Autumn is definitely in the air – even here in Alabama. With autumn, comes a selection of spicier, richer deserts for all the upcoming festivals and celebrations. I adore fresh ginger: the color, the smell, to drink ginger tea and to eat ginger candy. Our local Ginger Ale – Buffalo Rock – is beautifully hot (very hot), spicy, and hands-down my favorite Ginger Ale.
FRESH GINGER + BLOOMERS LAYER CAKE
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 cup finely minced fresh ginger
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and side of two 8×12 pans (or line them with parchment paper). Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In another large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, molasses, honey, eggs, and fresh ginger.
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of water and the butter. Heat until the butter is melted.
Whisk the butter mixture into the molasses mixture. Stir in the flour mixture and combine until smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool pans on a rack for 10 minutes, invert the cakes and detach from pans, then continue to let cakes cool on the rack right side up.
For the pumpkin frosting filling-
4 ounces (half a package) cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup pumpkin puree
1/8 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon fresh orange juice (about a quarter of an orange)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Blend all ingredients, except for the confectioners’ sugar, in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add the confectioners’ sugar, a cup at a time, and blend until smooth.
Once cakes have cooled completely, smooth frosting over one cake and layer the other one on top. Apply the stencil and rub sifted confectioners’ sugar into desired areas, careful to keep stencil flush with the cake (an extra set of hands is helpful for this step!)