Category Archives: gingerbread

Gingerbread Bundt Cake


The warm and spicy flavors of gingerbread are one of my favorite flavors and smells of this time of year. The combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and of course ginger immediately take me back to my childhood when a warm slice of cake topped with real whipped cream made a regular appearance on our dessert table.

This recipe, from King Arthur Flour, puts one of my favorite cakes in a new shape and tops it with a very adult icing. I personally love the flavor of rum in the icing. However, if rum isn’t your thing, feel free to substitute water or even a mixture of rum and water when making the icing. Or you could skip the icing and serve the cake topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

1/2 cup molasses

1 cup water

For the glaze:

1/3 cup rum or water

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10- to 12-cup bundt-style pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the molasses.
  • Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the water, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until smooth. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  • Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  • While the cake is baking, make the glaze by stirring together the water, spices and sugar in a small sauce pan set over low heat.
  • Stir occasionally until the sugar as completely dissolved. Set aside.
  • Remove the cake from the oven, cool it in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack. 
  • Brush the cake with the glaze, and allow it to cool completely before serving.

Yields: 12-16 slices

Gingerbread Trifle

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I’m showcasing some of my favorite holiday recipes this month.  Some of them are family recipes while others are my own creations but each of them always has a place on my dining room table.  This fall I had the opportunity to be profiled by Albanian Living magazine as a part of their “traditional American Thanksgiving” article.  All of the recipes I’m sharing were a part of that Thanksgiving table.
Trifles only look complicated because in reality, they are ridiculously easy to make.  All you need to do is create layers of cake and cream and you have a dessert that will impress.  Any type of cake, brownie, or cookie will work so choose a flavor combination that excites you.  Fresh fruit or preserves can also be added to the layers for even more flavor.  I’ve also discovered that trifles are the perfect way to use that cake that wouldn’t come out of the pan in one piece.  This trifle, made with a spicy ginger cake that is adapted from Fine Cooking, combines ginger with a rich cream to form a decadent dessert.  As with all trifles, this one tastes better if it is made a day ahead of time.
For the cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 350.  Lightly grease an 8×8 inch square cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ground spices, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  • Place the butter in a medium sized bowl.  Using a hand mixer, set on medium speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy, approximatley 1 minute.
  • Add the fresh ginger and mix until just combined.
  • Add both of the sugars and beat on medium speed until well combined.
  • Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and mix until well combined.
  • Turn the mixer on low and add the molasses.
  • Add one third of the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until combined.  Add one of the buttermilk and beat until combined.  Repeat alternating ingredients until everything is incorporated.
  • Scrape the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool completely in the pan before assembling the trifle.
For the ginger syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan set over medium heat.  Stirring ocassionally, heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the ginger to the sugar water and stir to combine.  Bring to a gentle simmer being careful that the sugar doesn’t scorch.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve to remove the ginger.  Set aside.
For the cream filling:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Kirsch
  • Place all of the ingredients in a medium-sized chilled bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until it is light and fluffy.
To assemble the trifle:
1 ginger cake
1 cup ginger syrup
4 cups whipped cream
1/4 cup candied ginger
  • Cut the ginger cake into bite sized cubes.  Place a single layer of the cake on the bottom of the  medium-sized trifle dish.
  • Brush the cake with the reserved ginger syrup.
  • Place a layer of the whipped cream on top of the cake.
  • Repeat this layering pattern until your trifle dish is filled ending with a layero f whipped cream.  You may have some cream left over.
  • Evenly sprinkle the candied ginger pieces over the top of the whipped cream.
  • Cover the trifle dish tightly with plastic wrap and allow to sit for at least 4 hours or preferrably overnight before serving.
Serves: 12

Little Gingerbread Men (A.K.A. Gingerbread Cakelettes)

Dressed and ready for the party

I’m a sucker for cake pans.  Unique shapes, intricate designs,  or bite sized portions and I’m all over it.  From the sand castle bundt cake pan (which can also double as an ice mold) to the giant cupcake pan and individual portioned brownies so every piece has an edge crust, if it is a different pan, I have it.  After all, presentation is just as important as the taste!  So when I saw the individual gingerbread men shaped cake pans at Williams Sonoma a few years ago, I knew I had to have the pan.  This is one of those pans that only gets hauled out once a year but the resulting cakelettes always create a stir.  If you don’t have this pan and aren’t inclined to go out and buy one, you can turn the batter into cupcakes.

The recipe is originally from Williams Sonoma and came with the pan.  I call it a two-for-one deal.  I’ve added black pepper into the spice mix to give it an extra kick.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter at room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup milk
1)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour the cakelette pan.
The pan that started it all
2)  Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.
3)  In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter until creamy.

Add the  brown sugar and continue mixing until the batter is light brown in color.  Add the egg and
molasses and beat until combined.

4)  Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the flour in three parts, alternating with the milk.
     Continue beating until it is fully combined.
5)  Spoon the batter into each cakelette pan, spreading it into the arms and legs. Make sure to fill the
      pans only half full.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a
      cakelette comes out clean.
6)  Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for give minutes before inverting the pan onto a
     wire rack.  Cool the cakelettes completely before decorating with an icing of your choice.
7)  Wash and thoroughly dry the pan.  Grease and flour the pan again and repeat until all of the batter is
Yields:  Approximately 20 cakelettes
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