Ring in the holidays with this festive layer cake! This Stout Gingerbread Layer Cake is topped with Hazelnut Cake Crumbs and covered in a Whiskey Eggnog Buttercream for a sweetly decadent treat. The stout adds a rich, deep flavor to the gingerbread while the eggnog provides a sapid contrast to the whiskey. The cake crumbs are made with hazelnut meal and add a slight crunch in between the soft cake layers for the perfect holiday cake.
Happy Holidays, Friends!
It’s just a couple of weeks until Christmas. Do you have all your shopping done?
To kick off the holiday baking season, I am teaming up with Silpat to bring you this delicious layer cake. For this recipe, Silpat asked me to try their new 9-inch cake mats. I must be honest with you, I was a bit skeptical going into this recipe because I had never used baking mats like these before and I was fearful that they wouldn’t adhere to the pan, creating unwanted air pockets leading to unevenly baked cakes. But that was farthest from the truth!
These mats worked beautifully. The mats are made of fiberglass mesh and the highest quality food grade silicone, which provides consistent heat distribution and promotes even baking and browning, and they did not disappoint. So I only had two mats and three cake pans, so I wanted to test how the mats would do compared to just simply oiling and flouring the pan. Night and day difference, my friend! The two pans with the cake mats came out near spotless. The remaining pan took a little more work to get out, but she finally released her grip from the pan, leaving behind more specs of cake. I fell in love with these mats so much that I have asked for the baking sheet set for Christmas (no joke!). These mats are the real deal.
You can get yourself and/or someone you love a Silpat cake mat by clicking on the image below!
Stout Gingerbread Layer Cake with Hazelnut Cake Crumbs & Whiskey Eggnog Buttercream
Original cake recipe from Epicurious
Cake crumbs recipe adapted from Bon Appétit
Buttercream recipe adapted from All Recipes
Yields 3 9-inch cake layers
1 cup stout beer
1 cup dark molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup hazelnut meal or almond meal
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup coconut oil, melted, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons eggnog
1 tablespoon whiskey
Sugared cranberries & Sparkling sugar, for topping the finished cake
Cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place cake mats into three 9-inch cake pans before generously greasing the sides with vegetable oil and dusting with flour, knocking out the excess. Set pans aside.
Tip: When working with Silpat’s cake mats make sure that the pans are completely dry. This way the mats will adhere better to the pan. Then spray the sides with oil and dusting flour. If the pans are wet, the mats won’t stick creating pockets of air and the cakes will bake unevenly.
In a medium saucepan, bring the stout and molasses to a boil. Once at a boil, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. The mixture will start to bubble and foam up, so just keep whisking until the foam subsides. Set pan aside and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and spices and set aside. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and eggs until combined. With the mixer on low, carefully add the oil and the molasses mixture and mix until combined. Add a third of the flour mixture, mixing on medium-low speed until incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until the batter is smooth and everything is combined.
Divide batter among the three prepared cake pans. Note; these are going to be thinner layers of cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing them from their pans. Allow cakes to cool completely.
Crumbs. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place mat in a 9-inch cake pan or a parchment on a lined baking sheet and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, hazelnut meal, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the oil and vanilla, and using your hands, mix until clumps form when the mixture is pressed together between your fingers. Break mixture up into clusters and spread evenly onto the prepared cake pan. Bake, stirring occasionally until crumble is slightly crunchy, 10–12 minutes. Allow crumbs to cool completely.
Buttercream. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter on medium speed for 5 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Gradually, one cup at a time, add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated, making sure to scrape down the bowl after each addition.
Add the vanilla, eggnog, and whiskey and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Assembly. Place one cake layer on your cake stand or plate. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. Evenly spread some of the buttercream on top. Toss a handful of the cake crumbs over the cake, arranging them in a single layer.
Repeat this process, carefully placing the other cake layers on top of each other until the cake is assembled. Place naked cake in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cake is chilled. Remove from the freezer and ice the cake with the remaining buttercream. Transfer to a refrigerator to set for an hour. Garnish with sugared cranberries and sparkling sugar.
Huge thanks to Silpat for including me in their #MySilpat campaign as well as sponsoring this recipe. Be sure to share your baking creations with the hashtag #tk_captures so we can obsess about holiday baking together. And as always, all opinions, ramblings, stories, and recipe/adaptations are my own.