This homespun cake is full of holiday flavours and will make the whole table smile when you serve up thick slices for dessert! Layers of gluten free ginger cake are filled with caramelised apples and covered in sharp and sweet cream cheese frosting.Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and readers! The spirit of this holiday has always intrigued me, and seemed like such a great time to pause before the holiday madness begins and take a moment to really pay attention to what we have in our lives to give thanks for. In fact, the act of giving gratitude, that is so central to this holiday I feel, was one of my main inspirations when I started my weekly Nourished Life Gratitude posts. Today, I’m grateful to all of you for coming here to visit me, grateful for those of you who have moved from blog friends to real life friends, and grateful to have this little place to let my creative side grow.
And, I’m grateful for cake.The foundation of this cake is a ginger and spice cake spiked with sweet, molasses-deep golden syrup. These gluten free layers are soft and tender and the addition of golden syrup and Greek yoghurt keeps the cake moist and the crumb soft. Each layer of the cake is split into two and spread with my second favourite frosting: cream cheese frosting (my favourite of all time being this peanut butter frosting). The cream cheese frosting is then topped with a layer of brown sugar caramelised apple slices. It’s all your favourite holiday flavours in a four layer cake!
A four layer cake can sometimes seem intimidating, but it is really very simple, and it adds a huge wow factor – as well as allowing you to put more frosting into your cake. And that’s always something to be grateful for! The caramelised apples are super easy and add a delicious sweet and spicy flavour note to your cake. With every forkful you get a bite of spicy ginger cake, sharp cream cheese frosting, and sweet brown sugar apples.
This was a huge hit with my colleagues who needed a treat after a big week of all day meetings. I was happy to oblige with a big homespun holiday cake to get us all into the celebrating mood before December and all the Christmas gooodies get here!
Ginger Cake with Caramelised Apples and Cream Cheese Frosting
Gluten free | Make one four-layer 8-inch round cake | Make ahead up to one day
For the cake:
- 100 grams sorghum flour
- 100 grams buckwheat flour
- 100 grams brown rice flour
- 100 grams white rice flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup Greek yoghurt
- 200 grams butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup caster sugar
- ½ cup golden syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the apples:
- 2 medium apples of your choice (I used Granny Smith)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the frosting:
- 250 grams cream cheese, softened
- 60 grams butter, softened
- 500 grams gluten free icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and butter the sides and bottom of two round 8-inch cake tins very well. Line the bottoms with baking paper.
- In a large bowl whisk together sorghum flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, baking powder, ground ginger, mixed spice, and salt. In a small measuring jug beat together the milk and yoghurt and allow to sit until required.
- In the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer) beat together the butter and caster sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
- Add the golden syrup and beat until well incorporated.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowls between each addition.
- Beat in vanilla.
- Turn mixer speed to low speed and add the flour in three lots alternating with the milk and yoghurt mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as required. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl too. Mix until everything is just incorporated.
- Divide cake batter evenly between cake tins and bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating tins halfway through cooking time. If the tops of the cakes start to brown too quickly you can cover them loosely with aluminium foil. Test the cakes at 40 minutes to see if they are cooked. The tops should spring back when lightly pressed.
- Allow cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then remove from tins to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
To make the apples:
- While the cakes are cooling make the apples.
- Halve, core, and thinly slice the two apples.
- Place a small saucepan over low heat and melt the butter. Add the sugar and spices and stir well.
Add the thinly sliced apples and stir well. Cover with a lid and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until the apples are soft and tender when poked with a fork.
- Remove apples from the heat and allow to cool completely before using.
To make the frosting:
- Place cream cheese and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add icing sugar, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon of milk and beat on a low speed until everything comes together. If the mix is too dry add the extra tablespoon of milk.
- Switch mixer speed to medium-high and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Place frosting in the refrigerator for an hour. Mix with a wooden spoon every 20 minutes or so. This frosting needs a little time in the fridge to firm up otherwise you may end up with very runny frosting.
- Halve the two cake layers and place on layer onto a plate or cake stand.
- Top with ½ cup cream cheese frosting. Spread a third of the apples over the cream cheese frosting. Top with a second layer of cake. Repeat for two more layers.
- Place the final layer of cake on top of the apples and place cake in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up. Keep frosting cool in the refrigerator too.
- Once cooled, remove cake from the refrigerator and frost with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting.
- Return cake and the frosting to the refrigerator for an hour – I promise this extra time really is worth it!
- Remove cold cake and frosting from the refrigerator and coat cake in remaining frosting. Chill for at least thirty minutes before serving.