Gingerbread Cake Recipe
Regardless, my super moist & delicious Gingerbread Cake is always a hands down winner – especially with the kids! Ginger root is a fragrant, spicy & pungent aromatic found in most Asian cuisines. In fact, it is essential to Asian cooking! Ginger is well known for having positive effects on the gastrointestinal system & is thought to help alleviate nausea & indigestion. Ginger is also though to contain both anti-inflammatory & immune boosting properties. In addition, ginger possesses antioxidant benefits & may help in lowering one’s blood pressure & cholesterol as well.
When buying fresh ginger, always select young knobs that are firm & smooth in appearance. In India, we normally use young tender ginger & therefore, don’t peel the skin (it’s full of fiber & nutrients!). But the easiest way to peel fresh ginger is to use a spoon to do so – it works, really, so try it sometime! Ginger is also easily available in both powdered & crystallized forms.
1 cup molasses (or you can use ½ cup molasses + ½ cup honey)
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
2½ cups all-purpose flour (maida)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice powder
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp fresh lemon zest
1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
confectioner’s sugar for dusting
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then butter & flour a 9” square baking pan, set aside until needed.
In a medium size saucepan on medium heat, bring 1 cup of water a good boil. Then remove the saucepan from the heat & whisk in both the dark molasses & baking soda. The mixture will start to foam, but once the foaming subsides – stir in about ½ cup of cold water & the vanilla extract. Allow to cool at room temperature, stirring every so often.
In a mixing bowl, combine together the all-purpose flour with the ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground cloves, nutmeg, ground ginger, salt, pepper, lemon zest & baking powder. Set aside until needed.
Using a kitchen stand mixer on high speed (or in a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer) – beat together the unsalted butter with both the brown sugar & granulated sugar until well combined. The mixture should be smooth & creamy. Then add in the eggs & beat until blended. Now reduce the mixer speed to medium low & alternate adding in the flour mixture & molasses mixtures alternately until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Don’t forget to add in the freshly grated ginger! Next, beat the mixture on high speed for a few minutes & then pour the gingerbread batter into the prepared baking pan. Tap the baking pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
Bake on the center rack for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the baking pan on a rack for at least 1½ hours.
Just before serving, liberally sprinkle the top with dusting of confectioner’s sugar & serve with either a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream (gelato or sorbet).
You can add a tsp or so of espresso powder along with the baking soda for a subtle yet delicious underlying coffee flavor! Or you could add some cocoa powder instead ☺.
Instead of butter, you can also make this cake using vegetable oil instead.
Feel free to make Gingerbread Cupcakes instead, you should get 22-24 cupcakes (depending on the size of your cupcake tins).
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