimension and you can decorate the cake as you like with gingerbread biscuits and fresh winter greens.

Ingredients

  • 325g plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 50g black treacle
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml milk

For the slated honey icing:

  • 120g salted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 500g powdered icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp whole milk
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

To decorate (optional):

  • Mini gingerbread house
  • Mini gingerbread men
  • Festive greens and cranberries

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm round cake tins.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, bicarb and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in well. Add the golden syrup, treacle and vanilla and beat to combine.
  • Gently mix in one-third of the flour mixture, then one-third of the milk and continue alternating with the flour and milk until it’s all combined.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing:

Beat the butter until smooth. Add the honey and beat well. Add the powdered icing sugar and milk, then beat until smooth and mix in the salt.

To decorate:

  • Divide the icing into two bowls. With one bowl of icing, spread a little between each layer of the cake and sandwich together. Spread the remaining icing in a thin layer onto the top and sides of the cake, creating a thin ‘crumb coat’. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set the icing, then spread the remaining icing on the top and sides.
  • Decorate the cake as desired with gingerbread biscuits, greens and cranberries.

Created by Veggie Desserts for Leisurecooker.co.uk