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Dark Molasses Gingerbread Cake

Oh my.  If you love molasses, this is the cake for you!  This a very dense, moist cake.  It’s kind of the heftier cousin of the apple molasses gingerbread cake I made back in October.  I absolutely love molasses, and in this particular instance, I love how it sings back-up for the ginger, cloves and cinnamon.  It’s a strong back-up vocal, let me tell you, but the resulting harmonies work beautifully. 

I got this recipe from the New York Times a while back and have just been waiting for a chance to make it.  So glad I didn’t wait any longer.  It makes me think that this is what a Christmas pudding cake must have been like in the 1700’s.  Dark, rich, moist, spicy, not terribly sweet, yet awesomely aromatic.  I might even add raisins to it next time just to see what happens.  Hmm.  Oh, and a little tip…this is so good the next day, better maybe, so it’s perfect for that dessert you want to make ahead.

This is not a cake for the faint of heart.  You must know going in that it packs a molasses punch that not everyone will like.  But if you’re like me and could drink molasses from the jar, you might better just get out your cake pan and start baking. 


Dark Molasses Gingerbread Cake
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, more for pan
2 cups cake flour, more for pan
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
Freshly whipped cream, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round baking pan. Sift flour, baking soda and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Blend in spices and salt with a wire whisk.

2. In a small pan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Melt 1/2 cup butter in it, then whisk water into flour mixture. Beat eggs and add to mixture, along with molasses. Whisk until well blended. Pour into pan.

3. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer plunged into center comes out with no trace of raw batter. Interior will be moist. Serve warm with freshly whipped cream.

Note: This cake is also delicious the day after it is baked. The spices meld and the texture gets more like a steamed pudding.


Reader Comments (6)

Great recipe! I definitely want to try it. I love molasses so much. I searched "molasses" on Foodgawker and favorited all the recipes with it so I could try them. I love how you don't put sugar in, just lots of molasses. When you say "dark molasses", I assume you mean the kind of molasses in between "regular" and "blackstrap"? Sometimes I have seen that referred to as "bold"?
Anyway, thanks again! Always looking for good molasses recipes. Side note: My ggrandfather settled the town I live in and immediately tried to produce molasses here, but not the right climate. So, he became an importer of it!
Please keep those great recipes coming! Great job!

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Wow, so interesting, Michelle. I'm assuming you kinow your molasses! Any molasses will do in this recipe, but I do like the darker, bolder-flavored ones. I haven't tried blackstrap in this recipe though. Hope you enjoy this!

February 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

What would I need to change in order to use this dark, moist cake in a roulade?

December 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim

I love the idea of a dark molasses gingerbread roulade, Kim. It sounds so good! Unfortunately, you would have to change just about everything in the recipe to create a cake that would work well in roulade form. This cake is just too moist. You would have to double the eggs, reduce the molasses and flour by quite a bit and by then you might be better off using an already established roulade recipe. There are lots of good gingerbread roulades that you could use, and perhaps increase the molasses to create a darker cake. I'm sorry I couldn't have been more help. Hope you find just the right recipe you're looking for!!

December 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

How would I make this into a carrot cake? Could I just add an extra 3-4 cups of grated carrot?

February 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Yep, that would probably work, Jenny. Are you wanting it to be more like a traditional carrot cake? If so, you might want to reduce the molasses a bit.

February 4, 2016 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

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