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- Dish type
- Classic cakes
- Ginger cake
A wonderfully moist gingerbread that's full of flavour. Enjoy on its own or with custard or a dollop of cream.
264 people made this
- 115g margarine
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 175g golden syrup
- 200g plain flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 125ml water
MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:35min ›Extra time:50min › Ready in:1hr40min
- Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and lightly flour one 20cm square baking tin.
- Cream margarine and sugar until light. Add the egg and golden syrup and beat thoroughly.
- Sieve together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and ground cinnamon.
- Bring water to the boil and add alternately with flour mixture to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into prepared tin.
- Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(111)
Reviews in English (96)
Really easy to make and tastes lovely. Perfect with a cup of tea-12 Sep 2012
I made this a Christmassy treat and it was really easy to do. It came out as light as air and went went either with a cup of tea or with custard.I slightly misread the recipe originally and didn't alternate the water and flour. I mixed in all the flour and then all the water. Didn't seem to make a difference. The mixture was frighteningly liquid, which worried me when I was putting it in the oven, but it cooked beautifully.I found it only needed 30-35 minutes rather than 35-40.-31 Dec 2012
I love this recipe, it's so tasty and moist. I've cooked it many times before but did so in the Aga for the first time today. For Aga users: I have a 2 oven Aga so what I did was put the shelf on the bottom of the roasting oven, placed the tin on the shelf putting the cool tray above the tin. I cooked it for 30 mins (mercury just short of the black line) and I found it burnt a little around the edges but it still tastes gorgeous and is moist elsewhere than the edges.-16 Mar 2013
Old-fashioned gingerbread is the perfect treat to keep on hand during the holidays. There are many variations: from the darkest, densest cakes made with robust molasses and stout beer to the lightest, most delicate cakes flavored only with brown sugar and a hint of ground ginger.
This recipe, adapted from Cooking with Memories by Lora Brody, strikes a happy medium. It’s dark and gingery enough to please even most serious gingerbread aficionados yet also mild enough for young children. It’s also quick and easy to make. The batter is mixed by hand and comes together in 10 minutes, and the finished cake needs nothing more than a sprinkling of powdered sugar, a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream to go along with it.
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with parchment paper spray paper. Whisk flour and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Place butter in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over whisk until melted. Whisk in sugar and next 3 ingredients. Add dry ingredients whisk to blend. Transfer to prepared pan.
Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack let cool. Remove parchment.
Beat cream and sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Fold in curd, leaving swirls. Spread over cake. Garnish with zest.
How would you rate Gingerbread Cake?
made cupcakes with this recipe and turned out perfect! drizzled a basic sugar glaze instead – didn't have any heavy cream available – but looking forward to trying out the cream topping next time.
I used a 9x13 pan. I read through different gingerbread cake recipes. The ingredient list and measurements where identical.
What size pan is used in this recipe ?
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- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
- Beat together shortening, sugar, and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. In 3 batches, alternately beat in flour mixture and molasses mixture at low speed until smooth. Pour batter into a greased 9- by 2-inch square metal baking pan and smooth top.
- Bake cake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack.
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup granulated sugar or sugar substitute blend equivalent to 1/4 cup sugar (see Tip)
- 1 ¼ cups cold water
- ⅔ cup full-flavor molasses
- ½ cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 (16 ounce) package Powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Edible flowers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil and sugar until combined. Add the cold water, molasses and eggs whisk until combined. Add reserved flour mixture all at once to water mixture, whisking just until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with edible flowers.
Tip: If using sugar substitutes, choose Splenda(R) Sugar Blend for Baking. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1/4 cup sugar. If using sugar substitute, bake cake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Nutrition per serving with substitute: Same as below, except 81 calories, 12 g carbohydrate.
- 8 ounces light brown sugar (about 1 cup, packed 225g)
- 3 ounces unsulfured molasses, not blackstrap (about 1/4 cup 85g)
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (2g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 large eggs, straight from the fridge (about 5 1/4 ounces 150g)
- 8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks 225g), melted and cooled to about 100°F (38°C)
- 5 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups, spooned 155g)
- 2 1/2 ounces whole wheat flour, not stone-ground (about 1/2 cup, spooned 70g) see note
- 8 ounces cultured lowfat buttermilk or kefir (about 1 cup 225g)
- To Serve:
- 1 batch Fast and Easy Cream Cheese Frosting or 1 batch Whipped Greek Yogurt (optional)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9- by 13-inch anodized aluminum cake pan with parchment, then grease lightly with pan spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine brown sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, five-spice powder, black pepper, and eggs. Mix on low until moistened, then increase to high and whip until foamy and thick, about 8 minutes.
Reduce speed to low and drizzle in melted butter, then add all-purpose and whole wheat flours, followed by buttermilk. Once combined, shut off mixer and fold batter once or twice from the bottom up with a flexible spatula, then scrape into prepared pan.
Bake until cake is puffed and firm (though crust will retain a light impression when pressed with a fingertip), about 32 minutes. Cool in pan until firm, then slice into squares with a knife. If desired, top with swirls of cream cheese frosting or whipped Greek yogurt.
Recipe: Gingerbread Layer Cake
Transferring the milk mixture to a wide bowl will ensure that it cools within 2 hours. A rasp-style grater makes quick work of grating the ginger. Use a 2-cup liquid measuring cup to portion the cake batter. Baking four thin cake layers two at a time eliminates the need to halve thicker layers. Do not use blackstrap molasses here, as it is too bitter.
- 1½ cups (101/2 ounces) sugar
- ¼ cup (11/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups milk
- 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (3/4 ounce) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- ¾ cup molasses
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups (101/2 ounces) sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
- ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
Watch the "America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated" episode featuring this recipe.
1. For the frosting: Whisk sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt together in medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly and scraping corners of saucepan, until mixture is boiling and is very thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer milk mixture to wide bowl and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
2. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans and line pans with parchment paper. Whisk flour, cocoa, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and cayenne together in large bowl. Whisk coffee, molasses, and baking soda in second large bowl until combined. Add sugar, oil, eggs, and fresh ginger to coffee mixture and whisk until smooth.
3. Whisk coffee mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Pour 11/3 cups batter into each prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack and peel off parchment reinvert cakes. Wipe pans clean with paper towels. Grease and flour pans and line with fresh parchment. Repeat baking and cooling process with remaining batter.
4. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add cooled milk mixture and vanilla mix on medium speed until combined, scraping down bowl if necessary. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Place 1 cake layer on platter or cardboard round. Using offset spatula, spread ¾ cup frosting evenly over top, right to edge of cake. Repeat stacking and frosting with 2 more cake layers and 11/2 cups frosting. Place final cake layer on top and spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Garnish top of cake with crystallized ginger, if using. Refrigerate cake until frosting is set, about 30 minutes. (Cake can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days. Let cake come to room temperature before serving.)
Gingerbread Cake | An Old Fashioned Recipe
Sometimes the best recipes are the ones that have been around for a while…as is the case with this gingerbread cake. During one of my conversations with my dad, he told me about a gingerbread cake that his mother made. I, of course, went looking for the recipe, but could find nothing. I was sure it would be somewhere in my grandmother’s recipe book, but I had no luck finding it. I wasn’t ready to give up though, so I searched my vintage cookbooks. I found exactly what I wanted in The Good Housekeeping Cookbook, copyright 1942.
*Originally published in 2016, this post has been updated with a printable recipe card, better images, and more information. Enjoy!
There are so many things I like about this recipe. It’s easy, uses basic pantry ingredients, bakes in half an hour, has no frosting, and tastes amazing. So that’s five good reasons to give it a try!
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ¾ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons molasses
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ¾ cup boiling water
- 1 orange (zest peeled with a vegetable peeler and sliced lengthwise into /8-inch strips)
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup mascarpone (at room temperature)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¾ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the flour with the ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the canola oil with the brown sugar, molasses, honey, eggs and lemon zest until smooth. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Whisk in the boiling water. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack and let the cake cool completely, about 2 hours.
In a medium saucepan, combine the strips of orange zest with the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat until syrupy and the orange zest is soft, about 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the orange confit to a plate discard the syrup.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the mascarpone with the cream, orange zest, confectioners' sugar and salt until soft peaks form.
Cut the molasses-gingerbread cake into squares and transfer to plates. Dollop the mascarpone cream on top, garnish with the orange confit and serve.
Is a 3 layer cake too much for you? We get a lot of requests for instructions on how to make a smaller version of the same cake. Simply divide the recipe by 2/3rds for a two layer cake or use the scaling feature on our recipe card below.
This cake will need to be stored in the refrigerator due to the cream cheese frosting. If you don’t have refrigerator space or don’t like cream cheese frosting, you can always use a regular buttercream. However, we strongly prefer the flavor of the cream cheese frosting when it comes to pairing with gingerbread. It provides the perfect balance!
If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious cake recipes:
Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.