Buttermilk Spice Layer Cake With Gingerbread Cookies

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and a happy New Year! Mine was wonderful, and spent on the island of Roatan. We had some major R & R, and i'm happy to announce that I came back a little more tan then when I left...so it was a success! For Christmas Eve dinner, my sister and I were in charge of dessert, so we made this beautiful cake you see above. It is absolutely delicious and pretty simple to make. You'll even have extra gingerbread cookies to share! 

What You Need
For the Gingerbread Cookies - makes about 2 dozen
3 cups flour
1 TBS ground ginger
2 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP ground cloves
1/4 TSP ground nutmeg
3/4 TSP baking powder
1/2 TSP baking soda
1/2 TSP salt
3/4 cups brown sugar
10 TBS butter, softened
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 TSP vanilla
1/2 cup molasses
1 TBS milk (more if dough is too think)
Parchment paper
Store bought icing 

For the Spice Cake
2 cups of brown sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup olive oil
5 eggs
2 cups flour
1 TSP baking soda
1 TSP baking powder
2 TSP cinnamon
1 TSP ground nutmeg
1/2 TSP ground cloves
1/2 TSP ground allspice
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup buttermilk

For the Buttermilk Frosting
2 sticks, plus 3 TBS of butter, softened 
16 oz cream cheese
1 TSP vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
3-4 cups powdered sugar (depending how thick you want it)

For the Gingerbread Cookies
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the sugar and butter until creamy and then add the egg yolk and vanilla. Once that is combined, add molasses and 1 TSP milk (more if needed).
4. Slowly add dry ingredients until fully combined. 
5. Lay out two pieces of parchment paper and separate the dough evenly onto each. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of each and roll out the dough, until about 1/4" thick. 
6. Place on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 10 minutes. 
7. Once hardened, use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and place on cookie sheet, about an inch apart. 
8. Bake in pre-heated oven for 8 minutes. Make sure you don't over cook them or they will be very hard. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes and then move onto cooling rack until cooled completely. 
9. Next, decorate with icing and set aside however many you need for the top of the cake and enjoy the rest!

For the Spice Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease and flour 2- 8" cake pans. Line the bottom of each with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer, mix brown sugar and butter together until creamy. Once combined, slowly add in oil. Next, add in the eggs. Be sure to scrape the sides down as you go. 
3. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt together.
4. Then, by alternating, add the dry mixture and buttermilk into the wet mixture. Make sure to begin and end with the flour mixture. 
5. Evenly pour batter into pans and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 
6. Remove the cakes from the pans and place on cooling rack. Let them sit until cool and then place on parchment paper. 
7. Using a serrated knife, cut each cake in half so that you have 4 total pieces. Set aside. 

For the Buttermilk Frosting
1. In stand mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese. 
2. Next, add the brown sugar and vanilla. Mix on high until fluffy. 
3. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until you have your desired consistency and sweetness (you want it to be spreadable). 

To Assemble the Cake
1. Place one layer of cake onto your serving plate or dish. Spread frosting over the entire top and then place another layer on top and continue process until you get to the final layer. 
2. Once the final layer is on top, frost the entire cake. It helps if you flick a very small amount of water onto the cake, to prevent the cake from pulling. 
3. Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the top frosting and then place the cookies. Enjoy your delicious master piece!  

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