Building a gingerbread house was a tradition that was alive and well in my life up until my first year on the farm when I spent all of my waking hours for a few weeks researching and building an almost-to-scale replica of the farm. It received the most extreme reactions out of the Eggs I’ve ever seen; Eggpop wouldn’t let me throw it away after the holidays and is now hoarding it in his basement.
After my stint as gingerbread architect I decided that I should quit while I was ahead (or behind, depending on how you look at it), and I hung up my spatula. Gingerbread houses are fantastically fun to make and all, but don’t you wanna eat it?? If it’s good enough to eat, the walls are likely not sturdy enough, and you never want to fux with a less than sturdy wall unless you have cardboard and a hot-glue gun standing by to replace any broken walls. And emotional support.
So, here’s one you can eat! It’s a soft and moist cake that won’t collapse as you’re decorating it. It’s flavored with a hefty plop of speculoos spread, like those gingerbread-y cookies you get on airplanes, so there’s no need to get your whole spice rack out. But you SHOULD get your whole candy drawer out. Go wild with your decorations, buck wild.
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and line the bottoms of two
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, speculoos spread, buttermilk, water, oil, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes.
Let cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove to the rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and speculoos until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Mix in the salt and vanilla.
To assemble the layer cake, level the layers and then stack them up with a thin layer of frosting in between. Use an offset spatula to frost the top and sides. Decorate with candy and marzipan to make it look like a gingerbread house or town.
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