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orange gingerbread, topped with pom seeds. Such a great combo!

orange gingerbread, topped with pom seeds. Such a great combo!

My first time making anything with ‘gingerbread’ in it. I think this was a good place to start. The Pomegranate seeds at totally necessary and awesome. Not only do they make it look pretty, but they add the perfect texture and flavor.

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This is also my first time making Cream Cheese Frosting. I was skeptical at first, since my mom’s frosting is the tops…but this frosting definitely makes sense on this cake and tastes delicious.

Orange Gingerbread

Orange Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting

From the Joy the Baker Cookbook

makes 9 generous pieces in an 8×8-inch square pan

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsulphered molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3/4 cup warm water

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese frosting, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • big pinch of salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8×8-inch square (or 9-inch round) baking pan.  Line with parchment paper and grease and flour the parchment paper.  The parchment paper isn’t entirely necessary, it just makes the cake easier to remove from the pan.  Set pan aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs until thick and pale.  Stir in molasses, honey, and orange zest.

Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the wet ingredients.  Stir together until entirely incorporated.  Add the warm water and gently stir until entirely incorporated and the mixture is silky smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  If you find that the mixture fills the pan more than three-quarters of the way full, you might consider using a larger pan (a 9 or 10-inch pan may serve your better).

Bake cake for 35-45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

While the cake bakes, make the cream cheese frosting.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese on medium speed.  The cream cheese should be as soft and smooth as possible.  Stop the mixer.  Add the softened butter.  Scraped down the sides of the bowl and beat the two together over medium speed until smooth and incorporated.  Add one cup of powdered sugar.  Blend until incorporated.  Add vanilla extract and remaining cup of powdered sugar.  Beat on medium high speed until frosting is smooth and silky.

Allow cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting the cake.  Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds before serving.

This cake can be stored, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

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