The Pfeffernüsse Cake of your Dreams!

My Pfeffernüsse Cake!

…and to think, I owe this cake to Bugs Bunny.

Every afternoon I would watch cartoons. I’d catch Bugs Bunny right after watching the Banana Splits.

Maybe I’ll come up with a Banana Split cake too…

My favorite episode of Bugs Bunny was the episode where Yosemite Sam was the King’s Cook and the king ordered him to cook hasenpfeffer.

Hasenpfeffer was a fun word to say, and I could do a pretty good impression of the King.

Lets face it, I was a weird kid.

Years later when I discovered Pfeffernüsse Cookies, I think I thought it was Hasenpfeffer…  you know…



Maybe it was some subconscious connection.

You all know I’m a fan of weird stuff in cookies and cakes so it should be no surprise that I love pepper in my cookies.  I started looking around for a Pfeffernüsse Cake and low and behold nobody was insane genius enough to create one.

Well… I solved that little problem.

Pfeffernüsse is a little like Gingerbread… I guess…

If this is gingerbread cake:

then this is my Pfeffernüsse Cake:

It’s delicious.  Moist, light and tender with warm and cozy spices followed by a lingering burn from the pfeffer. It’s got a nice warmth that sticks with you…  maybe it’s heartburn, maybe it’s love.

Hard to tell.

I made my own Gingerbread Spice mix, or Lebkuchengewürz for this recipe, and I urge you to do the same.  It makes all the difference in the world. Toast up the spices, and grind them fresh.

Now, you would never toast all these together like this.

I’m practicing artsy-fartsy photo shooting.

Recap: Do toast your spices before grinding them. Do not toast them all together like this unless you want to separate them all out to bring them. After you grind them all, measure them all out together and mix.

To be honest with everyone, I did not grind my own cinnamon or ginger.  Everything else was freshly ground.  I stirred up the spices with a whole cinnamon stick.  It’s what makes it haute cuisine.

Once you mix it all up you have authentic Lebkuchengewürz which you can use anytime a recipe calls for Gingerbread Spice.

Now, the recipe calls for applesauce, and regularly I roll my eyes automatically when I see applesauce in a recipe.

I chose applesauce this time though because it gives this cake a very mellow nice background flavor for all these spices.

Fine, yes, I probably would still roll my eyes at applesauce in this recipe…  I like rolling my eyes.

It just happens…  It’s like a punctuation mark for my face. Roll ’em if you got ’em but give applesauce a chance. It shouldn’t be relegated to baby food and bad 90’s diet recipes should it?

The Pfeffer  in this recipe is freshly ground white pepper.  I listed the amount at the lowest level you can have it at, and still feel a mellow burn at the end of the bite.  If you want a more… aggressive… burn, crank up the pepper.

Speaking of pepper…  I put it in the white chocolate ganache too.

Hear me out.  The pepper ENHANCED THE WHITE CHOCOLATE! It’s kinda amazing actually.

Look!  Another artsy-fartsy photo!

I steeped the heavy cream with peppercorns.  It didn’t do anything.  I ground white pepper directly into my ganache as I mixed it.  The more I added, the better it tasted.

ya…  I know.  Crazy.

It works so well with this cake too.  I made my ganache at a 4:1 ratio and whipped it for a good solid 5 minutes to make it nice and creamy.  It was a bit thick so next time I might make it at a 3:1 ratio.

I decorated the top with Pfeffernüsse cookies and Holiday Sprinkles because I think cakes should be light and fun.

I put Black Pepper Pop Rocks on the side of the cake because I think Christmas should also be kind of loud and terrifying too, like the Old Country Christmas traditions of Norway and Holland, where Pfeffernüsse come from.

Ever heard of Krampus?

If you make this cake, let me know!  I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say about it!

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