Benjamina's Festive Gingerbread Cake

Bake Off's Benjamina Ebuehi creates a festive cake with a twist!

Image credit: Gingerbread Cake

Bake Off's Benjamina Ebuehi creates a festive cake with a twist! This elegant, festive gingerbread has a lightly spiced sponge and indulgent maple buttercream. Finish the cake with semi-naked icing and classic seasonal decorations to create the perfect showstopper for the Christmas dinner table and don’t forgetto line your tin with Bacofoil - a Christmas baking staple! 

You will need:

For the sponge:

For the buttercream:

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 60g treacle
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 150g golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g stem ginger, finely chopped plus syrup
  • 2 x eggs
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • ½tsp baking powder
  • 4 ½tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½tsp allspice
  • ½tsp salt
  • 50ml stem ginger syrup
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 180g icing sugar
  • 50ml maple syrup
  • Optional Decorations:
  • desiccated coconut
  • gold leaf
  • sugared cranberries


Heat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/ gas mark 4.


Heat the butter, treacle, golden syrup and vanilla in a saucepan until melted. Whisk in the brown sugar and set aside to cool.


In a separate jug, whisk together the milk and eggs. Pour this into the butter and sugar mixture and whisk until fully combined.


In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Make a well inthe centre and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until there are no large lumps.


Divide the batter evenly between two greased and lined tins and bake in a preheated oven for forty to forty-five minutes.


Whilst the cakes bake, heat the stem ginger syrup with 3tbsp of water. Let it come to the boil before removing from the heat.


Once the cakes are fully cooked, poke the surface with a skewer and pour over the hot syrup allowing itto soak through. Let the cakes cool before removing them from their tins and placing on a wire rack.


When the layers are completely cool, wrap them in cling film and place in the fridge for at least thirty minutes toan hour to firm up. Once chilled, unwrap the cakes and use a sharp serrated knife to cut each layer into two so you have four layers in total. Set aside whilst you make the buttercream.


To make the buttercream, beat softened butter for three to four minutes until pale and creamy. Add in icing sugar and continue to beat for another five minutes.


Pour in the maple syrup and beat until fully incorporated.


Assemble the cake by sandwiching each layer with some buttercream. When you get to the last layer place it cut side up, giving you a completely flat top. Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of buttercream for a semi-naked effect. Swirl some extra buttercream on the topof the cake before decorating with desiccated coconut, gold leaf and sugared cranberries.


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Benjamina's Top Tip: Once the sponge is baked, wrap the layer cakes in Bacofoil Cling film and popin the fridge for thirty minutes. This keeps makesit easier to cut the cake intwo, plus keeps the surface of the sponge really smooth and stops crumbs getting in the way during icing!

For more step-by-step tutorials, expert advice, product reviews and cake news, subscribe to Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft Magazine

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