Airline cookies are a weary traveler's cinnamon-spiced savior. But you don't have to be at 10,000 feet to enjoy them: Enter Molly Yeh, whose Food Network show Girl Meets Farm chronicles her life on a sugar beet farm in North Dakota. If you're a fan of Yeh's award-winning blog, you'll recognize her whimsical decorating style, which takes her speculoos spread-based cake to a festive next level—but feel free to go with a simple frosting layer if that's more your style.
Airline Cookie Sheet Cake
Recipe adapted from Molly Yeh
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time
Total Time: 50 minutes, plus cooling time
For the Cake:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup speculoos spread
½ cup canola oil or other neutral oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
For the Frosting:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup speculoos spread
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
Brown gel food coloring, optional
Shredded coconut, fresh rosemary sprigs and mini candy canes, for decorating, optional
1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, speculoos, oil, vanilla, eggs and 3/4 cup water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
4. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and speculoos until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Mix in the food coloring if desired until combined.
5. Use an offset spatula to frost the top of the cake in the pan. If desired, sprinkle the top of the cake with shredded coconut for snow, then decorate with rosemary sprigs for trees and mini candy canes.