12ozcream cheesesoftened to room temperature, 1 & 1/2 packages
12Tbspsalted buttersoftened to room temperature, 1 & 1/2 sticks
1/2cuplight brown sugartightly packed
1tspvanilla beanor 1 vanilla extract
3 1/2cupspowdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 3 9-inch round cake pans by lightly greasing and flouring. Set aside.
In KitchenAid, beat the butter on medium-low speed until creamed.
Add molasses and sugars, beat until light, fluffy and well combined (pausing to scrape down sides of bowl as needed).
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition.
Stir in vanilla extract.
In separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices (ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice) until combined.
With the mixer on medium-low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, alternating with the buttermilk (add about 1/5 of the flour, as soon as it is mostly combined add about 1/5 of the buttermilk, continuing in this pattern until all of the flour mixture and all of the buttermilk have been added). Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl to be sure ingredients are well-combined.
Evenly divide batter between prepared cake pans.
Bake on 350F for 30-35 minutes (use a toothpick test to ensure done-ness; a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan should come out clean or with crumbs--not batter). Be sure to check each cake separately, as your oven may not cook evenly.
Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the inside rim of the cake pan to loosen from the sides. Allow cakes to cool completely in pan before inverting and icing.
In KitchenAid (or with hand mixer) cream together butter and cream cheese.
Add brown sugar, stirring until combined.
Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the inside and scoop into cream cheese/butter/brown sugar mixture.
Add bourbon and stir until well-combined.
Gradually (about 1/2 cup at a time) add powdered sugar to mixture. Pause occasionally to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
Increase speed to medium-high and add heavy cream, beat until mixture is lightly whipped.
Once cakes have cooled, ice/assemble cakes by generously icing between layers, applying an even layer on the top of the cake, and then applying a scant, semi-naked layer around the outside of the cake.