When the kids realised Christmas was over and we had forgotten to make our traditional gingerbread house, Mr J suggested we make a gingerbread hobbit hole for Easter, instead.
His idea morphed into the cake I created yesterday. As you might already know, hobbit holes are curved, comfy dwellings etched into hillsides. Angled, straight-lined gingerbread is not very conducive to curvy comfort, but soft cake most definitely is!
I whipped up the super easy spice cake recipe detailed below and divided it between two containers for baking: an eight-inch round cake tin, and a similarly-sized stainless steel bowl. When the cakes were cool, I sandwiched them together with an icing glaze, after cutting off a few centimetres at the front to create the indentation for the door. These extra slices of cake provided a doorstep, and some height above the door of the hobbit hole.
The door itself was a large round cookie, an adapted healthier version of traditional rolled sugar cookie dough. I kneaded green colouring into white fondant icing and rolled it out to fit the door, using a toothpick and cocoa powder to create the detail. The door handle was a tiny piece of white fondant, rolled in cocoa powder. The two round windows were also bits of white fondant, covered in gold sparkle and detailed with a toothpick. I iced the entire hobbit hole with cinnamon-spiced buttercream, and sprinkled it with green coconut grass.
- 1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 1/2 cups raw caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp mixed spice [or allspice]
- 1 cup coconut milk, melted with:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
Whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, bicarb, and spices. Separately, beat eggs and vanilla into cooled melted butter/coconut milk mixture. Whisk two mixtures together well and pour batter into oiled/floured/lined baking tins of your choice: either the bowl and the cake tin if you're making your own hobbit house, or alternatively two dozen cupcake/two eight-inch cake tins.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes in a pre-heated 350F/180C/gas mark 4 oven.
When cool, ice with buttercream of your choice. Ours was this:
CINNAMON BUTTERCREAM ICING
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- 2 TBS cinnamon
- enough icing sugar to create a creamy consistency: about 2-3 cups