It was a cold wet February afternoon when I was craving a deep dark gingerbread cake. Dark as dark can be, almost glistening black in color, super moist and intensely gingery is the type of gingerbread cake I wanted on this wet and cold afternoon.
The back story
For years my friend Georgina made this amazing dark ginger cake any time I requested it. Georgina’s ginger cake was the best gingerbread I had ever had. Deep Dark Dense Ginger Cake is what I called her fresh ginger cake and nothing came close to it, absolutely nothing!
It looked and tasted so decadent that I was intimidated to try and make it myself, despite that Georgina assured me that it wasn’t that hard and even sent me the recipe.
About the recipe
I finally decided to give making this ginger cake a try. The recipe was surprisingly easy to follow. The directions involved multiple steps that are different than what I am used to following in a regular cake recipe. However if you follow them as instructed, this ginger cake turns out outstanding – if I do say so myself.
Here is the recipe for fresh ginger cake from Food Librarian and Epicurious, contributed by chef David Leibovitz. Fresh Ginger Cake by David Leibovitz on Epicurious.com. Below is a version with a few additions.
Dark Dense Decadent Ginger Cake:
from Fresh Ginger Cake by David Leibovitz on Epicurious.com
with a few additions
- 4 ounces fresh ginger. Food Librarian recommended using a small food processor to grate the ginger as grating it is pretty hard, especially given the large quantity that is required for this cake.
- 1 cup mild molasses
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut
- 2 1/2 cups flour.
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp dark rum
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 3-inch round cake pan or a 9 1/2 inch springfoam pan with a circle of parchment paper.
- Peel, slice, and chop the ginger very fine with a knife (or use a grater), or a mini food processor.
- Mix together the molasses, sugar, rum, vanilla and oil.
- In another bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.
- Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture. Stir in the ginger.
- Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the batter. Add the eggs, and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, drape a piece of foil over it and continue baking.
- Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.
- Dust with powdered sugar and place edible flowers like pansies and marigold petals for decoration.
- For an extra bit of moistness I made a warm simple syrup with sugar, water, and 1 tbsp rum and poured it over the cake. It tasted amazing!
The ginger cake tastes even better the next day. You can serve the ginger cake with some whipped cream or a drizzle of lemon glaze.
Cook’s Notes: This cake tastes best when you use strong fresh ginger. The kids thought the ginger flavor wasn’t as strong as they expected in the cake. I bought some ginger from a new grocery store and I found the ginger here to be very mild. It turns out when ginger is young it is more juicy, tender and mild, while the more mature ginger has a more intense ginger flavor.
If you like gingerbread or a fan of ginger, you will positively love this cake 🍰☕️. Fresh Ginger Cake from food librarian.com Fresh Ginger Cake by David Leibovitz on Epicurious.com