Hello! I’m back! Wow, I can’t believe how long I’ve been unplugged. No one ever told me how all encompassing the end of senior year in high school is for parents! My parents were nowhere near as busy with my graduation as Les and I were for our daughter’s!
Between college visits, senior prom, senior dinner dance (which was prom with parents and really fun!), the last choir concert, baccalaureate mass, graduation and graduation party, we were pretty busy this spring. My son also had a birthday week extravaganza, which included a camping trip during the same time. Add in a database change at work, I didn’t even open my laptop for days on end. Yeah, I know…blah, blah, blah.
I did continue to cook, and I have a couple vegan recipes to share, but I knew I needed something special to get me back to blogging. I made this cake years ago for a barbeque Les and I hosted for our dear friends Tom and Paula. Les was trying some baby back ribs on his new smoker, and I made a potato salad and this Ginger Cake with Fruit Sauce. We pulled the ribs out of the smoker and served dinner. The smell of dinner brought back memories of how my house smelled in high school. Unfortunately, my memories weren’t from delicious smells coming from the kitchen. No, my memories were from my mother chain smoking!
Dinner should never be reminiscent of a chain smoker’s ashtray! The ribs were too smoky, so needless to say we dined on potato salad and this delicious Ginger Cake with Fruit Sauce. Tom, being the sweet man he is, said the cake reminded him of a cake he had when he was younger. A cake he remembered fondly.
I love the flavors of this cake. Usually, ginger bread reminds me of fall, but when paired with a peachy orange sauce, ginger cake is all about summer!
Now, I normally like to bake cakes from scratch, and I had thoughts of using a scratch cake for this, but sometimes a doctored cake mix is exactly what is needed, so I have left the recipe as I made it 20 years ago.
This is a great cake for potlucks. It can easily be baked in a 9X13 pan and cut into squares to serve (skipping the cream cheese). I’m thinking about adding this dessert to my 4th of July menu.
Ginger Cake with Fruit Sauce
Adapted from Treasury of Barbeque Recipes
2 packages (14.5 ounces each) Gingerbread cake mix
1 ½ cups water
6 fresh peaches, chopped (4 cups)
4 ounces light (Neufchatel) cream cheese, softened
Fruit Sauce (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch rounds pans. In a medium bowl, mix together the water and the gingerbread mixes until well blended (about 2 minutes). Stir in peaches. Pour batter equally into prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the pans. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Once the cakes are cooled, spread on cake layer with cheese. Place second cake layer on top of the first layer, slice and serve topped with fruit sauce.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3 fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
3 fresh nectarines, chopped
In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch and orange juice, and then add the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and add the butter and orange zest. Mix until the butter has melted, and add the fruit. Serve warm over Ginger Cake.