Scrumptious Gingerbread Cake

There is nothing like the smell of warm gingerbread, wafting out of the oven on a cool winter day…

This is my favorite gingerbread cake recipe, which I made for my daughter's 4th birthday party. Guess somebody else thought warm gingerbread sounded just right, because they asked me to post the recipe, so here it is!

Gingerbread Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (I used a mix of Rapadura and Coconut Sugar, because that's what I had- it worked wonderfully- I think using either one entirely would be great and I'm sure it could also be adapted for use with honey)
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp ginger
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 cups flour (wheat is fine, but you can easily substitute spelt or kamut, and possibly other flours)
2/3 cup boiling water
1 Tbsp baking soda

(This is not a soaked flour recipe, which is the only kind I usually use. However, it's a rare treat and I needed a cake that was simple to make and guest-pleasing but not entirely unhealthy, so this fit the bill. It could definitely be made with sprouted flour, which would get rid of the issue of the unsoaked flour.)

1) Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and beat. Add molasses. Mix all well.

2) Stir flour, baking powder and spices together in a separate bowl.

3) Dissolve baking soda in boiling water.

4) Add water mixture and dry ingredients to creamed butter mixture alternatively (a bit of water, a bit of dry, etc.).

5) Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes.

And the icing on the cake, of course…

Cream Cheese Honey Icing

This is my standard icing, our family's favorite, and oh so quick and easy (and yummy)!

1 pkg cream cheese (softened)
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbsp honey (depends how sweet you like it)
raw milk

Add all to a small mixing bowl, including a few Tbsp of raw milk. Start mixing with handheld beater, and slowly add more milk until you achieve the consistency you like. Taste many times, just to make sure it still tastes good. Share the beaters with your 4 year old and feel like a kid again.

To make a colored icing, add a little less milk and instead thaw some berries to mix in. I use raspberry for red (but really more of a pink) coloring, blackberry for purple, and blueberry for (what else?) blue. You can see above that I didn't color my icing this time, but put frozen raspberries around the edge (note- frozen raspberries will melt and drip all over the white icing!) If you're brave, you can try using liquid Chlorophyll for green. Any ideas for yellow or orange?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. This is delicious! Thanks! I substituted gluten-free flours for the flour and added 2 1/2 tsp xanthan gum. I was afraid it’d taste like baking soda, as the dough did, but it turned out delicious. Cooked it in a round 8×8 pan and it was just right.
    thanks!

  2. Carrots make an awesome orange and also a great yellow with a more diluted use! Biscuiteers in London makes cookies for the Royal Family, uses exclusively powdered vegetable food coloring in all of it’s baked goods and is more than happy to ship and help communicate which veggies and fruits they use in this process! I am also a baker who is exploring these colors and would love to hear your input as well. We can all learn and grow from eachother’s experience FOR SURE! Hope this helps!

  3. Angie Burress says:

    You can use avocado to make green icing.

  4. Carrots for orange. Finely grate some carrots, wring them out in a bit of cheese cloth into a bowl, and use the liquid for your coloring. The flavor won’t be too strong but might be a bit carrot-y.

  5. Erica Bowler says:

    Hi again,
    Ok, I tried it with the measurement change and it turned out really nice. Still very spicy.
    Take care,
    Erica.

  6. Erica Bowler says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for this recipe! Just one question—are the measurements for the spices and baking soda/powder supposed to actually be tsp, not Tbsp?
    I made the cake this morning, assuming a typo and using smaller amounts, but haven’t tried it yet. I’ll let you know…
    Thanks,
    Erica.

  7. In case you’re interested, I made some changes to this to adapt for better use with sprouted flour. I also adapted it to use honey instead of sugar and only 1/2 the amount of sweetener called for. It was soft, moist, and delicious. If you’re interested. :)

  8. I just made this with sprouted flour. It was interesting. A bit dry and gritty, which is mostly due to the sprouted flour I apparently didn’t grind completely. But I think using water instead of milk makes the cake drier, too. I’d probably use milk next time. The frosting was “okay” — we aren’t huge cream cheese fans though. The kids loved it. Both wanted more. I liked the flavor of the cake. I might play with this some more and see what I come up with. Also learned I can’t use sucanat because it gives me a headache. Hmm…maybe I shouldn’t eat sugar? lol.

  9. mmm, adding this to my recipe file. :)

  10. I used a medium sized springform pan (the kind that release on the sides so that only the bottom remains). I think it’s a bit too big of a recipe to use a regular round cake pan. Maybe more like a 9 x 13? I think I remember my friend using a bread pan once, which made nice thick, loaf-style slices as well.

  11. I made the cake and it tasted really good. But it did not quite work out for me. What size pan do you normally bake it in? Mine rose way up and overflowed the pan!!!!!

  12. p.s. and by squeeze carrot, i mean squeeze the juice out of it, not add the actual carrot pulp! :)

  13. yellow – a very small amount of turmeric
    orange – microplane a carrot and squeeze 1/2 teaspoons of carrot at a time into the recipe mixing after each batch. this also works with beet to make pink.

  14. Nola, I did think of carrots. I might give it a try sometime.

    Tamara, I’ve had it without icing and it’s still really good. The friend who gave me the recipe served it with only a very thin icing that was just drizzled and that was nice. Without the icing, it just tastes a bit more like a coffee cake style of bar, rather than being quite as cakey.

  15. I am curious if you ever servet this without frosting. Is it good plain or not sweet enough?

  16. This looks very yummy! I will definitely be trying it! I’m very into baking right now with the weather already so cold.

  17. Wow I never thought about using berries and things like that for “food colouring”, I just always left out food colouring and dealt with having a non-coloured product. So obvious and common sense but I didn’t think of it! I will have to try it next time I do something that requires icing!

    I don’t know what you could use for yellow or orange…other than carrots or lemons? The thing is that with those they aren’t overly sweet (especially the lemons!) and I don’t think the lemons would die the white icing very well…I don’t know. But it might work to try for something that already has lemon or carrots in it…just a thought.

  18. I’ll definitely try that gingerbread cake recipe! Sounds great.

    I’m also interested in your topic of substituting honey for sugar. We’ve recently purchase some agave syrup too which apparently is even better than honey on the glycemic index.

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