For the Gingerbread Cake:
- Whisk one cup dark rum and 1 1/3 cup fancy-grade molasses in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in 2 teaspoons baking soda, one teaspoon at a time. The liquid will foam up. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 4 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 2 tablespoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine 6 large eggs (room temperature), 1 cup buttermilk (room temperature), 1 cup granulated sugar, and 1 1/2 cup canola oil. Whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in the rum and molasses mixture.
- Gradually and gently fold the wet mixture into the dry until everything is combined
- Gently fold in 1 cup chopped candied ginger.
- Pour the batter into prepared round pans to 3/4 full.
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven. Set aside for 10 minutes and turn the cakes over onto wire racks. Let them cool completely.
For the Cream Cheese Icing
- Using a hand mixer, beat 2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese (softened), and 1 cup butter (softened) until light and fluffy.
- Add 6 cups of powdered sugar, 2 cups at a time until smooth.
- Add 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and ground nutmeg (to taste) while continuing to beat the frosting.
Assembling the Cake
- When cutting the cakes, it works great to use a lazy susan or a cake turntable. Cut off the domed part of the top of both cakes with a long serrated bread knife and discard.
- Measure halfway up each round cake and cut horizontally through the middle until completely separated.
- Layer the bottom cake section onto a cake plate and frost with about a cup of cream cheese frosting. Continue with each section but not the top layer.
- When you get to the last layer, create a crumb barrier by frosting the entire cake with a thin layer of icing.
- Set the cake in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and frost the top and the sides with an offset spatula as you turn the lazy susan to get a perfectly smooth surface.
- Optional – Place gingersnap cookies around the bottom portion of the cake and one cookie in the middle on top. Sprinkle the cookie crumbs around the top edge of the cake.