The inspiration for this cake came while I was at a bakery local to my neighborhood. I was taking a break from work and had gone out for my favorite mid-afternoon pick-me-up, a cookie with coffee. The air was crisp outside and that week I had begun to see and smell signs of the change in season. Further confirmation of fall’s coming a new cookie, sitting pretty behind the bakeries glass case. Ginger Spice Cookies. They were big and soft and gently gleaming with their sugar coating. Sitting down with my purchases, I happily dipped my cookie into coffee and savored the taste of warm, spicy ginger and fresh, creamy coffee and thought ‘This needs to be a cake’.
This is a moist, flavorful cake with warm spices and a silky smooth espresso swiss buttercream. If you’ve never made a swiss meringue buttercream before, don’t panic! This was my first time and it turned out beautifully!
Bake the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9" round cake pan or two 6" cake pans, line with parchment paper and butter the parchment.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and dry spices.
- In another bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, molasses, fresh ginger and vanilla.
- With a stand mixer, beat together sugar and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- On low speed add in flour mixture in three separate batches, alternating with two batches of the wet mixture, beating until just combined each time.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool cake in pan for 10-15 minutes before removing onto a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Make the Frosting
- In a small bowl, combine espresso powder and boiling water, stirring until dissolved. Set aside to cool.
- Set a heatproof bowl over (but not in!) a pot of simmering water. Whisk together the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is warm to touch, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Move your egg mixture to the bowl of a stand mixture and whisk on high speed until cooled and stiff, glossy peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium-low and beat in butter a few tablespoons at a time. Continue beating for 3 to 5 minutes until frosting is smooth and fluffy. On low speed add in cooled espresso mixture and beat until smooth.
Cut your cake into two layers if desired and frost with the espresso buttercream! Top with chopped chocolate and fresh espresso beans. Enjoy!