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Food

Christmas Spice Cake with Gingerbread Cookies

December 20, 2021

It’s that time of the year again when there are delicious sweets to make and enjoy during the festive season. Try the following cake and cookies featuring warm, Christmas spices.

 

Christmas Spice Cake

 

3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

3 large eggs

1/3 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

Icing or powdered sugar (optional)

Honey Gingerbread Cookies, to decorate, recipe follows (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch round baking pan or Bundt pan, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, orange juice, and orange zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake in the preheated over for 45 minutes to an hour or until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake on a wire rack in the pan for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely, then top with icing or powdered sugar, and decorate with gingerbread cookie cutouts, if preferred.

To make icing: Place 3 1/2 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar and 1/4 cup milk of your choice or water in a blender or in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Add a little water to thin out the icing, if needed, but not too much or it will be too runny. Drizzle on top of cake or pour into a piping bag to pipe designs.

 

Honey Gingerbread Cookies

 

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

2/3 cup Greek honey

2 tablespoons strong coffee

3 1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Greek sea salt

Icing

 

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and egg and beat until fluffy. Beat in the honey and the coffee. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Divide the dough in half, shaping each half into a disk. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill until the dough is easy to roll out, about an hour. The dough can be chilled overnight, if preferred, just allow it to thaw for 5-10 minutes at room temperature before rolling out. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out gingerbread shapes with cookie cutters, as preferred. A sharp knife can also be used to cut the gingerbread freehand, if desired. Place the shapes on a greased cookie sheet one inch apart and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned, rotating the pans about halfway through the baking process. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Pipe icing onto the cookies to outline the shapes of the houses and windows. Allow the icing to dry and then place on platter or use the cookies to decorate the Christmas spice cake. Store in an airtight container.

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