December 7, 2009 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo
My mom used to make gingerbread houses when I was kid. They were beautiful and quite elaborate, complete with mini ice cream cones camouflaged as trees under wispy layers of green-tinted royal icing. While we loved breaking into them and eating the remnants as kids, as an adult I’m more of a cake-like gingerbread fan. It’s also no secret that I adore chocolate, so a recipe that combines my love of both is heaven on a dessert plate. That’s exactly what I have for you below. I even gave it an easy sophisticated twist and added some orange zest to the batter. Dusted with a light layer of confectioners’ sugar, it’s a very grown up looking dessert with the flavor of a kid at heart.
Chocolate Orange Spice Cake
Makes one 9-inch layer cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Pinch freshly grated teaspoons nutmeg
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one orange
1/2 cup buttermilk
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan, or alternately coat with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk to mix well; set aside.
- In the mixing bowl of your Cuisinart Stand Mixer, combine the sugar and butter and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until mixed well. Add the molasses, vanilla and orange zest; beat until well mixed. Add half flour mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Pour in half the buttermilk and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Repeat same process with remaining flour and milk. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix on medium-high speed for 30 seconds more. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Let cool two minutes in pan, then loosen springform ring. Cool completely and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.