With my spotty record when it comes to big, three-layer cakes from any of the Baked books, I was tempted to make cupcakes instead. But I got brave and forged ahead anyway.
The Baked three-layer cakes are wonderful – none of the problems I’ve had have anything to do with the recipes. It’s just me. I’m not a great maker of spectacular cakes, and I always seem to get something wrong.
This cake is interesting. It’s got a lot of flavors going on, and it’s lightened up with beaten egg whites. This helps it not be too much like gingerbread, with the molasses in there.
The buttercream is the standard Baked recipe – cooked milk, sugar and flour for the base and lots and lots of butter. I’m a fan of this buttercream because it’s light and stable and always tastes great. And this one really does taste like eggnog, with a bit of rum and fresh nutmeg.
Everything went surprisingly well as I was making the cake layers. I had all three 8″ pans on hand. I didn’t forget ingredients. It mixed up beautifully and I put the pans in to bake, rotating them halfway through to ensure even baking.
As I was taking the cake pans out of the oven, I gently poked at the top of each to see if it looked done. I had already put a skewer in and it came out clean, but a second good test is to see if the cake will spring back when poked. It did. And then I got to the third and last pan. It slipped out of my grip as I was pulling it out and flipped upside down onto the open oven door. Butterfingers!
Larry and I tried to salvage it, but it was too late. We scooped it up from my thankfully newly cleaned oven floor, held a little memorial service, and then proclaimed it Finger Cake. Meaning, we ate it bit by bit with our fingers. And man, this is one good cake. It’s got a perfect, light texture but still tastes a lot like gingerbread.
My alternate plan was to make a two-layer cake instead. I cut each layer in two so I actually did a 4-layer cake. Take that, butterfingers!
It’s not a beautiful cake. It’s a little homely, a cake with a secret. Perfect for the holidays, spot-on flavor and texture. I love this cake.
For the recipe and to see how the other Baked Sunday Morning bakers fared, head over to Baked Sunday Mornings.