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Ginger-Molasses Cake

Ginger-Molasses Cake

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  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Purchased caramel sauce, warmed

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Sift first 5 ingredients into medium bowl. Whisk molasses, sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in 1 cup boiling water and oil, then dry ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan.

  • Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 20 minutes. Turn out onto plate; cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature. Cut cake into wedges. Serve with warm caramel sauce and whipped cream.

Reviews Section

Dark Molasses Gingerbread Cake

This is a cake that should come with a warning: Only proceed if you love molasses. If you do love molasses and its dark, bitter sweetness, then proceed immediately, and with haste. This cake is dark, fudgy, damp and rich. It's like a chocolate cake for people who don't like chocolate.

I am one of those people who loves molasses even more than chocolate — I love how it balances sugar sweetness with bitterness and a cascade of funky sour notes. And yet I never feel that molasses desserts really show off what it can do. Most molasses baked goods (including my favorite molasses cookies) are really just spice desserts darkened up with molasses. What would happen if I put molasses front and center?

And so this cake was born. It's the love child of a few different spice and gingerbread cakes that I like, but with the molasses dialed way up. There are still spices here, but they blend demurely into the background. The texture of this cake is dense, but not heavy. It's rich and a little wet in the crumb, almost fudge-like.

It is saved from being overly rich, however, with that little edge of bitterness that comes at the the end of every bite, sending you back for another. It's like my favorite beers in that way — sweet at the first taste, finishing with a lingering aroma of bitterness.

If this sounds good to you, please try it and let me know what you think. This is my go-to cake for the 2011 holidays it's easy to whip up (no mixer required) and reliable.

One last note, an essential one: The frosting is an integral part of this cake. I developed the cake to go with the frosting, and vice versa. The frosting is not too sweet, but it is very creamy, and this lightens the unrelenting darkness of the cake. Eaten together they are simply irresistible.

So, there you have it, molasses-lovers. A dark, intense molasses cake. Just don't say I didn't warn you.


12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) unsulphured dark or unsulphured blackstrap molasses (see Note below)

Preheat oven to 375F. Line the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan (circle) or 8x8 square pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg and continue to mix until well incorporated.

Mix in molasses - if using an electric mixer beat for 2-3 mins until light and fluffy. Otherwise mix by hand for 5-6 mins until light and fluffy.

Add in dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Texture should be like cookie dough.

Pour in hot water and mix until batter becomes looser. Do not overmix, you just want the batter to look uniform.

Pour into a greased and lined cake pan and bake at 375F oven for 20-25 mins, until the cake tester comes out clean.

What do you need to make ginger molasses blondies

Blondies are one of my favorite sweet treats to bake for the holidays because they come together quickly, call for minimal ingredients, travel well, and are super shareable. The best part about blondies is that it’s incredibly easy to tweak them to tons of different flavors. And you’ll love these perfectly spiced ginger molasses cookies with a white chocolate drizzle for all your holiday baking needs.

  • Butter: All blondies are made with a buttery base and these ginger molasses blondies are no exception.
  • Eggs: 2 eggs will give your blondies enough structure without being too cakey. Make sure your eggs are room temperature so that they incorporate seamlessly into the batter.
  • Vanilla Extract: Make sure you’re using pure vanilla extract for best results!
  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar will keep your ginger blondies soft and chewy! If you only have white sugar on hand, you can just up the amount of molasses in the recipe by 2 Tablespoons!
  • Molasses: Molasses will give your zingy ginger blondies a treacly, fudgy texture and the most scrumptious holiday flavor!
  • All Purpose Flour: All purpose flour will keep your Christmas blondies soft and tender. You can also sub it out for a 1:1 gluten free blend if you want to make these g-free.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder will give the blondies the perfect rise and crumb for the best fudgy texture.
  • Ginger: We used a mixture of ground ginger and fresh ginger, but if you don’t have fresh ginger on hand you can feel free to omit it!
  • Cinnamon: A dash of cinnamon spice will make these festive Christmas cookies super cozy and perfectly spiced. We topped these blondies with a crunchy cinnamon sugar topping for the perfectly crackly top.
  • White Chocolate: So this ingredient is totally optional, but we think these spiced, zingy blondies are perfectly complemented by a sweet white chocolate drizzle. You could always replace this with a simple vanilla or royal icing if you would prefer!

What Makes This Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake Recipe Better?

The answer is simple, Simplicity, Foolproof, Straightforward, and Tested. Yes, all recipes have been tested before posting including this Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake.

Ready to make this Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake Recipe? Let’s do it!

Oh, before I forget…If you’re looking for recipes that are simple to follow, then we’ve got your back. With over 55,000 recipes in our database, we’ve got the best recipes you’re craving for.

1 1/3 c All-purpose flour
1 ts Baking powder
1/4 ts Baking soda
2 ts Ground ginger
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Coarsely ground pepper
1/4 ts Ground cinnamon
1/4 ts Ground allspice
1/4 ts Ground cloves
1 c Dark brown sugar, packed
8 tb Unsalted butter
2/3 c + 2T unsulphered molasses
2/3 c Milk
1/2 ts Vanilla extract
1/4 c Pine nuts
1 c Heavy cream, chilled
1/2 c Sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, blend together the flour,
baking powder, baking soda, ginger, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice
and cloves.

2. In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of the brown sugar, 6
tablespoons of the butter and 2/3 cup of the molasses. Stir over
moderate heat until melted and well combined. Stir in the milk and
vanilla and set aside.

3. Place the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter and
2 tablespoons molasses in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Place the
skillet in the oven to melt the butter and sugar and heat the
skillet. Stir to combine.

4. Stir the brown sugar and milk mixture into the dry ingredients.
Beat with a spoon just until smooth. Pour the batter into the
skillet. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes,
until a tester inserted in the center o the cake comes out clean.

5. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the sour cream
and continue beating until stiff. Serve the cake warm from the
skillet. Pass the whipped cream separately.

8 Servings

This Classic Gingerbread Cake is like the Gingerbread loaf from Starbucks without the icing and it is the perfect slice of cake for your morning coffee or for easy holiday office treats. The flavors are strong, sweet, slightly spicy from the ginger and scream holidays. This post is going to be the last one until after Christmas but I will be back next week with more delicious recipes, so I hope you all have a happy, family filled weekend whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or whether you’re just enjoying a quiet long weekend at home (hopefully with an extra day off work!).

We’re celebrating Chrismakkuh here, so the kids are going to be swimming in presents, latkes, all things Christmas and lots of Gingerbread Cookies and Gingerbread Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup. If you’d like to learn the history of Chrismakkuh look at this Seth Cohen video from the OC.

My original recipe shows the whole recipe written out and an added footnote to the bottom that looks like applesauce was added in at a later date. So hey, recipe testing over the years! This Classic Gingerbread Cake has been recipe tested over the years and is ready for your holiday table. Happy Holidays everyone, thank you for an AWESOME year and next week will have a couple of recipes and some of the year end superlatives I love to revisit.

Tools used in this Classic Gingerbread Cake Recipe:
Baking Pan: Love this baking pan for the perfectly angled sides that allow the cake to cook and rise evenly and high against the sides of the pan.
Unsulphured Molasses: There are many kinds of molasses, the kind used in this recipe is unsulphured which is my molasses recommendation in all gingerbread baking. I use Grandma’s because it is most widely available, but I also love Brer Rabbit brand in the mild flavor when I can find it.
Applesauce: Any applesauce will work here, but we all love Musselman’s because its a brand that has been around over 60 years, all the apples are grown in the US and the only added ingredient is absorbic acid and the flavor is fantastic. That being said… I have definitely used one of the kids applesauce pouches in a pinch too, haha.

I know it’s been an incredibly long time since my last proper recipe write-up, so here’s a lovely little cake from Claire Ptak’s The Violet Bakery Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 2014 — wow, I’ve been working through this cookbook for a really long time now). It took me an incredibly long time to get up the energy to make this, after a long, dreary and physically inactive winter I had the cookbook open to this recipe (p. 125) on my kitchen counter for six weeks before I finally managed to get all the ingredients together and actually make it. (It had been so long that my camera wasn’t even set up properly for kitchen photography: I had the wrong lens on and no flash.) There were a few tricky bits to making this cake but it came out very good and was gone in about 45 minutes when I brought it to the office. I won’t deny that I ate a slice or two myself. Here’s how it went.

We start, as always, with the mise en place. The dry team is quite simple, comprising 300 g of all-purpose flour, ¾ tsp of ground cinnamon, and ¼ tsp of ground cloves. (There is no added salt, and the baking soda at front left is actually part of the wet team!) Not shown in the photo is 225 g of boiling water the other wet ingredients are 150 g fresh ginger rhizome, two large eggs, the aforementioned 2 tsp of baking soda, 200 g vegetable oil, 250 g molasses, and 150 g of granulated sugar.

First step is to peel the ginger, which every bit of advice I’ve ever seen is best done with a spoon. Maybe with a grapefruit spoon I found the ordinary teaspoon I used slipped on the smooth ginger skin, so peeling took quote some time. The peeled ginger is sliced into 2-mm-thick discs and then chopped (Ptak says “pulverize”) in the food processor.

I felt like this was a bit drier than I was expected, and maybe not as “pulverized” as it could be — a smaller work bowl would have made shorter work here — but I dutifully set it aside and continued on to the rest of the batter. (I needn’t have worried about the size of the pieces aside from two unchopped pieces which were easy to pull out before baking, the rest of the ginger vanished into the cake batter and no chunks were detectable in the finished cake.) It was easy enough to combine the flour and spices with a whisk, but the wet ingredients were another matter.

Whisking together thick molasses, additional sugar, and vegetable oil was quite challenging, with the immiscible oil, layered on top of the much denser molasses, constantly threatening to escape over the sides of the bowl onto my countertop. With much effort, I was finally able to get the oil and molasses to at least partially emulsify and turned the kettle back on to bring my now-cooled water back up to temperature.

The baking soda is dissolved in the boiling water, causing it to release a substantial amount of carbon dioxide gas (and converting some of the bicarbonate into sodium hydroxide, a/k/a lye). The soda solution is then mixed with the molasses mixture, producing more bubbles (molasses is somewhat acidic) and creating a tan foam which floats to the top of the mixture.

At this point I realized that I really did need a bigger bowl, because after adding the chopped ginger to the other wet ingredients I still needed to add the dry ingredients and the eggs (beaten before adding, and yes they’re added last, after the flour mixture).

The recipe calls for baking in either one nine-inch or two eight-inch cake pans, parchment-lined and buttered. If I had to do it again, I’d probably add a parchment collar around the sides of the pan, in addition to the usual disc on the bottom — but I’d probably also make two smaller cakes as described. The cake or cakes bake for an hour in a 300°F (150°C) oven, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

As you can see, the cake actually rose so much in the oven that it overflowed the pan. The cake is cooled in the pan for ten minutes to allow the protein matrix to set up, before depanning and returning to the rack until fully cooled.

After cooling, I compared the two surfaces and decided that the “bottom” of the cake, which had been touching the parchment while baking, was the better surface to display, so I inverted it onto my cake stand before applying the icing. Ptak’s icing is a standard confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice icing she calls for 250 g of the sugar and 2&ndash3 tsp of fresh lemon juice — I found that this amount of juice did not come even close to wetting the confectioners’ sugar, and even after adding the entire lemon’s worth of juice (about two tablespoons) I still needed to add water to thin the icing enough to be spreadable.

I probably thinned the icing a bit too much the photo in the cookbook shows a somewhat thicker icing that doesn’t completely cover the sides of the cake. It was good enough, though. The cake had a good, strong ginger flavor, with only a few people noticing the tangy lemon flavor in the icing. Recommended, would make again.

GHG's Triple Ginger-Molasses Cake

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My inspiration for this cake was Chow’s recipe for Fresh Ginger Cake. My version is gluten- and dairy-free, and the low glycemic load makes it diabetic-friendly as well. It was a HUGE hit at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, among an entirely gluten-eating crowd.

I use my own GF baking blend of specialty flours, baking powder and guar gum, but any commercial GF baking mix or your own preferred recipe would work.

To make it with traditional gluten-containing flours, simply replace the GF baking blend and mesquite flour with 2 cups all-purpose flour.

For a vegan cake, simply replace the egg mixture with the equivalent volume of your preferred egg replacer.

I highly recommend serving with lemon curd or a lemon icing – the floral acidity is the perfect complement to the rich spicy flavor of the cake.

Delicious Gingerbread Cake Recipe

This gingerbread cake actually has a stickiness on the top. The longer it sits, the stickier the top becomes. You know what I&rsquom talking about, right? One of the most moist cakes ever and so incredibly delicious. So, once the cake has completely cooled, remove from baking dish and wrap in foil. Let sit for 24 hours to get that wonderful sticky topping. All I can say is if you love gingerbread, and you love molasses, you&rsquore going to LOVE this cake!

Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake Recipe

The best delicious Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake recipe with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions that are straightforward and foolproof. Try this Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake recipe today! Hello my friends, this Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake recipe will not disappoint, I promise! Made with simple ingredients, our Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake is …

Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake Recipe

The best delicious Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake recipe with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions that are straightforward and foolproof. Try this Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake recipe today! Hello my friends, this Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake recipe will not disappoint, I promise! Made with simple ingredients, our Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake is …

Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake Recipe

The best delicious Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake recipe with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions that are straightforward and foolproof. Try this Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake recipe today! Hello my friends, this Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake recipe will not disappoint, I promise! Made with simple ingredients, our Ginger-molasses Skillet Cake is …