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Friday, 13 November 2020

Vegan Gingerbread House Cake recipe

'We're walking in a winter wonderland' this year with this show-stopping Vegan Gingerbread House Cake!
 
Forget classic cakes this year, go all out with this eye-catching pink gingerbread house cake.
This is one of those cakes which everyone will want the recipe for. It's moist, spiced and full of flavour, not forgetting GINGERBREAD!

Christmas is all about gingerbread, gingerbread men and gingerbread cakes...right?

Why not combine the world's two most delicious desserts into one epic bake! I bring to you the double gingerbread cookie cake!
I posted a video of me making/decorating this cake over on my Instagram. Check it out here!
The time you put into this cake will be extremely rewarding in the end, I promise. 

One of my favourite Christmas films is 'The Grinch'. Every single Christmas I have it playing on repeat, especially as I loved to sit with Tiggy watching it (my cat).
The decoration of this gingerbread house reminds me of the houses you would get in 'Whoville, the whimsical town in The Grinch.
'I couldn't think of anything more perfect than snuggling up in this pink, magical house, with a glass of hot chocolate gazing over the mountain where the Grinch lives- haha!

3 layers of moist and spicy gingerbread cake, sandwiched together with dairy-free cream cheese frosting, decorated in vegan gingerbread cookies, royal icing, and edible details.

You'll want to make the biscuits / cookies a few days before as this will allow the royal icing to set.

What is royal icing?
Royal icing is a hard white icing, classically made using egg whites but in this case, chickpea brine (aquafaba) to create beautifully decorated cookies and biscuits. 
To decorate cookies you will need two types of royal icing, line icing and flood icing.

Line and flood icing use the exact same recipe, but flood icing is more liquid and requires a little more water or chickpea brine to get it to the perfect runny consistency.

Line icing 
  • Should feel like the texture of toothpaste and is thick enough that it will hold the flood icing in the cookie / biscuit.
  • Make sure to join up the line icing as any gaps in it can lead to the flood icing leaking out from the cookie.
Flood icing
  • Flood icing is a little runnier than the line icing. You just need to add a bit of water or chickpea brine/aquafaba slowly to get the right consistency.

Looking for more Christmas recipes? Look no further:
Preparation: 30 minutes
Baking time: 30-35 minutes
Serves: Approximately 10-12
Level: Medium/Hard
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Ingredients for the cake
-480ml of dairy-free milk 
 -2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
-420g of self-raising flour
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
-1 teaspoon of allspice
-430g of caster sugar
-30g of light brown sugar
-1 teaspoon of baking powder
-1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
-1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses
-120g of vegetable oil / melted coconut oil

Ingredients for the gingerbread biscuits
-150g of dairy-free butter/margarine
-110g of light brown sugar
-50g of blackstrap molasses
-100g of golden syrup
-3/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
-3 teaspoons of ground ginger
-3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon of allspice
-400g of plain flour

Ingredients for the frosting
-230g of dairy-free butter/margarine
-30g of dairy-free cream cheese
-500g of icing sugar
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Ingredients for the royal icing
-3 ounce of chickpea brine (aquafaba)
-500g of icing sugar
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
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Method (Gingerbread)
1. Place the butter/margarine, light brown sugar, molasses and golden syrup into a medium-sized saucepan and place onto the hob over medium heat and melt together. Stir to combine.

2. In a separate bowl, add in the bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, allspice and plain flour. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.

3. Pour in the melted mixture and stir to combine.
It will be very sticky so roll it up in some greaseproof paper and pop into the freezer for 35 minutes. This makes it easier for cutting out the shapes and handling the dough.

4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

5. Roll out the dough in between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper until 1/4 inch thick.
You can roll the dough on a floured work surface, but I find rolling it between greaseproof paper much easier.

6. Using a knife, carefully cut the dough into the gingerbread house shapes. You will need TWO of each shape. 
You can re-roll dough scraps so you have enough dough for the whole house. Use any extra dough to create fun festive shapes using cookie cutters. I make a few trees, wreath, gingerbread men and mini snowflakes (as seen in the photos).

Sizes for the gingerbread:
  • Font and back: 6x8"
  • Sides: 6x3"
  • Roof: 5x5"
Tip: You can google gingerbread house templates, print them off and use them as a guide to get even gingerbread pieces. Just make sure you cut them to fit around a 6-inch square cake. 

7. Carefully transfer the gingerbread shapes onto the lined trays. Space them out as they will spread slightly.
If they lose shape whilst you arrange them on the trays, straighten them up.

8. Place the gingerbread into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Smaller cookies like mini snowflakes will only need around 8 minutes.

9. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the gingerbread to cool on the baking trays. The gingerbread will be very delicate when first out of the oven but it will harden off at room temperature.
Continue baking the gingerbreads until you have used up all of the dough.

10. When the cookies are cold, make the royal icing.

Method (royal icing)
1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, add in the chickpea brine/ aquafaba and whisk on high until frothy.
This usually takes around 5 minutes.
I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment but you can use a hand mixer.

2. Add in the vanilla extract and icing sugar and whisk together until it holds a stiff peak.

3. Add 1/4 of the royal icing into a separate bowl and add in a drop of pink food gel.
You want to make 'flood and line icing' out of both pink and white icings.
Learn what 'flood and line icing is here'. It's brilliant and helped me! 

4. Add the royal icings into separate piping bags fitted with small round tip nozzles.
Alternatively, you can just snip off the ends of your piping bag. 

5. Layout the gingerbread pieces on your clean worktop and using a 'line icing', pipe a border of pink icing around the edges of the cookies, then using pink flood icing, fill them in, piping the white door as well.
If you want the window effect, pipe the windows before adding on the flood icing (as seen in the photos).

6. Allow the royal icing to set before adding on any details.

7. Pipe some line icing around the door and add on some sprinkles. You also want to add one some door nobs and the wreath.
I decorated a circle cookie in line icing, coated it in sprinkles and edible glitter and stuck it to the front of the gingerbread.

8. Using the flood icing, pipe some drips of snow to the top edge of the front and back gingerbread cookies (the house shape ones, as seen in the photos).

Before using these cookies, allow them to stand at room temperature overnight.
If you don't do this, the royal icing may slide off the biscuits, you want it to be set so you can handle them It'll be worth the wait!

Method (cakes)
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line three 6 inch square loose base/ springform cake tins with grease-proof paper.
If you don't have three tins, bake two first then bake the third after. 

2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan 'buttermilk'.

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, sugars, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine.

4. Add the blackstrap molasses and oil into the 'buttermilk' and whisk to combine.

5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.

6. Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins.
Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
Optional: Sprinkle biscuit crumbs over the cakes before baking.

7. Pop the cakes into the center of the preheated oven and bake for around 30-35 minutes.
You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.

8. Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully. 
Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.

Method (Cream cheese frosting)
1. In a bowl/stand mixer, cream the dairy-free butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, then add in the vanilla extract and icing sugar in stages until fully combined.
Add a dash of dairy-free milk if the buttercream is too thick. If its too runny, add more icing sugar until its a nice and creamy consistency. 

2. Stack and fill the cakes with the frosting, then crumb coat the whole cake and pop into the fridge to set. 
This will take 20-25 minutes.

Tip- When icing a square cake, it's best to use a cake scraper or offset spatulas to get it as square and sharp as possible. 
Check out my video on how I iced this cake here.

3. When the crumb coat feels firm to the touch, add a thick layer of the frosting all over the cake and using a smooth or textured cake scraper or large spatula, smooth out the buttercream.
You want this frosting to be room temperature as it's going to act as the glue for sticking on the gingerbread pieces.

4. Make a small batch of royal icing. You'll need it for sticking on the roof and adding final details.
Make 1/3 of the recipe above.

5. Press the gingerbread onto the sides, front, back and top of the cake
Watch me decorate this cake together here.
When it comes to adding on the roof, add some royal icing to add extra security to the cake. 

6. Finish with extra royal icing drips and a dusting of icing sugar to act as snow.

Make a festive scene by standing up gingerbread men & trees and dust with more icing sugar.

Store in the fridge and enjoy within 2 days of making.
Leave at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.


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1 comment

  1. This is truly magical Holly. Just love it!

    ReplyDelete

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