Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Naked Gingerbread Wreath Cake

I'm sure if your house is anything like mine there will be more than a few tasty holiday treats being baked in the next week! 

This naked gingerbread wreath cake was actually something I baked last year for a Boxing Day party and as I baked it on the day I couldn't share it with you all before Christmas. 
This cake got so many compliments and it's actually surprisingly easier to make than you might think. I even made the same cake again for Easter and just changed the toppings to mini eggs and gold Lindt bunnies (find it here). 

Recipe via Tesco


100g (3 1/2oz) black treacle
100g (3 1/2oz) golden syrup
250g (8oz) light brown muscovado sugar
250g (8oz) unsalted butter 
4 medium eggs
250ml (8fl oz) milk
400g (13oz) plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 lemon, zested
250g (8oz) butter, softened
1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out 
500g (1lb) icing sugar, sifted
handful fresh rosemary
handful fresh thyme 
handful sage sprigs
100g (3 1/2oz) cranberries 
2 tbsp granulated sugar


Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line the base and sides of 2 x 20cm (8in) round cake tins with nonstick baking paper. In a large pan set over a medium heat, melt the treacle, syrup, sugar and butter, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Put the eggs and milk in a mixing bowl and beat, using an electric whisk. Beat in the cooled treacle mixture, then sift over the remaining dry ingredients and fold in, along with the lemon zest, until just combined.
Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. 
For the buttercream, beat the butter and vanilla seeds in a bowl. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating until pale and fluffy; set aside. 
Using a serrated knife, cut the sponges in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Sandwich the sponges together with a layer of buttercream, then spread the top with a slightly thicker layer to cover. Thinly spread the remaining buttercream around the sides, scraping of the excess to achieve a ‘naked’ look. 
To make a decorative wreath, weave the fresh herbs in a circle and arrange on top of the cake. Rinse the cranberries, then roll in the sugar. Arrange in and around the wreath.
Tip: To make the sponges less crumbly before icing, or even to save time on the day, you can bake them up to 2 days in advance, wait for them to cool and then wrap them in foil and baking paper, before storing them somewhere cool.

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