One of things I had on my to do list this week was to make a gingerbread cake. The good news is that I did it! The bad news is that I still haven't changed the lightbulb in John's closet. But hey, technically the week isn't over yet. I'll be posting an update on Sunday and a new weekly list. It's really helped motivate me to get things done. And what a crazy week it was. This cake is one big giant hug and I needed it.
When I was growing up my grandmother had a good friend name Dottie. I called her Auntie Dottie. I thought her name was Dottie because she had dots on her legs. To my 7 year old mind, that made total sense. It turned out those were just liver spots and it was all just a coincidence., but she never burst my bubble. That's just how she was : )
After my grandmother passed away she would visit with us, and sometimes in the summer she would watch me while my mother worked. I would go to her house and spend the day. She was so funny and when we were together all we did was laugh! I have such fond memories of us, just being together, talking and laughing for hours. She loved soap operas (her "stories" as she called them), Bing Crosby movies, and westerns. She loved to tell jokes, read books, do puzzles, and play games. When I would visit her on Saturdays we would have movie marathons. She would make us ice teas and call them "high balls" and for dessert she would always make gingerbread. She was a diabetic and not allowed many sweets, so a simple slice of gingerbread was heaven for her. She always gave it to me with a single dollop of cool whip on it. It was so delicious. This gingerbread cake reminds me of her. I think she would have loved the cream cheese frosting!
I was thinking about those times when I was baking this cake.
Remember when you were a kid and your stomach hurt from laughing?
That's how I felt every time I left her. She was the best.
Food is memories.
Food is love.
That night I told John all about her. I told him how we used to walk to the grocery store because she didn't drive and I never minded one bit because we talked the whole time.
I told him how I would help her decorate her Christmas tree and we would string popcorn for the garland. It was the first time I ever did that. I told him how she lived her whole life without a computer, a cell phone, and cable TV. I told him how much I enjoyed her company and how happy she made me. That made him happy.
I hope he has an Auntie Dottie in his life someday.
Everybody needs one.
She passed away when I was in high school. I still miss her and think of her all the time.
I hope she knows that :)
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
For the icing:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 cup bunt pan.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.
In a small bowl whisk together the molasses and coffee.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat until light & fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the eggs, adding them one at a time. Don't forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour and coffee mixture alternately until everything is well combined.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cake cool for 10 minutes and then turn on to a wire rack to cool completely
For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla and then slowly add milk.
Frost cake evenly and allow to set at room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Happy Friday to you! Tonight John and I are going to see Wonder! We are so excited because we read the book over the summer and loved it. When we come home from the movie I'm planning hot chocolate (because it's freezing!) and a nice slice of gingerbread cake before bed. Sound good?
Have a beautiful weekend peeps! I hope it's full of food, memories, and laughs so hard your stomach hurts! xoxo