Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting (taken from Southern Living)

When I said I was going to finally get the chance to sit down by the Christmas Tree and look for recipes in my new magazines, it was so fabulous to see this cake pop off the page. Every year, the anticipation of Starbucks making their gingerbread frappes and lattes,just begin the Christmas season off so tastefully. When I saw this beautiful gingerbread cake recipe, visions of sipping a gingerbread latte while savoring every bite of this cake did me in. Thank you Southern Living for continuing to “wow” us with exciting and luscious recipes.

Cake Layers
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
1/2 cup chopped crystalized ginger
2 teas baking powder
1 teas baking soda
1 teas salt
1 teas ground cinnamon
1/4 teas ground ginger
1/4 teas ground nutmeg
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups hot strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup molasses

Espresso Simple Syrup
3/4 cup hot very strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Vanilla Whipped cream Frosting
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teas vanilla bean paste (or 2 teas vanilla extract)
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Prepare cake layers; preheat oven to 350. Process flour, crystllized ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a food processor util crystalized ginger is finely ground, about 1 minute. Set aside.
Beat salted butter with a electric mixer on medium, until creamy. Gradually add light brown sugar beating unit light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir together coffee and molasses in a glass measuring cup. Add flour mixture to the mixture alternately with coffee mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating on low speed just until blended after each addition.

Place egg whites in a glass bowl. Beat with a electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites, in thirds into batter, folding just util incorporated after each addition.

Spoon batter into 3 greased (with vegetable shortening) and floured 9″ round cake pans. Bake in preheated oven until cake tests done in the middle, about 19-22 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the Espresso Syrup. Bring coffee and granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high. Boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/2 cup, 5-6 minutes.

Remove cakes from oven when done and cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Transfer from pans to wire racks; brush evenly with warm espresso syrup. Cool completely. About 1 hour.

Prepare frosting while cake layers cool.
Beat cream and vanilla bean paste (or extract) with electric mixer on medium high speed until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar beating until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat as it will turn to butter.

Assemble cake by spreading frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Gently press crushed ginger cookies around the bottom of the cake sides, if desired or sprinkle some caused ginger cookies over the top of cake.

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