The addition of Guinness stout and dark molasses gives this triple-layer gingerbread cake rich, dark flavor. But what really sets this dessert up for the holidays are the cutout gingerbread cookie decorations, rosemary sprig “trees” and a snowy dusting of confectioners’ sugar. Get a head start by making the cookies and cake a day in advance, then assemble just before serving.
Gingerbread Cake with Maple-Mascarpone Whipped Cream
For the gingerbread cookies:
- 4 Tbs. (2 oz/60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 Tbs. molasses
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
For the cake:
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) canola oil, plus more for greasing
- 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) Guinness or oatmeal stout
- 3/4 cup (8 1/4 oz./260 g) molasses
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbs. ground ginger
- 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
For the maple-mascarpone whipped cream:
- 2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. maple extract
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
1. To make the gingerbread cookies, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the molasses and egg yolk and beat until combined, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Beat until combined, then raise the speed to medium and beat until a thick dough forms, about 1 minute. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours or up to 3 days.
2. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Let the dough stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes, such as trees, snowmen and gingerbread men, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake until the edges of the cookies are set, 6 to 12 minutes, depending on their size. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.
4. To make the cake, keep the oven set at 350°F (180°C). Grease three 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans, line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, then grease the parchment. Dust with flour, then tap out any excess.
5. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the Guinness and molasses and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. The mixture will bubble; continue to whisk until the bubbling subsides. Let cool completely.
6. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, both sugars and the oil. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom over the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold until well combined into a cohesive batter. Add the Guinness mixture and stir until blended. The batter will be thin.
7. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 22 to 26 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 10 minutes, then invert the cakes onto the racks and let cool completely.
8. To make the mascarpone cream, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the mascarpone, cream, vanilla and maple extract on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
9. To assemble the cake, place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread one-third of the mascarpone whipped cream evenly over the cake. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, then spread the remaining whipped cream over the top of the cake. Gently stand the gingerbread cookies on top of the cake. Surround with the rosemary sprigs to resemble trees and dust the entire cake with confectioners’ sugar to resemble snow. The cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Serves 12.
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What is the serving size of this cake? How many servings is this?
The cake should serve 12.
I made this cake and it may be my all time favorite cake ever. First off, the gingerbread cookie recipe is so good. It is chewy rather than crunchy, which I prefer. Couple of changes I made-one accidentally. I measured all the dry ingredients together and oops added the baking soda with the flour et al. So I had to add another 1/2 tsp to the stout/molasses concoction. This may have contributed to my cakes dipping in the middle. I guess I’ll find out next time I make. The other alteration I made was the frosting. I made a coconut maple whip due to a dairy allergy, using 3 cans of chilled coconut milk. You can easily find the receipt online. The gingerbread cake went exceptionally well with the coconut frosting. The only difficulty I had was standing up the GB cookies. It would not happen even chilling the cake with frosting. I ended up laying down 3 GB cookies shaped like trees and placing a GB “deer” in the middle, propped up by the trees. It didn’t look like the picture but it was still presentable. This cake is so delicious.. Thanks for the recipe!
We enjoyed this cake on Christmas eve. It is easy to make.
Yes, I added a tablespoon of maple syrup to the mascarpone whipped cream. Otherwise it is too bland. Also! Place the gingerbread people in the mascarpone whipped cream just before serving. Because their stubby gingerbread legs melt into the snowy mascarpone whipped cream!
This recipe was an absolute HIT for the family Christmas! People just love it; the richness of the cake with the balanced smoothness of the whipped cream. So so good! This recipe is definitely being used again and again!
T hese. All sound delicious.my mom us Ed to make gingerbread cake.
Shouldn’t there be a bit of sugar in the mascarpone whipped cream?
I just made this and ended up sifting a bit of confectioners sugar on each layer but didn’t mix any in. It was perfect! The cake itself is so rich so the cream balanced it very nicely!
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Love your recipe s.