Ginger cake makes the holidays taste more like, well, holidays, but it’s good in summer, too, sliced and wrapped and packed for a picnic. This recipe has tons of ginger intensity, thanks to the half cup of the minced fresh root. You start by blending flour and spices, then dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add oil and mild-tasting molasses, and combine to form a batter, stirring in eggs and the ginger. Scrape into a buttered loaf pan and bake in a moderate oven. For an alternate version, check out our Gingerbread Loaf.
- Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake, or 8 to 10 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr 15 mins, plus cooling time
- Active: 30 mins
- Unsalted butter, for coating the pan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pan
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 3/4 cup light (or mild) molasses, such as Grandma’s
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup packed (peeled and minced) fresh ginger (from about 1 [5-inch] piece)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
- Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Whipped cream, for serving (optional; recipe link in intro)
- Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and dust with flour, tapping out the excess; set aside. Have a whisk and rubber spatula on hand.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the measured flour, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt to break up any lumps and aerate; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the molasses, oil, and sugar until smooth.
- In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in the baking soda, then whisk in the molasses mixture until combined; remove from heat. Using the rubber spatula, stir the ginger into the molasses mixture.
- Whisk the dry ingredients, a little at a time, into the batter until just combined. Using the rubber spatula, stir in the eggs until just combined. Again using the rubber spatula, transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Place on a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the pan and remove the cake from the pan. If you choose, dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream.