Preheat your fan oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease and line with parchment paper three 6 inch (15 cm) round cake tins. Alternatively, you can use two 8 inch (20 cm) cake tins, for a slightly less tall cakes.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Whisk until combined and set aside.
In a measuring jug combine sour cream and vanilla extract.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, orange zest and both sugars on a medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. (approx. 3 min) Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and add eggs one at a time - making sure it's fully incorporated after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Add molasses and mix until everything is combined.
Add your dry and wet ingredients, alternating between one another, starting and finishing with dry ones. (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet ingredients)
Divide the batter evenly among the 3 tins and bake for 22-25 minutes or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out with few moist crumbs.
Once they're done, let the cakes cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before removing them from the pans to cool completely.
orange cream cheese frosting
In a small saucepan combine flour, sugar, salt and milk. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until it thickens.
Once it's done, put a cling film over it touching the surface to prevent "skin" forming and let it cool to room temperature. This is your pudding base. You can do this in a fridge, but before using it let it come to room temperature.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 5 minutes until it's pale and fluffy. Then add spoonful by spoonful of previously made pudding. Mix until it's all nicely incorporated and with no lumps. Add room temperature cream cheese, orange juice and zest, vanilla extract and mix until everything is combined.
white chocolate ganache drip
Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream just barely to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate. Cover it with a plate and leave it 1-2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined and smooth.
Alternatively, you can do this in a microwave for 30 seconds.Make it 10 minutes before pouring over the chilled cake so it has time to cool and thicken a bit.
Using a cake leveler or a long serrated knife level the tops of your cakes if needed.
In the middle of your cake board or a serving plate put some buttercream to stop the cake from moving around.
Place one cake layer on a cake board or a serving plate. Using a small offset palette knife or a piping bag, spread the frosting over the cake. Top it with the next cake layer and repeat the process.
Place final layer on top, upside down, and frost the sides of the cake. Then, smooth it with a cake scraper, scraping until you have a beautiful looking naked cake.
Chill the cake for a half an hour to an hour before putting the chocolate drip on top. It has to be cold so the drip doesn't go all the way down. Pour 50-75% of your white chocolate ganache in the middle of your cake, then slowly push it towards the ends using a small offset palette knife. If your ganache is too loose, then make sure to spread it in forward-backward manner on the top of your cake, in order to cool it a little bit, before pushing it over the top.
Decorate the cake with meringues, candied orange peel (or candied cranberries) and some gingerbread men.
If you don't have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer.
Not all ovens are the same. I suggest to check the cakes at 18 min mark and then adjust the baking time accordingly. Get to know your oven! ;)
If you still don't own one, I advise you to buy a kitchen scale - they're cheap and easy to use, and always guarantee the same results in baking! :)
Cake is best eaten at room temperature. You can keep it in a fridge, wrapped in cling film, but take it out of it at least half an hour (preferably more) before serving. :)
If you want to make a three layer 8 inch (20 cm) or 2 layer 9 inch (23 cm) cake, then double the recipe. You can do that by moving the serving slider to 24. For three layer 9 inch (23 cm) cake, triple the recipe.