This past December I was really looking forward to making gingerbread cookies again, but the ice storm had other plans. I'll definitely be making them early this coming December!
When we had our belated not-Christmas family dinner in January, I decided I wanted to make something with gingerbread flavour and decided it would be a cake. I didn't have any recipe on hand that I wanted to try, so I found a recipe on the Ziploc site. Who knew you could find recipes on a packaging manufacturer's site, but it was tied into holiday foods, so I guess that makes sense. I changed quite a lot about the recipe. It called for a LOT of fresh, grated ginger which is a really strong flavour and one I knew I didn't want to overwhelm a baked cake with. Cooking with fresh ginger is one thing - biting into raw pieces in a cake is one I didn't want to taste!
Here's my version:
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2-1/2 tsp ground ginger
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1-1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (I used light sugar, but either is fine)
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (don't use olive, since it will affect the flavour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 large, room temp eggs
1 cup room temp water
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses (not blackstrap)
2 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1/4 cup milk or orange juice - I used juice, for the concentrated flavour
grated zest from one orange, to decorate after glazing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup bundt pan with non-stick baking spray or butter and flour really well.
In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and all the spices. Set aside. In a stand mixer, combine the two sugars, baking soda, eggs, water, oil and molasses. Make sure you measure the molasses *after* the oil, so it will easily slide out of the measuring cup completely. I actually wondered why the baking soda was included in the wet ingredients, rather than the dry, but realized it's for the chemical action required to have the cake rise properly. After the wet ingredients are completely mixed, add the dry mixture and mix well. Make sure to scrape the bowl all the way to the bottom so everything is thoroughly combined.
This will be a very liquid bundt batter, unlike most bundt mixtures. Because of this, after you pour the batter into the bundt pan, you will need to tap the pan several times on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer in the center comes out clean. Although my oven runs hot, for this cake I actually did have to bake it for the full 50 minutes.
Cool the cake on a rack for 10 minutes before inverting and removing from pan. Allow the cake to cool for 2 hours (no joke!), before glazing and decorating with the orange zest.
My family loved this! I served it with whipped cream and they were happy to take leftovers with them after dinner. It's another keeper that I'll make again next year.