There is no better way to welcome the holiday season – the warm perfume of ginger and spices needs to fill our home to get the Christmas cheers started. The flavors are fresh, the cake is moist, fluffy and dense at the same time, with a thin crust outside and it has just the right kind of spices in it; not stingy and harsh but the kind that elaborately enhances the flavors along with the ginger, and warms up your inside that you so desire during the winter time.
I hope all of you had a pleasant Thanksgiving. I had been very busy enveloped with friends, kids and the warmth of the kitchen for more than a week. More than two weeks whizzed past amidst birthdays, Thanksgiving, activities, plenty of friends, laughter and late nights. The fall leaves rustled by me too quickly and seem to have given way to the mistletoe, bells and wreaths in the blink of an eye.
I have missed a lot of posts and my own blog space too, and had to let go of my conscience and hit the “all read” in my reader. And at the end of it all, when the home is quiet again, and the chilly winter light shimmered outside, I did something all to myself; I baked the Ginger Cake to calm my frazzled self. It has to be David Lebovitz’s Fresh Ginger Cake. I had it bookmarked two years back and ‘am so glad that I could make it this time.
The gals loved it and exclaimed that it was the best “gingerbread” they have ever had. This cake is a kind of a ginger bread and with some light lemony icing it would be decorative as well as fabulous, but I just used confectioner’s sugar to dust on the cake and had it with fresh whipped cream and it was still a stunner. The spices, molasses, pepper and of course the fresh ginger combines with vigor, resulting in a very satisfying and perfect holiday dessert.
Notes: The use of fresh ginger makes a lot of difference. Try to use very young ginger; they have the least amount of fiber. The skin of the young ginger is almost transparent and yellowish. If you are using the ginger that is not so young, grate it and discard as much fiber as possible. Or use the ginger paste (made with fresh ginger) available in a lot of supermarkets and Indian and Asian Groceries.
Freezing the ginger (peeled) first makes it easier to grate and you will have less fiber.
I have mostly followed all of the recipe but played around a little with the amount of oil, molasses, spices and ginger. We love ginger and I have added more and also the candied ginger. Everything came along just perfectly.
Spiced Ginger Cake
Ingredients: (serves 10-12)
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Fresh Ginger Cake
- 5 ounces or about 10 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced or finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons crystalline/candied ginger, grated or finely chopped
- 3/4 cup molasses (1 cup if using mild/light molasses, as per the original recipe)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil, (the original recipe suggests using peanut oil, but I used canola oil)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- confectioner’s sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 3-inch round cake pan or a 9 1/2 inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper. Or grease a bundt pan. ( I used a greased bundt pan with the cake sliding out pretty easily).
Peel the ginger and mince/grate/chop fine. Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. Add the crystalline ginger bits and toss.
Bring one cup of water to the boil, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture. Stir in the ginger.
Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the batter. Add the eggs, and continue mixing/whisking until everything is thoroughly combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 50 minutes to an hour, or until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, drape a piece of foil over it and continue baking.)
Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper if you have used it.
Dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar or drizzle with your favorite frosting/icing if you wish.
Serve with whipped cream/ice cream/and or poached fruits like Wine Poached Pears.
“Dave’s Ginger Cake” has to be the best one ever. I have had many variations of ginger cake, but nothing compares to this one. Very simple to make and full of invigorating flavors and texture, this is going to be very frequently done in my home. If you like ginger and the spices in your dessert, this is not going to fail you.
To make some personal holiday gifts, bake them in petite forms, and wrap them pretty with love and cheer!
Related Posts: More Holiday Cakes and Cookies