I made this cake - for the first time - for my boyfriend's birthday and it was a huge hit. It continued to be super moist two days later so that was a bonus. Even though I made it as a birthday cake, it's perfect for the holiday season as it's comprised of gingerbread, stout, cranberries and eggnog cream cheese icing. It was adapted from the November 2014 issue of House & Home magazine. I found that you need to at least double the amount of cream cheese used in order to ice all four layers.
1 cup stout beer such as Guinness
2/3 cup fancy-grade molasses
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 250-g bars of Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp rum extract
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
Sugared cranberries, for garnish
Rinse 1 package of cranberries under water and while still wet, sprinkle with granulated sugar.
1. To make cake, bring stout and molasses to boil in 4-L saucepan over high heat, whisking to combine. Remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda (this will make it foam up). Cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 9"-round cake pans with baking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper. In large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, spices and salt.
3. In medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugars and oil until smooth. Whisk in stout mixture. Gradually whisk wet mixture into dry to form smooth batter. Divide evenly among prepared pans. Place pans on baking trays. Bake on middle shelf until toothpicks inserted in centers come out clean, 35 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool completely.
4. To make icing, place cream cheese, butter, rum extract and nutmeg in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on medium speed, until smooth, 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low. Gradually add sugar until combined. Refrigerate 30 minutes before using.
5. To ice cake, split each cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife to make 4 layers in total. Spread 1/4 icing on top of base layer. Top with a second layer and repeat until you have 4 iced layers stacked on top of each other.
6. If making ahead of time, place iced cake in fridge for 1 hour to set icing. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Remove plastic wrap and let cake come to room temperature. Garnish with cranberries right before serving.
Enjoy and Have a Merry Christmas!!!