This gingerbread cake recipe comes from my new favorite cookbook, Flour, by Joanne Chang. Joanne calls this “Deep Dark Spicy Gingerbread with Coffee Glaze.” So, so good. In fact, this might be the best gingerbread cake recipe I have ever tried.
I have never tasted gingerbread cake quite like this. The recipe includes black pepper, three tablespoons of freshly grated ginger, ground cloves, and cinnamon. These spices really kick this recipe up a notch from your typical gingerbread cake. It smells like Christmas when this little number is cooking in your home.
One of the things I love about the Flour cookbook are the stories that Joanne shares behind the recipes. In the case of this gingerbread, Joanne created this recipe while working as a pastry chef at Rialto restaurant during the Christmas season. She was asked to make little gingerbread cakes to give away to their regular customers. This delicious recipe is the result of her efforts.
Oh my goodness, it is soooo good with whipped cream and a dusting of powdered sugar on top. Yum.
I’ve never had a “spicy” gingerbread cake before, but I do not hesitate in giving this cake two thumbs way up. The cloves and pepper really add a punch to the gingerbread flavor, and the glaze sinks into the top of the cake balancing out the spice with sweetness. The coffee glaze is so easy to make and is the perfect gingerbread cake icing.
I want to make this cake as holiday gifts this year, in the form of mini cakes, and wrap in a clear gift bag with red and green ribbons. I love the holidays.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 large eggs
- 3½ cups (490 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 ½ cups (480 grams) unsulphured light or dark molasses
- 1 cup (240 grams) boiling water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Coffee Glaze
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons double-strength brewed coffee
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), cream together the butter and brown sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (This step will take 5-6 minutes using a handheld mixer.)
- Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the grated ginger and eggs until blended. On low speed, slowly add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again and beat on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the mixture is homogeneous.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the molasses, boiling water, and baking soda. It will foam up! On the lowest speed, add about ⅓ of the flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture, and mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the molasses mixture and mix until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Again on the lowest speed, add about half of the remaining flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the molasses mixture and mix until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture, mix on low speed for about 1 minute or until the batter is homogeneous. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (I only cooked mine for 45 minutes) or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
- To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and enough of the coffee to make a smooth, thick, spreadable glaze.
- While the cake is still warm, spread the glaze evenly over the top. Let the glaze set for at least 1 hour before serving.
- The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Makes one 9- by 13-inch cake.