Triple Ginger Gingerbread Cake

Old-fashioned gingerbread cake loaded with three kinds of ginger, spices, honey and molasses.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Time for gingerbread! Please welcome Garrett McCord who has whipped up this beautiful dark and gingery gingerbread for us. ~Elise

I get cravings throughout the year for the spicy, treacly flavor of gingerbread. Sure, I can easily satisfy myself come December when the baking world goes gaga for gingerbread, but I’ve been known to make it in the middle of Spring or Summer simply to quell my ginger-obsession. By itself or served toasted with a bit of butter and jam I find that a lively and gingery gingerbread is really appropriate at any time of year.

This recipes utilizes the classic method for making gingerbread, which requires melting the fat (in this case, the butter) in with the molasses, honey, and sugar before adding the dry ingredients. To give it some extra kick I use three forms of ginger: ground, fresh, and candied to ensure a pronounced ginger flavor.

A heavy dose of other classic gingerbread spices give the cake some more dimension. These methods and ingredients together create a gingerbread that is dark, dense, a little bit sticky, and outrageously flavorful.

Triple Ginger Gingerbread Cake Recipe

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This is a cake that benefits from time. When the cake is cool wrap it up in plastic wrap and wait 24 hours to allow the flavors to intensify. If you can't find candied ginger, you can simply substitute more fresh ginger.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup molasses, unsulphured
  • 1/2 cup honey (preferably a dark variety such as buckwheat, avocado or wildflower)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (can substitute light brown)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon candied ginger, minced
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Method

1 Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and lightly flour an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Fit a piece of parchment or baking paper inside and allow some to hang off the sides (this will make it easier to lift the cake out of the pan later). Lightly butter and flour the paper as well.

2 In a medium sauce pot over medium heat place the butter, molasses, honey, water, and brown sugar. Stir to melt the butter. Do not allow to simmer or boil. Once the butter is melted take the pot off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Be sure to stir the mixture every so often as the the sugar and fat will form skin on the surface.

3 Once room temperature whisk the eggs, grated ginger, and candied ginger into the molasses mixture. Set aside.

4 Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Add the flour to the molasses mixture in three or four additions and whisk until it just comes together.

5 Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes. Loosely place a piece of foil over the top and bake for another 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then lift the cake out of the pan and continue to cool on the rack. You can serve this fresh out of the oven, but the flavor is much better if you give it a day to sit and allow the spices to intensify the cake.

5a A loaf pan can also be used for this recipe. Simply place foil over the top at 25 minutes, and then increase the continuing baking time by 5-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I find, however, that a loaf pan often results in slightly crispier, more well-done crust.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

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Showing 4 of 28 Comments

  • Lindy

    I made the triple ginger gingerbread, a little fussy to make and the time to bake needed to be doubled, at 35 minutes the center was still soupy, that being said the cake had nice flavor and a lovely dark brown color. I did share and others wanted the recipe. I will make this again. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • ELAINE Noseworthy

    Ginger cake took long time to bake and came out dry .I covered with foil after 35 mins. For another 30 mins because middle not cooked.tasted good but dry,thanks

    T

  • A World In My Oven

    Thank you so much for the lovely recipe! I bought a big jar of molasses and didn’t know what to use it for, but now I’ve tried your recipe I think I’m going to use the rest of the jar for the exact same thing! Unfortunately I was short on the ginger, so I topped the cake with lemon icing instead ;)

  • cindy leeder

    I absolutely love your web site and recipes, even if I can’t eat most of them due to food allergies. But this recipe I was determined to be able to eat so I just converted it by using 2 cups of almond flour and 1/4 cup arrowroot (it worked other times with other recipes) and the results, well if I didn’t have a sense of humor, I would have just quit. The batter was delicious! and I was so excited that I was going to have some wonderful cupcakes to give as christmas gingerbread goodies to my friends (gluten free of course), but the end result…well. After the batter cooked, expanded as cakes do in the oven it all just began to ooze – for lack of a better description, ooze all over the 3 cupcake tins, and the oven. I was able to scrape some of the ooze off the edges of the tins and use that for cookie crumbs – yummy! but my oven (thank heavens for self cleaning!) and the cup cakes themselves? – well they are still sitting on my counter after last nite cuz I hate throwing them away. HELP. How can I convert this recipe to almond flour? I cannot use any grains.

    Thanks so very much.

    Merry Christmas

    Cindy, I am not a gluten-free baker. I am not sure how to convert this recipe for you. My suggestion is to look for a different recipe and then use the spice measurements from this one. ~Garrett

  • Krysten

    I have all the ingredients ready to go at home and I’m so excited to make this for Christmas Eve. I’d like to make it in a bundt pan though. Any suggestions for cooking time? Also would greasing and flouring the pan really well be adequate or is parchment paper best? I know some gingerbread can be pretty sticky.

    I am not sure on the baking time, though I would imagine it won’t be much different. And yes, I would pick up some Pam for Baking and spray the heck out of that pan. ~Garrett

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Triple Ginger Gingerbread Cake