When I was little my Nannie would make a gingerbread man cake for the Holidays. I have such fond memories of that taste and of her. I wanted to create a cake that was spicy as well as spongy without the addition of butter or egg. I did a fair amount of experimenting and this recipe has turned out wonderful. My son loves it and every time I bake it he says, “It smells like Christmas!” It is the right combination of flavors without being overpowering, and I am sure it will become your Holiday favorite for years to come! Here are the directions.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then prepare your Bundt pan with butter and some all-purpose flour, so the cake slides right out. This step is important, so be thorough. Next, start preparing your ingredients.
In a bowl measure 2 1/2 cups of cake flour, and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda to it. Mix this well. Then using a separate bowl, start mixing your wet ingredients. Measure 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1 cup of molasses, 1 cup of hot water, and 1 single serve container of unsweetened organic apple sauce. Mix the wet ingredients with a mixer, and in three stages add your dry ingredients until they are fully incorporated into a creamy batter.
Next, pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Place the Bundt pan onto a baking sheet, so you have a level surface in your oven. If you have an option for a convection fan, you can use that to circulate the air. The cake should be done in roughly 30 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes. Then using oven mitts carefully flip it onto a cooling rack lined with a piece of parchment paper. Otherwise the cake will stick and you will have trouble moving it to a cake plate.
In the meantime, while the cake is baking you may make your icing. Icing is a little bit of trial and error, but this combination will make a nice white icing that will make your cake look beautiful and it will also enhance the taste of the cake. You will need 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 heaping teaspoons of Mascarpone Cheese, a few dashes of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ginger, and about 1/4 cup of water. Mix these ingredients with a hand mixer.
Once the cake has completely cooled you may ice the cake. Start using a spoon and scoop up a heaping tablespoon of icing and make a circle around the top of the cake. It will fall down the sides on its own, creating a beautiful design without you doing much. If you notice a little flour on your cake from the pan, use the back of the spoon and add a hint of frosting on that to cover it.
Serve the cake once the icing sets. I drizzle the icing while it is still on the parchment paper. Then once it is set, transfer the cake to a cake stand. If you think it’s sticking too much, just cut around the parchment paper and transfer it like that. You don’t want the cake to break, so be careful. The molasses makes this cake a bit gooey on the bottom.
I truly hope you enjoy this festive, spicy Holiday cake. This cake has been around for years and years, and it is popular all over the world in many different countries, every country having a slightly different twist, texture and interpretation of this cake. I hope it becomes a Holiday tradition for years to come!