Holiday baking has begun. If you’re looking for festive desserts, you’ve come to the right place. Today I’m sharing my recipe for Christmas Tree Gingerbread Cake, and some blogger friends are joining me to share their sweet holiday treats. I hope you brought your sweet tooth!
As we approach Christmas, I’m sure you’re making your list and checking it twice. And I don’t just mean your holiday gift list, I’m also talking about what confections you’ll be baking this year. That’s why my Taste of the Season blogger friends and I thought we’d come together to help you out. Today, a handful of us are sharing holiday sweets to inspire your baking. After you’ve finished here, be sure to check out the full list of bloggers and their treats at the end of this post.
Also, If you’re looking for some Christmas cookie recipe ideas, I rounded up a few of my favorites here.
For my dessert, I decided on this Christmas Tree Gingerbread cake. It’s fun, quick, and delicious, and even the most novice of bakers can handle it.
You might already know that I have an affinity for unique baking pans. Last year, I made this cute collection of gingerbread house cakes. I’ve also baked a skull and tombstones for Halloween. This Christmas, I thought a tree-shaped gingerbread cake would be the perfect way to celebrate.
I opted for a rich and flavorful gingerbread cake as the base of my tree. ‘Tis the season, right? Even if you don’t have a tree pan, and only want a really good gingerbread cake recipe, this is it!
Back to the cake pan for a minute . . . As much as I love unique pans, they can be a bit tricky. The challenge with this one was the very shallow top section of the tree. Even though I had filled that part with batter, about 15 minutes into baking I noticed that the batter had flowed back into the center of the cake. To remedy this, I simply used a spatula to move batter from the center of the cake to the top. After that, the batter stayed in place for the rest of baking.
My favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, which you can find here, pairs perfectly with the spices in the gingerbread cake, so it was a natural choice. With a little green food coloring mixed in, it worked well to finish off my cake.
I tried several ways to apply the frosting to this cake, including the use of a variety of piping tips. However, not being an experienced cake decorator, it wasn’t looking so good. I finally just decided to roughly add the frosting with a small offset spatula. Once the frosting was n place, I lightly tapped it with the back of the spatula to make little frosting “peaks.” I thought they resembled branches.- a happy little accident!
While it’s certainly not perfect, I love the rustic, homemade look.
Before the frosting set, I added candy-coated chocolates to give to mimic colored ornaments. And because I love flocked trees, I dusted the entire thing with confectioners’ sugar for a snow-inspired finishing touch.
Who’s ready for a slice?
Serves about 10
Here's what you will need:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup molasses
1 cup water
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a tree-shaped cake pan with baking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
With a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Then, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the molasses.
Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the water and starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between the two sides of the tree mold.
Bake the cake 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Check on the cake about 15 minutes into baking. If necessary, use a spatula or spoon to move some of the batter from the center of the cake to fill in the top section of the pan.
Remove the cake from the oven. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes; then turn out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.
Spread a small layer of the prepared cream cheese frosting on the back of each cake to join them together to form a tree. Add a couple tablespoons of frosting to a serving dish or cake stand and set the tree in place on the frosting. Chill for 15 minutes. Use an offset spatula to roughly apply more cream cheese frosting to the cake. Tap the frosting with the back of the spatula to create texture and "peaks" in the frosting.
To finish, decorate with candy-coated chocolates. Then chill until the frosting is firm. Before serving, use a fine mesh sieve to sprinkle the cake with confectioners' sugar.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!
I really hope you enjoyed my Christmas Tree Gingerbread Cake. As you can see, it’s not only a showpiece for the table but a tasty seasonal dessert. I think your friends and family will love it.
For additional Christmas desserts, check out these delicious recipes from my fellow Taste of the Seasons’ bloggers below. You can also grab my favorite Christmas cookie recipes here.