One of my family’s favorite comfort foods is gingerbread, the cake variety. I’ve always loved warm, spicy baked goods, and this comfort food is perfect for fall and winter. I adapted a recipe from Cooks Illustrated for this try.
2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour, plus more for dusting pan
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, then cooled to room temperature
3/4 cup mild molasses
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 9×9-inch baking pan and dust with flour.
- Mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and cocoa.
- Beat butter, molasses, and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in egg until incorporated. Gradually add buttermilk and milk until combined.
- Add dry ingredients to liquid; add ginger and beat on medium speed until batter is mostly smooth (ginger will make it slightly lumpy), about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Do not overmix. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
- Bake until top springs back when lightly touched, edges have pulled away from the pan sides, and cake tests done with a toothpick, about 40 minutes. Set pan on cake rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm, or at room temperature. (Gingerbread can be wrapped in plastic, then foil, and refrigerated up to 5 days.)
The grated fresh ginger gave it a wonderful kick but was a little overwhelming – I might cut it back to 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons.
I doubled the recipe and made this in a 9×13 pan. That didn’t work out so well – the cake was too thick and baked too slowly, about 1:05, and by the time it was done it was slightly scorched on the edges and still heavy in the middle. Next time I’ll use two 9×9 pans.
I’d actually like to find a lighter, cakier recipe that’s still very spicy and molasses-y – but this one was yummy.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!