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Warm Gingerbread Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Ginger, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, and maple syrup come together to create this warm and moist gingerbread cake topped with whipped vanilla bean frosting! Yum!

I promised gingerbread cookies and tiny gingerbread house and here I am with a gingerbread cake. I guess I lied a little but gingerbread cake is just as good! Somehow this year my gingerbread cookies just did not turn out the way they normally do and instead of trying them yet again I decided to bring you this gingerbread cake as a peaceful offering! And to tell you the truth I think I need to upgrade my gingerbread cookies to this level because in the name of all things holy this cake was so delicious!

Denmark is considered the happiest place on Earth (sorry Disney World) since the 1970s. This can be hard to believe of people who spend a lot of their year in the cold and darkness yet every year they manage to stay sane and ready for more. As someone who detests the cold, unless its the chill you get from stepping out of a pool, I was curious to find out how exactly they get through those long winter nights. The danish use the magic of "Hygge" (hue-gah) to arm themselves. Hygge is a difficult word to define since there is no translated English word, in a sense it's more of a feeling. Hygge is all things "cozy" in short but could also mean anything that slows you down to savor the moment. To create a Hygge style home for the winter you would put up string lights (or fairy lights), textured blankets such as thick, crocheted covers, dim lights, warm undertones, and PLENTY of candles. Apparently, the Danes burn more candles than anyone else and this is one bandwagon I'm happy to jump on. But it's not just decorating your house for hibernation, it also means turning off electronics, taking that extra 5 minutes to sip your morning coffee, inviting friends and family over just for meaningful conversation and a good, slow meal, and making as much hot chocolate as your heart desires. It's about indulging oneself to take care of your soul.

This winter this is something I'm taking upon myself to transform our home and hearts into the Hygge style. I don't want to be thinking about tomorrow already when I haven't even finished today or that conversation I had yesterday at work that really stressed me out and I couldn't sleep. I want to be more trusting of others. I want to remember today. I want to read more and text less. I want to turn off my lights and light a candle instead. I want to snuggle up under the covers with my baby and not think about the to-do list waiting downstairs. In short, I want to slow down.

What does this have to do with gingerbread cake? What an excellent question! I shall tell you! Baking a cake perfect for the season and sitting down to enjoy and savor every bite with family was the best way to slow down yesterday. The smells of gingerbread and vanilla bean wafting through the house on a chilly day thawed me out and really brought me back to the present. I indulged myself with this cake even though I'm like the millions of others on a diet after the holidays. And you know what? I didn't care. So what if I'm trying to lose weight and had a piece of this cake? It was good for my soul and therefore good for me. I think that's something we should all take from the Hygge lifestyle: indulge yourself to take care of yourself.

So please, make this cake for yourself and your friends and family so you can all enjoy the moment together, slowly.



1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/3 cups of water

1 1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1 1/3 cup maple syrup or molasses

3 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour or regular flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cloves

2 tblsp ground ginger

2 large eggs

Vanilla Bean Frosting

1 stick of unsalted butter, cold

2 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

3 cups powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and dust with flour a springform pan or square baking pan and set aside.

2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the water.

3. Once butter is melted, add the brown sugar and maple syrup.

4. Add flour to butter mixture, one cup at a time to make sure it is fully incorporated.

5. Whisk in spices, baking soda, and salt.

6. Once fully mixed, add the eggs.

7. Pour mixture into baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center. Make sure cake is completely cooled before frosting.

8. To make frosting: Mix the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth. Add in the heavy cream. Add the scraped vanilla bean seeds. Once fully incorporated, add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time, scraping the sides as needed. If the frosting is too thick, add more heavy cream, if too thin add more sugar.


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