Gingerbread Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting
You can find speculoos cookie butter at Trader Joe's or, you can find cookie butter or biscoff spread online.
Recipe type: cake
Serves: One 6" three or four layer cake
Gingerbread Cake
  • 1½ cups (210 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 g) ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 g) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 g) salt
  • 2 ounces (55 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (130 g) dark molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (115 g) whole milk
Cookie Butter (Speculoos) Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 2 (60 g) large egg whites
  • 3½ oz (100 g) sugar
  • 4 ounces (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-in pieces
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (64 g) speculoos cookie butter or biscoff cookie spread
Gingerbread Cookies
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • ¾ cup whipping cream for topping
For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 6" round cake pans.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, spices, and salt together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Combine molasses and eggs together in a small bowl. Add to mixer and beat until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture and milk in 5 alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until well combined.
  6. Divide batter between the two pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove when a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack.
For the buttercream:
  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a bowl (I used the bowl of my stand mixer).
  2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. The bowl should not touch the water, nor should the water be at a rolling boil. It's the steam that's going to heat the egg whites, since we don't want scrambled eggs.
  3. Heat the egg white mixture until it reaches 145-150 degrees fahrenheit, whisking frequently so as not to get scrambled eggs.
  4. Remove the bowl from the heat, and whip the egg whites on medium high using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer.
  5. Whip the egg whites until they become fluffy and double in volume. The bowl should be cool to the touch (this will usually take several minutes).
  6. Turn the mixer down to medium low, and add the butter in one chunk at a time, until it has all been incorporated.
  7. If the mixture looks curdled at this point, this is normal. Just keep whipping for a few more minutes until it comes together. If the mixture looks soupy, you can add a few cubes of chilled butter, or stick the whole bowl in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes and then continue beating.
  8. Once the buttercream has become smooth, and the vanilla and cookie butter and beat until incorporated.
For the cookies:
  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Process about 10 seconds until combined.
  2. Scatter the butter pieces over the dry mixture and process again until the mixture is fine and sandy, about 15 seconds.
  3. With the machine still on, slowly pour in the molasses and milk and process until the dough forms a soft moist mass, about 10 seconds. It will be VERY soft and sticky. (This dough can also be made in a stand mixer).
  4. Gather dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper to about ¼" thick. You can use flour to help keep the dough from sticking. If it gets too, place back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Use desired cutters to cut shapes out of the dough, and transfer to the baking sheet with a metal spatula. The scraps may be gathered and rerolled to be cut into more shapes.
  8. Bake cookies until they just slightly give in the middle when pressed, about 6-8 minutes, rotating sheets halfway. Do not overbake or they will became hard crispy gingerbread.
  9. Let cool on sheets for a couple of minutes, then remove and finish cooling on wire racks.
  10. Decorate cookies as desired
To assemble the cake:
  1. Level the two cake layers and slice in half horizontally to create 4 layers.
  2. Place one layer on a cake round or cake plate. Spread or pipe some of the speculoos buttercream over the layer.
  3. Place a second layer over the buttercream and press down lightly. Spread or pipe some more buttercream over the top.
  4. Place a third layer over the buttercream and press down lightly. At this point you can stop and have a three layer cake. You can also pipe more buttercream on the layer and place the last cake layer you have on top for a four layer cake - there will be enough buttercream. If you stop at three layers you can snack on the remaining cake layer you didn't use:) At this point you can refrigerate the cake covered for up to 3 days - be sure to take the cake out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before finishing and serving.
  5. Whip cream in a stand mixer. Spread whipped cream generously over the top of the cake. Decorate with the gingerbread cookies before serving.
Recipe by Dessert First at