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
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
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.