On the hunt for a stick-to-your-ribs, traditional holiday cake? Then you’ll want to make my Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Cake! Filled with aromatic gingerbread flavors, rich molasses, and lots of spice, it’s a classic cake that’s sure to hit the spot!
A common misconception about blogging is that I make the food, photograph it, and post it all in the same day. Or at least, I think that’s what people think because I’m constantly being asked for whatever I’ve posted that day by friends, neighbors, and relatives.
“Oh, can you bring me some of that gingerbread cake?” they’ll say later today, as if I’m a bakery and this is just readily available for the taking.
I don’t mind, but it’s far from the truth. Some bloggers may operate that way, but I certainly do not! Who has that much time to bake, photograph, edit the pictures, and post it all in the SAME day? Not I! I mean, I’m a talented kinda gal but not a superhero.
Plus, bloggers kind of work like magazines and stores do. You notice how the day after Christmas you’ll see Valentine’s Day recipes in magazines and heart-shaped candies in stores? Some people find it annoying, but honestly, that’s how us bloggers have to work, too. Because of traffic, Pinterest, and social media algorithms constantly changing and updating, we have to make those recipes early in order for it to get enough traction and visibility before the actual holiday for which it’s appropriate.
Take this Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Cake for example. I made it the day before Thanksgiving, which is kind of late by my standards! So on Thanksgiving after the big meal, we noshed on a bunch of treats I’ve already since posted, including this cake.
So yeah, Valentine’s recipes are coming atcha hot after New Year’s! You may not think you need them now, but I have to post them plenty in advance so the interwebs will properly show them when you’re finally ready for them. Make sense? No? It’s okay, I don’t understand Pinterest’s algorithm either.
Anyway – this cake! It is sweet but not cloyingly so at all – in fact, it’s less sweet than most of the cakes on my blog, or most of the gingerbread recipes you’ll find. I wouldn’t say it’s savory by any means, but it has a richness from all the spices and molasses that gives it plenty of flavor without all the sugary base.
It’s a traditional kind of gingerbread cake that’s just moist enough without being dense, with a nice, tender crumb and a stick-to-your-ribs texture and flavor. And boy, is there flavor here! There’s a CUP of molasses in the batter. A CUP! That’s usually unheard of, and if you don’t like molasses, I probably would suggest finding another recipe because that rich, syrupy, complex flavor is very prominent in this cake.
I served it with nothing more than fresh whipped cream and some fresh cranberries dotting the top, but it’d be equally great with a glaze – maybe a cream cheese orange glaze, warm caramel sauce, or ice cream of course! This kind of cake stands on its own, too, so you won’t miss a sugar-laden buttercream frosting on top.
If you’re on the search for a simple, sophisticated cake without a bunch of bells and whistles – but has no shortage on flavor of festivity – give this a try!
*adapted from AllRecipes
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup hot water
- Fresh whipped cream for garnish, optional but recommended
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a handheld electric mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg and molasses, mixing well after each addition. Add in the spices, baking soda, salt, and flour and mix on slow speed until barely blended. Lastly, carefully stream in the hot water until completely blended and fully incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Supremely flavorful and tender gingerbread cake that’s packed with aromatic, comforting, and warm gingerbread spices. So perfect for the holidays!
Have a super sweet day!