The scent of gingerbread baking has to be one of the loveliest scents that ever filled our home. The blend of cinnamon, ginger and molasses is so cozy and comforting this time of year. After swooning over the scents wafting out of the oven today, I got to taste the first little nibble before anyone else got home. For a moment I was transfixed by the warm, moist, soft cake and the sweetness of all my Christmas memories tucked into one bite.
(Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook’s recipe for Gingerbread, with more spices and fresh ginger for an extra aromatic and intense version)
- 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 2 Tbs. freshly grated ginger (in a pinch, ground ginger is fine — 1 1/2 teaspoon or to taste)
- 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
- 1 dash each: ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 6 Tbs. unsalted butter (3 oz/90 g) at room temperature
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1/2 cup warm water
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Lightly grease an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish and dust with flour. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice & salt until well blended. Set aside. In another bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until just blended. Continue beating while slowly adding the molasses. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture and stir until just incorporated. Add the water and stir until blended.
Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until the gingerbread is slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature, with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Makes 12 servings.
December 9, 2013 at 9:12 pm
One of my favorite memories of being in my mother’s kitchen as a child — always had it with REAL whipped cream on the warm gingerbread. Yum!
December 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm
That sounds wonderful – and a sweet memory connected to food and family. I think warm from the oven is the way to go too!
December 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm
This sounds so good. What to do if I can’t find unsulfured (or any kind, for that matter) molasses? Oh – and thank you for including the number of grams of butter as well as the other measurements! Working with the metric system here in Europe means always having to convert, which isn’t a problem, but the weight in grams is so helpful. 🙂
December 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm
Isn’t it weird that molasses is so hard to find over here? We just got our American stash and I could send you some :). Alternatively, I suppose you could try corn syrup/golden syrup and maybe up the amount of brown sugar… or cook up some chopped medjool dates for a similar sweetness and add those – but I don’t think it will be the same. Yeah, I am constantly having to convert metrics too, so I’m happy to share!
December 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm
Lovely cake! Great for this time of year with the warming ginger spice x thank you for sharing!
December 10, 2013 at 10:40 pm
Thanks, Dimple – I adore ginger and it certainly tastes wonderful here on a cold day.
December 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm
Perfect idea with Christmas coming up so soon.
I love your animated backdrop btw 🙂
December 10, 2013 at 10:42 pm
Thanks, Brendon. This little snow feature makes me smile; glad you like it!
December 10, 2013 at 12:28 am
The smell of gingerbread is intoxicating, I love warm gingerbread with a big spoonful of whipped cream. Looks like a really good recipe. I have to try it.
December 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm
Do try! I gets even more gooey and sticky the next day… I can’t decide which is better, warm from the oven, or next-day sticky. I have one more piece for breakfast so I’ll think it over then 🙂
December 10, 2013 at 4:01 am
Hi Laura, I too love the warm and cozy scent of ginger, cinnamon and molasses–perfect for this time of year. I’ve never made Gingerbread Cake before so I’ll have to try my hand at it soon. Thank you for sharing.
December 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm
You’re welcome, and I hope you do try it! This was my first time baking it, and it’s amazing how familiar and cozy it felt/smelled/tasted. It’s maybe the next best thing to being home (with extended family) for the holidays.
December 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm
Hi Laura, I baked this and another gingerbread cake last weekend. Yum! As with your experience, my home was filled with the smell of warm and cozy holiday spices. The flavor was delicious. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and happy holidays!
December 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm
Thanks, I’m so happy you tried it. Funny, I’m JUST ABOUT to bake it again for my daughter’s Christmas party at school. Getting ready for some heavenly scents to fill the house. So glad you liked it, and thanks so much for letting me know! Happy holidays to you and yours!
December 10, 2013 at 5:37 am
Yum! I haven’t had gingerbread cake in many years…my Mum used to make it when I was a child and I’ve never baked it myself. I think I ought to make it this week! Thanks so much for reminding me!
December 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm
Sure, Sheryl. I hope you enjoy baking it and bringing back those fond memories. Happy holidays!
December 10, 2013 at 10:35 pm
Say it aint so. YUM! Seriously, this encapsulates the season, mulled wine, with ginger, molasses and cinnamon. I think I’m going to have to do this one next. Ugh. I was resisting baking more, but this is just too good!
December 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm
Think of it more as aromatherapy 😉 If you love these flavors/scents, I think you’ll love it!
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