Bake a deluxe layer cake that’s tailor-made for the season.
Gingerbread Cake with Pears and Cinnamon Buttercream
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2½ cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup molasses
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into bits
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 pears, preferably Bartlett, peeled and diced
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 4 tsp almond extract
- 3 Tbsp cinnamon
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- White sanding sugar, for decorating
Make cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mist 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray, then lightly dust with flour.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.
Beat molasses, butter, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, alternating with hot water, in 3 batches, beating after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean and cakes just begin to pull away from pans, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly in pans; invert onto a rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, cook pears: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes more. Let cool.
Make buttercream: Combine butter, almond extract, cinnamon, confectioners’ sugar, and heavy cream in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until just combined; increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 5 minutes.
Thinly spread some buttercream on top of both cake layers, then arrange pears on top of 1 layer, pressing gently to adhere. Put layer with pears on a serving platter or cake stand. Invert other layer onto the pear-topped cake (buttercream side down) to sandwich the pears between 2 layers buttercream.
Thickly spread remaining buttercream over cake using an offset spatula or back of a spoon. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Serves 10-12. Per serving: 790 cal, 100g carbs, 5g protein, 43g fat, 145mg chol, 300mg sodium, 3g fiber