I didn’t really grow up eating gingerbread, though there is a long history of gingerbread cake in the South. I mostly knew those classic gingerbread men cookies, which I have never much liked. I think they dry out too much and never have enough spice for me. But over the years, I started to experiment with various gingerbread recipes, both cookie and cake form, and it is now an essential part of the holiday season to me. And I think gingerbread and spiced cookies just scream holiday. So I’ve combined them in to one moist, delicious dessert that feeds a crowd, perfect for holiday entertaining. I love a good 9 by 13 cake for serving at a party, either in large slabs on a dessert plate or smaller squares on a bigger spread.
The joy of gingerbread is that not only the taste, but also the wafting fragrance of sugar and spice while it’s in the oven. It’s like a nice extra gift. I sprinkle crushed cookie crumbs on the top, but I have been known to add a little gold glitter to jazz things up. I once had some little reindeer cake picks that have unfortunately disappeared, which is a shame, because they would be adorable marching across this cake.
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups molasses
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup cookie butter spread, such as Biscoff
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 Tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9 pan.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the melted butter and molasses, mixing until combined (the batter will be thick). Add the water, mixing until everything is loosened. Beat in the eggs and buttermilk then until evenly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake 45-50 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Beat the softened butter and the cookie butter together in the bowl of the stand mixer until smooth and combined. Beat in the powdered sugar at low speed 1 cup at a time. Drizzle in the milk a little at a time until you have a spreadable icing. Spread the icing over the top of the cooled cake.
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