This Recipe Will Fill Your Home With The Scent Of Christmas

Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Nothing beats the smell of baking cake. Who needs air freshener when you've got an oven?
That's why I love this Orange Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting.
This cake is packed with flavor. The ground ginger is bright and spicy. The molasses is deep, rich, and beautifully alluring. I love the honeyed sweetness paired with the delicate orange notes. This cake is beyond delicious.
The recipe makes just enough cream-cheese frosting to generously top the square cake and sneak a few spoonfuls for yourself.
Spiced and moist. Decadent and humble. I love when a cake feels relevant and joyful. I love when cake makes my house smell better than my awesome pine-scented candle.
Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
For the Cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup unsulphered molasses (not blackstrap)
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp orange zest
3/4 cup warm water
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
1 block (8 oz) cream cheese frosting, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
big pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (plus half of a scraped vanilla bean if you’d like)
pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)
Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
For the Cake
1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350° 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.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs until thick and pale. Stir in molasses, honey, and orange zest.
4. 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.
5. 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).
6. 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.
For The Cream- Cheese Frosting
1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese on medium speed. The cream cheese should be as soft and smooth as possible.
2. Stop the mixer. Add the softened butter. Scrape 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 bean, if using) and remaining cup of powdered sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until frosting is smooth and silky.
3. 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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