Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Ginger. I forget sometimes how much I love this spice. Fresh. Dried. Ground. From salads to desserts, it never disappoints. I’ve made ginger cookies before, but never a cake. For a first attempt I’m very happy with the way it came out, I added some fresh ginger to the original recipe but I think it could have used a bit more, I like the heat and intensity of flavor in the Ginger-Molasses Cookies, which included cardamom, black pepper and a lot more fresh ginger than I used here. So you may want to play around with the spices in this recipe depending on what you like. I added a dusting of powdered sugar on the cake, but I can see a nice drizzle of sweet ginger or lemon glaze working really well.

I wanted the photos to reflect the holiday season a bit, which has crept up a bit too fast this year it seems, and with my minimal holiday decorations packed away somewhere (yes, I’m still recovering from 2 moves in 1 year, whew), I found these red berries in the yard, not exactly holly, but looked ok in a pinch. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Loaf Cake

(adapted from Chow)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter, dust with flour, and tap out excess.

Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice, and cloves in a large bowl and whisk well, set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together buttermilk and vanilla until combined.

Combine butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in molasses until well combined then add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until well incorporated.

Stop mixer and scrape bowl and paddle (mixture will look separated and curdled). Add one third flour mixture beating on low speed just until flour is incorporated. Add half buttermilk mixture and once batter is smooth add another third flour mixture. Add remaining buttermilk and mix until incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture, and beat until incorporated and smooth. Fold in fresh grated ginger with rubber spatula.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and cake is pulling away from sides of pan, about 45 minutes (mine took 55 min). Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.