A rich and decadent chocolate spice cake with a flavorful ginger buttercream frosting. Three layers all decked out for the holidays with iced gingerbread cookie decorations and sugar-dusted fresh rosemary Christmas trees!
This holiday chocolate spice cake is kind of my grown-up version of decorating a gingerbread house. It’s fun and festive, with three layers of generously spiced chocolate cake, a fresh and flavorful ginger buttercream frosting, and iced gingerbread cookie toppers.
And, unlike most gingerbread houses – sturdy, and spackled, and I suppose technically edible – you’ll actually want to eat this when you’re done!
No, devour. Because this chocolate cake is rich, and moist, and full of all the flavors of gingerbread and the holidays – cinnamon, cloves, fresh and dried ginger, molasses, vanilla, and cocoa.
We could just stop there and all be very happy, but then we’d be leaving off what might be my favorite element, the ginger buttercream. It’s incredibly ginger-y and oh, so delicious, and I currently want to slather it on every sweet treat I bake.
American buttercream – which I love because it’s so easy to make and doesn’t require separating eggs or a candy thermometer – tends to get a bad rap for being overly sweet and fairly one-note.
But adding fresh ginger helps to solve both of those problems. The aromatic bite of the ginger tempers the sweetness of the confectioners sugar, and also adds a ton of flavor, especially when paired with a splash of good vanilla and a pinch of salt.
After being whipped to buttery perfection, the ginger frosting also serves as a lovely, light and zesty juxtaposition to the rich, dark cocoa and warming spices of the chocolate spice cake itself.
The fresh rosemary “trees” and gingerbread cookies on top are entirely optional. If you feel like getting decorative, simply turn a few sprigs of rosemary upside-down to make the trees (I love the little Whoville-esque curlycues!) and tuck some more around the base of the cake to make a simple wreath.
I followed this recipe for gingerbread almost exactly, and used this tree cookie cutter and christmas cookie stamp, topping the finished cookies with royal icing (made with meringue powder instead of raw egg whites) and white nonpareils. A dusting of powdered sugar “snow” finishes off this wintery holiday layer cake!
I hope you have as much fun making this cake as I did, and be sure to snap a picture and tag it with #forkknifeswoon on Instagram if you do!
And on a final note, from our family to yours, we wish you the merriest Christmas and happy (delicious) holidays. This little corner of the internet would not exist without your support, and I am forever grateful that you make this all possible!! See you next year! 😘Print