Gingerbread Cake with Eggnog Ice Cream

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For anyone who hasn’t tried it before, ice cream is really hard to photograph. It melts quickly under bright lights and turns in to a less-appetizing puddle. Which is why I suppose food artists use mashed potatoes to mimic ice cream in more-professional shoots. You see, I thought a lot about this last night while rushing to catch a few photos before my Eggnog Ice Cream melted away.

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But I managed to grab a few good photos before giving up and eating the spoils. Thankfully, the melted ice cream worked in this cake’s favor. As the Gingerbread Cake soaked in the melted Eggnog, the flavors blended together to create something amazing!

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On their own, the Gingerbread Cake and Eggnog Ice Cream are delicious. In fact, this cake is so good, that when the cat jumped on the counter and nibbled the corner of a slice, the boyfriend yelled, “You ruined something perfect!” (I just laughed, which I’m sure gave the cat mixed messages…) But put together, the gingerbread and eggnog create a beautiful, sweet, and creamy dessert.

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Both of these recipes are perfect for the upcoming holidays. And, if you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t fret! The Eggnog Ice Cream can be frozen in the freezer without an ice cream maker. You just need to make sure you break up the crystals as the ice cream freezes to get the ice cream as smooth and creamy as possible.

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To make ice cream without a machine, freeze the ice cream base in a deep baking dish (stainless steel, heavy plastic, or something else durable). After 45 minutes, remove the dish from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a rubber spatula. Put it back in the freezer, removing it every 30 minutes to stir again. The ice cream should be sufficiently frozen after 2 to 3 hours, when you should then transfer it to a freezer-safe plastic container to harden.

Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! Enjoy! 🙂

Download the recipes!

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Ladybug Cake

Over the summer, when I was on my health-related hiatus from blogging, I still tried to fit in as much baking as my body could handle. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I knew something was really wrong with me when I didn’t have the energy to bake! Thankfully, I was able to make a few cakes for friends, including this adorable ladybug cake.

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The cake was made for a friend’s daughter’s birthday. The parameters were pretty simple: she loves ladybugs and wanted a Boston Cream Pie. I had a lot of fun making this “cake”, especially because I’ve never made a Boston Cream Pie! As it turns out, it’s not a pie at all! (I had really only ever had Boston Cream donuts, hence my unfortunate ignorance.)

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The ladybug is simply a Boston Cream Pie, which is two layers of sponge cake filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache. To color the ladybug, I darkened the chocolate ganache using food dye (the candy-kind) and use white chocolate dyed red for the wings. The eyes are mini-marshmallows.

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Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the inside of the cake, which by the way, was quite tasty because I sneaked a bit of the cutting scraps from leveling the cake tops. While most of my friends are accustomed to receiving cakes with a small slice removed, I felt like a bit of a jerk to do that to a 4-year-old. 😛

As always, thanks for reading! Happy baking! 🙂

Brandied Applesauce Cake

Remember that Brandied Applesauce I posted about last week? Well, it was so good that I made a double recipe, twice. So my house is FULL of little jars of applesauce, in both the fridge for snacking and the freezer for saving. However, I’ve maxed out the capacity of my freezer, and I don’t want any of the applesauce to go bad and be wasted. I needed to find something to do with a few cups of applesauce.

My first thought was an applesauce cake. But then I realized that Thanksgivukkah is coming up this week, so I wanted to merge my applesauce cake idea with a more traditional Jewish apple cake. (For those of you not aware of Thanksgivukkah, this year’s first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving. This is an extremely rare occurrence that is not projected to sync up again for thousands of years!)

This recipe uses my brandied applesauce, along with a few chopped apples, walnuts, and raisins. The applesauce and small amount of oil also means that you don’t need to wait for butter to soften, it’s low in fat, and (if you use oil to grease your pan and certified brandy) it’s kosher!

Of note, if you don’t want to use the brandied applesauce as a base, you can substitute regular applesauce mixed with a few tablespoons of brandy. You can also omit the brandy altogether, increase the spices, and dust with powdered sugar. It’s an extremely versatile cake!

Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel to ask in the comment section below. 

Download the recipe!