If, like me, you're not the biggest fan of Christmas cake (or fruit cakes in general) but would still like to enjoy the delicious taste of Christmas in dessert-form, then fear not because I have just the recipe you're looking for.
Personally, I'm never the first in line for Christmas cake. Although the "cake" itself is fine (but still not my favourite) it's the marzipan that really ruins it for me! I really dislike marzipan. I know that it's a preserving feature so that the fruit cake lasts longer, but I really can't stand the fake almond essence flavour. Besides, any cake that I make doesn't usually last more than a day anyway so I believe it is utterly pointless!
Thankfully, I've been tasked with making the Christmas cake this year for the family meal and so decided to change things up a bit by making a ginger spice flavoured cake with cream cheese frosting.

To make this cake, you will need the following ingredients:

280g plain flour
225g unsalted butter, softened
250g light brown sugar
180ml milk
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground gloves
1/2 tsp salt

To begin, preheat your oven to 180°C fan and grease two 8-inch round cake pans.
Start by creaming together the softened butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl for approximately 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Whilst continuing to mix the butter and sugar mix, add your eggs one at a time, beating until smooth.
Next,add the vanilla extract and slowly add the milk whilst continuing to mix. This should form a very wet and smooth batter.
Slowly sieve the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt into the mixture making sure there are no lumps. Mix until well combined.
Pour the cake mixture evenly between the two cake pans and bake at 180°C fan for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Once the cakes are cooked, turn them out and allow them to cool on cooling racks whilst you prepare the frosting.

For the frosting, you will need:

250g cream cheese, full-fat
100g unsalted butter, softened
400g-600g icing sugar, sieved
1 tsp vanilla extract
Flavouring of your choice (I went for cinnamon - just for the icing between the layers)
Gel colouring of your choice (can also be left natural)

Start off by carefully draining your cream cheese - making sure that there isn't a drop of water left! You can do this by using a muslin cloth and then leaving to dry further on a piece of kitchen roll whilst you prepare the next step.
Add your butter to a large mixing bowl and begin by whisking it until it's VERY smooth and no lumps remain. (it should almost resemble a liquid). If you're having trouble reaching this consistency, put the butter in the microwave for approx 10-15 seconds.
Next, add your cream cheese to the butter and whisk until they are well combined.
Switch to a wooden spoon for the next step as you don't want the icing to go running by over whipping it.
Fold in 150g icing sugar at a time to the mixture, making sure not to over-mix.
Keep adding icing sugar until you reach your desired consistency (you may not need the whole 600g)
Add your vanilla extract and as much or as little flavouring as you like (taste as you go)

To assemble the cake:

Start by cutting each cake in half to make 4 level layers. Remove any burn or caramelisation that occurred whilst baking by carefully trimming the edges/top/bottom to leave fresh, exposed cake.
Place a large dollop of your icing (I used cinnamon flavoured icing to go between the cake layers) onto your first cake layer and carefully sandwich the next layer on top. Repeat this until all of your layers are iced and stacked.
Apply a crumb coat by putting a light layer of icing around the entire cake and then placing in the fridge for approx 30 minutes. This locks in the crumbs and makes decorating later a lot easier.
Apply the final thick layer of icing to the cake and smooth with a cake scraper.
I decorated my cake by crushing up gingerbread cookies and applying them to the outside layer of the cake, but you can obviously decorate however you wish!