It should come as no surprise that those of us at BMW love cars. And it probably won't shock you to find out that we also love Christmas. But baking? You may not have expected that one!
Christmas time is when all the best things come together - your profession, your passion, your hankering for sweets, and the joy of the season. And here at the BMW digital editing studio, we are especially lucky to work with Susanne Breyer, winner of the 2018 German TV version of The Great American Baking Show. Marketing nowadays requires skills of the most assorted kind. So Susanne shut herself up in the secret BMW confectionery to whip up a very special Christmas cake recipe.
At BMW we never pass up a good challenge, so we were not about to serve up some simple round car cake. Susanne said, "Making the round BMW logo was just not challenging enough." Instead, we set our sights higher. Our car-shaped cake owes its form to the 1984 BMW M635 CSi (E24). The first BMW 6 Series remains the inspiration behind the design of today's BMW Coupés. With its look, styling and performance, it is the car that shaped the perception of the BMW brand. So naturally it's the ideal model to use for a Christmas cake in the shape of a car.
Surprise your favorite car fans, car nerds and car geeks with our scrumptious BMW gingerbread car themed cake. Try out our easy gingerbread recipe today.
150 g white sugar
25 g light brown sugar
250 g quality honey
175 g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
40 ml water
650 g flour
4 tsp. cocoa powder
1 TBSP lemon zest
1 TBSP gingerbread spice (e.g. clove, cardamom, nutmeg)
2 TBSP cinammon
Ingredients for decorating the cake:
3 egg whites
600 g powdered sugar
Blue and black food coloring
To make our easy gingerbread recipe, combine the white and brown sugar with the vanilla, honey, butter and water in a pot and heat while stirring until the butter and the sugar have melted. Set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Add the flour, cocoa powder, lemon zest and spices to it and mix thoroughly.
Remove the slightly cooled honey-butter mixture from the pot and add it to the batter in the bowl. Use your hands to knead the dough for at least 5 minutes until it becomes smooth. Wrap the dough for the BMW car cake up in plastic wrap, removing as much air as possible and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Note: The gingerbread dough will be very soft after you have finished kneading it. By letting it cool in the refrigerator, it will take on the right consistency for shaping it into a car cake.
Make the gingerbread car:
Print out the car template you want to use, cut out each piece and then glue them to a piece of cardboard.
Take the gingerbread dough for our Christmas cake out of the refrigerator and let it soften up at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Divide it into several sections and place them on a floured work surface. Roll each section out to about one-quarter of an inch thick. Lay the templates on top of the dough and carefully cut each one out with a knife. Then gently lay the dough pieces on a baking sheet, making sure not to stretch them out of shape.
Let the dough rest on the baking sheets for another 15 minutes so that the pieces of the gingerbread car will hold their shape better when you bake them.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the gingerbread car pieces for 16 to 18 minutes. Let the car cake pieces cool completely.
Note: Depending on the size of the car template you used, you may have dough left over. You can wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer.
Assembling the gingerbread car cake and decorating the gingerbread car pieces:
Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff. Gradually sift the powdered sugar into the egg whites. The glaze should be rather thick. Put 2/3 of the glaze into a piping bag and use decorating tip no. 2, round.
Color 1 tbsp of the remaining glaze with the blue food coloring. Color 2 tbsp black. Take a little bit of the black glaze and combine it with 3 tbsp of the white glaze so you end up with grey. Put all 3 color glazes into piping bags with small tips.
Outline each car piece with white glaze and then fill it in. Let the gingerbread dry overnight.
Then use the grey glaze for the windows, the black glaze for the contours and the blue glaze for the BMW logo on the hood and the back of the car.
Finally, brush some white glaze on the edges of the car pieces and attach them. Let the finished BMW cake dry again overnight.
Note: If you would like a more traditional gingerbread look, you can also assemble it without the glaze. Instead, mix a thick glaze out of 1 egg white and 200 grams of sifted powdered sugar. Then use this glaze to attach the gingerbread pieces of our Christmas cake into the shape of a car.
We hope you enjoy making our easy gingerbread recipe for the BMW cake, and wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas!
Fotos: Gabriele Lemmle; Text: Julian Hetzenecker