For the last seven years or so, my BF and I have held a Christmas Eve dinner for some very dear friends. For the first few, a new towering cake would be presented, i.e., spice with eggnog buttercream, chocolate with peppermint chocolate ganache and peppermint buttercream, whiskey soaked dark chocolate bundt, gingerbread roulade with eggnog filling, etc.
Then, this one. Moist, stout-spiked [Ed. note: HELLO], spicy gingerbread and mascarpone whipped cream icing–it has a deep, dark, mysterious flavor, yet tastes surprisingly light. It tastes like Christmas.
For a while I had been making a similar recipe as a gingerbread loaf, but after discovering this layered-cake version (originally adapted from a Claudia Fleming recipe, who created it while she was pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern in New York; then adapted by Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen), I knew the holiday dessert tradition was forever settled. No more auditions.
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Number of servings: 8-10
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen
NOTE: You’ll have up to 1 cup more whipped cream than you’ll need, which I use to frost the outside of the cake (not a fan of "naked" cakes, like the original recipe). If you wish to save the cream, it can stay stable for a couple days due to the added mascarpone. Start the cranberries the night before.
NOTE: Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen says, "This recipe makes three thin cake layers. As most of us have two cake pans, at best, you could also make it into two thicker cake layers, giving it a little more baking time. Or, you could do as I did, which is to hold the last bit of batter in a bowl until the first layer comes out and can be unmolded. It holds up just fine at room temperature for an hour."
Whipped mascarpone cream
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.