The cake is perfect when baked in a 9x13 inch dish and lightly dusted with powdered sugar, as directed. It is moist and spicy and light. I fancified it over the weekend by baking it in two 9" cake pans (8" would have been better, I think) and dolloping barely sweetened whipped cream over it. My poor cakes fell quite a bit, but I just hacked at them with a large knife until they were more or less evened out and then covered the mistakes with the whipped cream.
The lesson? Enough whipped cream fixes everything.
Gingerbread snacking cake (serves 12 - recipe from here)For the whipped cream - homemade whipped cream is really worth the few minutes it takes, if you have a mixer. Dump one carton of heavy whipping cream in a mixer. Beat on the highest speed for a few minutes, slowly adding a tiny bit of sugar (I like to use about 1/8 of a cup, for a tiny hint of sweetness) and a dash of vanilla. It's done when you have pretty peaks and it tastes right to you.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup unsulfured molasses
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (or whipped cream)
*Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch cake pan (or two 8" cake pans); set aside. In a bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground spices, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
*In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter until light. Beat in brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in molasses and grated ginger, baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture. Beat in eggs.
*Pour batter into prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares; dust with confectioners’ sugar. (Or even out the layers and dollop with freshly whipped cream).