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Gingerbread Cake

This post is sponsored by Safeway stores-Safeway, Dominicks, Tom Thumb, Vons, Randalls. Tastier for the holidays!

I usually make something with chocolate when I want to bake, but yesterday I wanted something with a little more spice. Something that seemed right for the holiday season. I turned to one of my favorite cookbooks, Little Cakes by Susan Waggoner, and found a recipe for gingerbread cake. Perfect.

Gingerbread Cake Ingredients

Gingerbread Cake Recipe

As I was measuring the ingredients and setting up a little mise en place, I had it in my head that I was “pretty baking.” Turns out it’s actually quite nice to make a cake that way! My assistant helped.

My First Helper

(She makes faces for the camera now.)

I was hoping to link to the flour scoop below for you, but I can’t find it anywhere. It’s the best measuring cup ever. The shape is perfect, and if you turn it around, you can mix with the handle. I also have matching a 1/4 cup spoon that’s labeled “sugar”.

Flour Mixture

It was easy for Eleanor to help, since everything was already measured out.

Adding the Butter

My second assistant came in just as the first was leaving. August is super into anything mechanical, so he was enthralled with the beaters. I told him we were making Mickey cake; he liked that a lot.

Little Bakers

We baked that batter up to make a delicious gingerbread cake.

Gingerbread Cake Batter

Gingerbread Cake

I’ve transcribed the recipe for gingerbread cake below, since Little Cakes is out of print. (It’s still available in low quantities as a remnant or used book though, so grab one while you can!)

Gingerbread Cake

From Little Cakes, by Susan Waggoner

2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup dark molasses
3/4 cup buttermilk
PAN: 8 or 9 inch square pan, greased [I used an 8" round springform pan with good results]

  1. Combine the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, allspice, and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

  2. Cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.

  3. Beat in the egg, then the molasses.

  4. Add one-quarter flour-spice mixture, then one-third of the milk, beating until smooth after each addition. Repeat twice, ending with the last quarter of the flour-spice mixture.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula to make it level.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

A Slice of Gingerbread Cake

Shopping at the Marion Street Cheese Market

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Brandon and I had a rare kid-free afternoon, so we went out for a lunch date at the Marion Street Cheese Market. It is a restaurant as well as a market, and after having one of the best meals I’ve had all year (Brandon’s was good, but mine was excellent), we still had some time left before we had to pick up the kids. We decided to browse the market side.

Browsing at the Marion Street Cheese Market

The wine selection is impressive. We don’t drink often, but I do love to see all of the labels and the rows upon rows of bottles.

Wine Selection at the Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park, IL

Wine Bottles at the Marion Street Cheese Market

Say “cheese.”

Cheese Selection at the Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park, IL

Marion Street Cheese Market

We spent more time than we intended to, reading all of the labels and trying to figure out which varieties to bring back home. We picked two that looked good, along with some meats and olives, and then we got to the really good stuff: the chocolates. We bought two of their fleur de sel caramels, and we picked up a few candies for the kids.

Chocolate Shopping at the Marion Street Cheese Market

Chocolates

We don’t go out often enough, but we did bring everything we needed back home with us to recreate a little Italian night. We can wait until the kids are asleep and pop in a movie, sure, but I’m thinking we ought to take our date to go. With me working at home and Brandon watching the kids all day, getting out of the house is nice.

San Pellegrino, Flowers, and Cheese from the Marion Street Cheese Market

Shopping at the Cheese Market

Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

I decided to try out my idea of using the Silhouette SD to make a stencil for decorating brownies. It sounded so cute, and hey, if I happened to end up with a huge tray of brownies when I’m done then that’s just fine with me.

I used the classic brownies recipe from smitten kitchen. I usually go with Nigella’s recipe from How to Be a Domestic Goddess (my favorite baking cookbook), but I’m always open to trying a new one. The brownies were easy to make, and they smelled delicious while they were baking.

Making Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

After taking the brownies out of the oven, I set them aside to cool while I made my stencil. I typed out “Nom Nom Nom Nom” (suggested via Twitter), and used Mister Sirloin Well for my font. Then I cut the letters out of card stock with my Silhouette SD. You could do it by hand too, but I’d suggest something shorter in big block letters, like “YUM”.

Making Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

Once my brownies had cooled, I transferred them to a pretty tray (this one’s an old Thomas Paul design). Then I had to decide how to use my stencil. I think making the letters out of powdered sugar would have left a clearer design.

Making Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

I decided to do the reverse though, so I could use more powdered sugar.

Making Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

I didn’t have a fancy little sifter, so my application got a bit messy. It’s still pretty cute though!

Making Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

Mmmmm. Or should I say “nom nom nom nom”? I think all blog posts from here on out should be written while eating yummy homemade brownies. And that recipe? It’s a good one.

p.s. You can still enter the giveaway for a Silhouette SD by entering here. The contest is open until the 31st.

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