Made this cake for the hubby's 36th birthday
1/2 cup grape seed or canola oil, plus more for greasing pan
10 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
4 1/3 cups cake flour, sifted
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup good-quality bourbon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 boxes (1 pound each) confectioners’ sugar
1 Anjou pear, cored and sliced into a mix of thin rounds and matchsticks
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 325˚. Lightly grease two 8-inch-round cake pans. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together oil, butter, and brown sugar, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time; then beat in grated ginger until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and coconut milk. Set wet-ingredient mixture aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and ground ginger. Set dry-ingredient mixture aside. Alternate adding wet and dry mixtures, a little at a time, to the egg mixture, mixing on medium-low speed until well blended.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake on middle rack of oven until a toothpick inserted into cake center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes; then remove cakes from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add bourbon and vanilla, and continue mixing until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and slowly add confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, mixing until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
Place 1 cake on a cake stand. Using a small offset spatula, frost the sides and top with Bourbon Frosting (recipe below). Top with the second cake, and frost the sides and top.
In a small bowl, toss pear with lime juice and zest. Garnish cake with pear mixture and, if desired, borage blossoms.