This easy classic gingerbread cake recipe is my grandmother’s recipe. It’s the perfect holiday treat to have on hand when friends and family come around. It gets an added boost of flavor from using strong brewed tea instead of water.
Classic Gingerbread Cake
This is a classic gingerbread cake recipe. It’s not overly spiced, but it has a nice amount of that gingerbread flavor. This is my grandmother’s recipe, more on that later.
There is nothing fancy about this cake, other than the snowflake pattern on top. Some gingerbread recipes are quite heavy, this is the opposite of those. It is light and incredibly delicious. Nanny knew what she was doing.
Gingerbread Cake Recipe
This gingerbread cake recipe is so good, all it needs is a dusting of powdered sugar. A dollop of barely sweetened whipped cream wouldn’t be bad, either. I opted for the powdered sugar option so I could make a pretty snowflake pattern on top.
There are a handful of recipes that I make every Christmas. This is one of them. It just doesn’t feel like the holidays without it.
The other cake that I make every year is this clementine cake. It is gluten-free and incredibly easy. I’ve been making it for almost 10 years, so you know it’s a keeper. Excuse the terrible pics, I promise to reshoot those soon.
Christmas Gingerbread Cake
Gingerbread and a cup of tea. This is what comes to mind when I think of my father’s mother. Sitting in her kitchen, eating a slice of gingerbread and having a cup of tea while she leaned against the sink with the sunlight shining in through the window on her smiling face.
The memories I have of her are few and far between. She lived in Newfoundland and I lived in Ohio. Spending time with her and getting to know her wasn’t very easy given the 1600 mile separation.
I was about 16 years old when I asked her for this recipe, somehow even back then I related through food.
If you know nothing at all of Newfoundland, this is one thing I experienced over and over: visiting is practically an Olympic sport and they excel at it. You are offered a cup of tea as soon as you cross the threshold and of course something to eat with the tea… whether it be toast, cookies, cake, etc.
At first I thought this was just something that my relatives did. Then I quickly realized, it was what everyone did. Like it generally is this time of the year, wherever you go, you have to pace yourself!
Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cake
The recipe below is slightly tweaked (although not much) from Nanny’s original recipe. I had thought about adding a ganache or a creme anglaise to it, but decided to leave well enough alone.
As you go “visiting” this holiday season, take a few of these with you to share as you make the rounds…
Put the kettle on, stay for a cup of tea and make some memories.
Used to make this gingerbread cake recipe
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- 3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup butter, unsalted, room temp
- 1 cup molasses, unsulfured
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup tea, strong
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger, powdered
- 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
- 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with buttered parchment paper, leaving an inch of overhang on the ends. (This will help it release without sticking)
- You could also butter and flour a mini bundt pan - it will make 6.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add eggs and beat until incorporated. Add molasses and tea. Mix until just combined, scrape down bowl.
- Add flour mixture and beat until combined.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Carefully lift cake to make sure it easily releases. Place a baking sheet on top of the pan and carefully flip over. Place cooling rack on the cake (bottom) and flip back over to cool completely.
- Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Saturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 359mgCarbohydrates: 44gSugar: 25gProtein: 3g