504 Main by Holly Lefevre: Happy Crunching! A Ginger Pecan Crunch Cake
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Crunching! A Ginger Pecan Crunch Cake

For all my talk of eating healthy,
there has been entirely too much cake
around here this last week.
All I can say is that is was made with love
{ahhh, isn't that sweet!},
tasted pretty darn good,
and it was a special occasion!
The cake I made for hubby's post-real-b'day celebration is one that I first tried like 14 years ago...way before I actually enjoyed baking. I did have a little {cook} book habit back then {and still do}, so I really did own some amazing books with some amazing recipes...but they all looked scary. Anyway, my other obstacle was that back in those days, there was never eggs or butter or flour in the house, so when I wanted to {had to} bake something, I would have to go out and buy EVERYTHING! Those were some expensive cakes and cookies. OK, enough of my rambling...here is what you are waiting for!

Ginger Crunch Cake with Strawberry Sauce
Adapted from The Best of Gourmet: 1996 {I made a few minor changes}.
Crunch Topping
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped fine
1/2 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 8 cookies worth)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted

Ginger Cake
1 3/4 all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon {I added another 1 tsp...we LOVE cinnamon}
3/4 tsp salt {sea salt}
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 stick (6 TBLSPN) unslated butter softened
1 large egg, beaten lightly

Whipped Cream "Frosting"
3 cups well-chilled heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBLSPN sugar

Strawberry Sauce
{I actually had homemade strawberry sauced on hand that I had canned in the summer, so I didn't make this...then I forgot about it and no one missed it, so you can skip the sauce if you'd like!}
1 pint strawberries
1 TBLSPN fresh lemon juice
2 TBLSPN sugar
-Preheat oven to 350 F
-Grease/Butter 3 8" x 2" round cake pans

Crunch Topping:
-Combine topping ingredients, stirring until everything is combined.
-Divide toppings evenly among the three pans and press into pan.

-In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt.
-Add the remaining cake ingredients and with an electric mixer beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
-Carefully spread batter over topping in the 3 pans.
-Bake in the lower and upper two-thirds of the oven switching positions halfway through.
-Bake 20 minutes in all, or until a tester comes out clean {OK, here is where I went "Huh?"  I switched my cake sat about 15 minutes and they were nowhere near being done. I checked again at 20 and they were still not done - no surprise - I left them in for a total of about 30 minutes...JUST CHECK!}
-Immediately invert cake layers onto racks lined with wax paper {I did not do this, I just let them cool for about 15 minute sand then inverted}.
-Cool completely.

-In a chilled both with chilled beaters {I did not chill}, beat 3 cups of cream with vanilla and 2 TBLSPN sugar.
-Beat until it holds stiff peaks.

Cake Assembly:
-Arrange one layer crunch side up on a platter {or pretty plate!}.
-Spread whip cream on the layer, evenly. I used about 1/2 to 3/4 cups.
-Position second layer of cake, add whip cream layer.
-Position third layer.
-Leave top plain {the recipe states this, but I whip-creamed my entire cake}.
-Spread/"Frost" the sides odf the cake with the whip cream.
-Chill wrapped ( cover loosely in plastic wrap) cake for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Strawberry Sauce*:
-Hull strawberries and slice them in half.
-In a bowl with a potato masher, mash the berries with the lemon juice and 2 TBLSPN sugar.
-In a food processor puree berries and then strain.
May be made up to one day ahead
*If I would have made this, I would have probably cooked the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar for about 30 minutes and served the sauce with "chunkier" pieces of fruit.

Garnish with a few strawberries - whole or sliced -
and serve cake with strawberry sauce and enjoy!
Oh...and please notice my super-FAB cake stand...
a glass platter {the top of a broken cake stand, boo-hoo!}
set atop an upside-down trifle bowl.
I picked a few camellias from the garden
and set it all on a silver tray...
Hope everyone is having a good week...
I am taking it easy here {or at least trying to},
hence the fewer posts...
but I am recharging!

Happy crunching!


  1. Yum! Looks really good. I love cake. Your cake looks great with all the props too. Beautiful job on the presentation! Excellent!

  2. Aloha,
    So lovely and talented! It is so fun to share in the Joys of others, I appreciate your talents and I will try this recipe. My headstone will say
    you go girl, he is one lucky man:)

    Aloha wishes and great dishes from across the sea

  3. Good Lord Lady! You even stage a CAKE beautifully! :)

  4. I LOVE the idea of having ginger in the cake! That sounds sooooo good!

  5. I am a gingerholic, so I MUST try this! It looks amazing! Thanks for the post!

  6. They say ginger is good for an upset tummy so maybe I should have a piece of that cake.

  7. My husband has been out of town this week so all I have been eating is sweet stuff. He really needs to get home soon to get me back in line.

    It's a good thing my cabinets are empty or I would be making that cake tonight!

  8. That is amazing! I bet it tastes as good as it looks. I wish I had all those ingredients right now....

  9. You had me at pecans. Great recipe and a beautiful cake.

  10. Anonymous9:07 AM

    Does that ever sound yummy...and pretty, too!

  11. Yum! That looks and sounds absolutely delicious!!!

  12. Since I am not a chocolate eater, I am always excited to see strawberry and other treats for cakes.

    Looks fantastic.

  13. Looks and sounds delicious! We eat pretty healthy *most* of the time around here, which helps get rid of any guilt of eating desserts every once in a while! ;)

  14. Oh, this looks heavenly!

  15. Oh my gosh - looks so tasty!

  16. Oh wow that sounds fabulous! My dad would love it. Hope your dear hubby had a wonderful birthday!

  17. Cinnamon & Ginger...yummy!!! Those look soooo good.

  18. That is a beautiful cake! Sounds pretty tasty, too!

  19. Thank God I'm only giving up soda (and not sugar) for Lent!!
    I'm leaving town for a few days, sans laptop, but I'll talk to you soon, girl!
    Hope you are well!!
    Kelli @ SustainingCreativity

  20. Gorgeous! I have to say though... no chocolate? Such a waste.


  21. Now this sounds perfect and pretty too! I hope you get recharged soon. I missed a couple days with a headache and I'm trying to catch up...not easy!


  22. Oh Lord I could eat an entire one of those today - can you send it over email?

  23. Hi Holly. This cake sounds so fabulous. I'm on no sugar this month (unless it's Friday nite when I can have a Martini). But will keep this recipe for sure. Things are looking busy here, this is great to see your blog growing. I went to that place you told me about and got a virus the same day so I'm scared to go back. Sorry to see the S365 Flag not flying, but I know HTML is full of surprises. Take good care, Love, Keri (a.k.a. Sam)

  24. Cake is my weakness.

    But AMEN to the recharging and posting less. I think we are all feeling similarly lately...

  25. What a delightful treat! Can't wait to give it a try... And thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate your visit:)

  26. mmmmmmmm ginger crunch, I need a piece!!!!!

  27. There is an award waiting for you!


  28. Ooooh! Yummmm! I know my kids would not eat it...so it would up to me and my hubby to eat it. haha.

  29. YUM! Looks great! New to your site! LOVE IT! Will be back to learn all I can!

  30. Ooooooo that looks so delicious! I just want to stick my finger in the frosting!

  31. Yummm!! You are so talented. Stop by and see me I have something for you.

  32. That looks so good. Can't wait to try it.

  33. This looks fabulous! I'm visiting through Trendy Treehouse's Follow Friday - nice to meet you & I'm looking forwards to reading more :)

  34. I love cake and these look amazing. I'm glad I discovered your blog today. Happy Friday Follow!

  35. That sounds so good.

  36. That looks wonderful! This recipe is going in my file. My husband loves ginger, so for his special day...he's getting this! Thanks for sharing.

  37. Love the blog! Just stopping by for Follow me Friday...I'm a follower now!


  38. Very glad I found you through Friday Follow!

  39. Sounds so good!
    Stopping by from Trendy Treehouse to say Hi!
    I am adding you so I can come back & read more!
    Please stop by!

  40. Sounds so good!
    Stopping by from Trendy Treehouse to say Hi!
    I am adding you so I can come back & read more!
    Please stop by!

  41. Looks delicious!!! Worth messing up my diet over! Haha!

    Following from Friday Follow!

  42. yummy! would love to try it. Now following from FF! Have a great weekend.

  43. Wow that cake looks amazing and yummy i love anything with some strawberries~ Enjoy your weekend !

  44. Oh my, this cake is calling my name!

  45. Yummy!!! I love the DIY Chandelier too. So cute!!

  46. that looks marvelous!

    I follow you from follow friday! I would love if you come follow my blog

  47. Hey Holly. Love cake. Love ginger. Love you. Goodmorning my friend. On the FF blog hop for the first time today. I'll let you know how it goes. Have a great day. Holly:)

  48. I sent your blog some love today. :)


  49. Hi, I'm a new follower from Follow Me Friday. Super Cute, btw.


  50. Holly,
    This looks heavenly! Thank you posting my button on your sidebar. I will add yours to mine.

  51. Oh gorgeous recipes!

    I found you on Friday Follow.



  52. Looks so yummy! I can't wait to try it! I left something for you over at my place.

  53. Oh Holly! This looks so yummy! Can't wait to give it a try. Hope you are well. :)

  54. Cake looks great!! Happy Friday Follow!!


  55. Hey just stopping by to say Hi from Friday Follow!

    Happy Follow Friday!


  56. That cake looks so delicious! And it seems relatively easy to make.
    Have a beautiful weekend Holly. It's my daughter's 4th bday party tomorrow. I will attempt to make that birthday chandelier tonight. If it turns out well (I'm absolutely horrible at all things craft!!!) I will post pictures of it on Monday.

  57. YUM!!! That looks so good! I'm glad you stopped by- if you hadn't, I'd be missin' out. I'm seriously thinking about making this. :) Thanks for the follow! I'm following you now too.

  58. Thanks for stopping by my blog! What creativity and talent you have! I'm really looking forward to seeing more!

  59. hi, I needed a cake for my grandmothers 85 and she loves ginger so I will make it in March. I will let you know how I like it, and I can guarantee it wont' look as good as yours LOL
    How do I have a widget or a way for people to sign up using an email like other people have? I tried to google it but I can't figure it out.
    IF you have time let me know. eatmywords40@yahoo.com

  60. Hi. Thanks for the follow!

    I love your blog! I'm following you back. I look forward to seeing you again.

  61. This looks delicious!

  62. Yummy! My husband loves pecans...might have to give this one a try!

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  63. I'll have to learn how to reduce recipes. I'd eat the whole thing. It would be great as a mini cake for one person.

    Stopping by from SITS. Happy Saturday Sharefest.

  64. Anonymous2:45 AM

    The second everyone leaves my office for lunch I am hitting the print button on your recipe!!

  65. Anonymous8:17 AM

    That looks good.
    Very elegant pictures.
    Thank-you for the Friday Follow.
    Have a great weekend.

  66. Oh my goodness. This cake looks so pretty. I can't even take it! YUM!

  67. That looks lovely! I could eat that frosting all by itself :)

    New to your blog!

  68. Anonymous1:01 AM

    aw man!! Now I want cake. Do you have a fat free calorie free version? That woud be great, thanks! =)

  69. Your cake looks wonderful! i'm going to have to try it!

  70. Oh My! That sounds and looks awesome - and I'm on a cake kick this week!

    Returning the follow from FF!

  71. Oh how I love cake. I would rather have cake than just about any other food.

    It's how I got my lovely figure. Ahem.

  72. That cake looks heavenly!! Yes, not having flour and sugar on hand can certainly make baking a challenge. Might have to try that so I won't keep baking my favorite cinnamon bread and eating it!

  73. Looks yummy. Now I'm going to find something sweet to eat.

  74. Happy SITS day! This cake looks wonderful! I love the unexpected crunch on top. Hope you have a fabulous day!


Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation! I sure hope you come back for more!

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