Buttercream & Frosting, Cakes, Desserts, Gluten Free and/or Paleo

Crystallized Ginger Cake (Gluten Free)

July 15, 2011
I almost didn’t have a post for today.  I have been incredibly busy these past 2 weeks!  But busy in a good way.  We have had family visiting us in Brooklyn so I have been out of the house almost all day long.  This gives me very little time to bake, and even less time to prepare my posts.  Up until late last night I was planning on not putting up a post today.  I had a dessert I wanted to show you but I hadn’t wrote up the recipe or really prepared anything for the post.  However, last minute I changed my mind and decided I wanted to put up a post.  I pushed through and am now showing you this delicious Crystallized Ginger Cake!
I loved how this cake turned out.  I thought of the idea for my sister-in-law’s birthday.  She loves ginger so I wanted to incorporate it into a birthday cake for her.  I remembered seeing some tasty looking Crystallized Ginger at the market recently so I thought it would be fun to bake it into a cake.  I used my favorite vanilla cake recipe and folded in chopped crystallized ginger to the batter.  Then topped it with a basic vanilla buttercream.  It was simple, yet incredibly moist and wonderful.
The crystallized ginger added a slight zing and pop to the cake.  And it was not overwhelming at all.  My fear was that the cake would taste too much like ginger, but it did not.  It had a subtle ginger taste that was not bitter or over-powerful, but sweet and complimentary.
The buttercream recipe I used was my basic buttercream but with a little adaptations.  I changed the amounts of butter and confectioners and omitted the milk.  The outcome was fantastic!  I think the best buttercream recipe yet.  Light and fluffy, and not too buttery.  Yum!
I made this cake Gluten-Free because my sister-in-law has a gluten allergy.  However, this exact recipe can be used with normal All Purpose Flour and will taste just as good! So don’t let the Gluten-Free scare you or lead you away.
So sorry I didn’t get pictures of the inside of the cake :/.  I didn’t have time to take pictures after we cut into the cake.
One more thing – My goal for this blog is to have a new creation up every Monday through Friday.  However, things are getting pretty busy around here so I might have to skip a few days here and there.  Know that it aches me doing this and I will try my hardest to have a post up almost every day!

Crystallized Ginger Cake (Gluten Free)
For Printable Recipe, Click here!
Makes: 1 2-layer, 9-inch round cake
For the Cake Batter
3 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour* (alternatively use normal All Purpose Flour)
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter
1 ½ cups Sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp. Vanilla
2/3 cups Milk
4 ounces Crystallized Ginger, plus more for decorating the top of cake
Buttercream Frosting
1 ½ cups (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter (Softened)
3 cups Confectioners Sugar
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Flour and grease 2 9-inch round cake pans.  Set aside until needed.
To make the cake batter, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.  Mix in the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture, alternatively with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
*If you are making this cake Gluten Free, the batter will be very thick.  It is thick to the point where it looks like a bread batter (as in banana bread).  Don’t worry it is supposed to be this way.  Resist the urge to add more water or milk.  Trust me!
Coarsely chop up the crystallized ginger.  Be sure to not leave too many large pieces.  You want small pieces spread throughout the whole cake.  Fold in the chopped ginger to the batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Cool the cakes in the pan for about 15-20 minutes, then remove from the pans and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
While the cakes are cooling make the buttercream, cream the butter in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Add the confectioners sugar and salt and mix (gradually increasing in speed) until the sugar is fully incorporated.  Add the vanilla and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – you may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times.  I sometimes whisk the buttercream longer than 5 minutes.  Just make sure it is very fluffy before you stop whisking.
Before assembling the cake, wrap each cake in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes, just to firm it up.  Place one cake on a cake stand or plate with the topside up.  Top with an even layer of frosting, leaving ¼ inch at the edge of the cake.  Place the other cake on top, topside down.  Place a large dollop of frosting on top of the cake and spread it down until it is a thin even layer.  Frost the sides of the cake thoroughly with a thin layer of frosting.  This will seal in the crumbs.  Place the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Remove from the refrigerator and finish frosting as desired.  Top with more crystallized ginger.  Serve and enjoy 🙂!
Cake batter recipe from How Sweet It Is. Buttercream recipe adapted from Annie Eats.

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  • Kathryn July 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    This was the most incredible gf cake you have ever made! The ginger gave the cake a slightly spicy-sweet taste and made it amazingly moist! Not to mention the frosting-wow! Buttery, light and fresh tasting. What a grand bday cake! I loved it and can’t wait to make one at home. My mom and Christy would love this too! I’m so glad I was able to be in Brooklyn to get to enjoy your baking! You are the best!

  • michelechapman July 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    you seriously are AMAZING in ALL your posts. i have been so impressed with how you have been posting DAILY!!! thank you for sharing all your yummy recipes (:

  • Adele Forbes December 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Crystallized ginger is one of my most favorite things..I make a 3-Ginger cookie that is to die for and I use a whole bottle of the crystals…I am def going to make this cake. Thank you so very much for sharing and congrats on your Foodbuzz spot!