Gingerbread Stack Cake with Apple-Pear Filling

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20-24 servings

Tip: Serve this cake with homemade unsweetened whipped cream. No Cool Whip here…keep it real. It will be a creamy complement to the sweet/tart flavors of a cake you put so much love into. And by the way, this is worth the time and effort! 😉

Apple & Pear Filling
4 tart apples peeled, and sliced (medium thickness) or coarsely chopped
(Granny Smith apples work well)
6 firm pears, peeled and coarsely chopped
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
dash salt
2 Tbsp. butter cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix sugar, flour, spices and salt in a large bowl; add apples & pears and stir gently to coat the fruit. Put into a baking pan (large and deep enough to be able to stir the ingredients during cooking). Dot with butter pieces. Cover with a sheet of foil. Place pan in preheated 400 degree oven and cook for about 1 hour, stirring gently about every 15 minutes. Remove foil for the last 15 minutes. Fruit should create a sauce that is carmelized. Remove from oven and allow filling to cool completely at room temperature, then in refrigerator. It will thicken as it cools. Hold covered in refrigerator until needed for cake assembly. Note: Filling can be made up to 1 week ahead.

Gingerbread Cake
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ground ginger
Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of ground black pepper
2 large eggs
3 large egg whites
¾ cup unsulphured molasses
2 cups all-purpose white flour (sift before measuring)
1/3 cup canola oil
¾ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda

Prep
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly oil a 12-inch Bundt pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. As an alternative, you can use three 9-inch round metal baking pans. Grease and flour the pans or use nonstick cooking spray. NOTE: Baking time will be significantly less with the three pans. See baking time below.
In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, ginger, lemon zest, allspice, cinnamon and black pepper. Set aside.

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and egg whites with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and frothy for about 5 minutes. Beat in molasses. Gradually add the sugar and spice mixture until well blended.

Lower the mixer speed slightly. Add about a third of the flour, then the oil, then another third of the flour. Quickly stir together the buttermilk and baking soda and add to the batter, mixing gently. Add the remaining flour, mixing just until evenly blended. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan or round cake pans.

Bake the gingerbread for 40-55 minutes in bundt pan or 15-20 minutes in 9-inch cake pans, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. If the gingerbread is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil halfway through the baking time. Cool the gingerbread in the bundt pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes or 9-inch layers for 5 minutes, then invert onto a rack and cool completely.

Assembly
With a long serrated knife, split the gingerbread (bundt) into 3 even layers. Place half of the apple/pear filling on the bottom layer and place the middle layer over the filling. Spread the remaining filling over the cake and top with the third layer. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and let it stand for 30 – 60 minutes (or in refrigerator overnight) to allow flavors to blend. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before presentation.

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