A friend of mine posted this recipe on my Facebook page a few weeks ago. We ended up having an hour long phone conversation about it, mostly commenting on how intrigued and apprehensive we both were about trying the recipe. The original recipe calls for an unsulphured blackstrap molasses and espresso powder. This was going to be a seriously dark cake! Curiosity won out and I went to the market to buy the blackstrap molasses. Unfortunately, after making trips to about three stores I was unable to find any so, I just went with the regular molasses I had at home. I definitely decided to add the espresso to help balance out the dark flavor.
The cake was fantastic! It was very dark, dense, moist and full of molasses flavor with a hint of ginger at the end. While my tolerance for sweet desserts have waned over the years, I think going with the blackstrap would’ve been too dark for me. This cake really hits the sweet spot and the cream cheese frosting was a great compliment. The recipe is going into my cake rotation and next time, I think I will add a little crystalized ginger to the frosting for a little spicy bite.
Molasses Gingerbread Cake
for the cake
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (, cut into chunks)
- 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) unsulphured dark or unsulphured blackstrap molasses * (see ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs (, beaten)
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
for the cream cheese frosting
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter
- ½ a brick ((2 ounces) of cream cheese)
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (, sifted)
- dash of salt
make the cake
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter or grease a 10-inch springform cake pan.
- Place the chunks of butter in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Pour in the molasses and whisk in the brown sugar and white sugar. Whisk as the butter melts. When the butter has melted and is completely liquid, and the sugar has dissolved and is no longer grainy, give it a final stir and turn off the heat. Set the pan aside to cool. (The molasses will look slightly separated from the melted fat; they won’t be smoothly combined.)
- Use a clean dry whisk to combine the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and espresso powder in a large bowl. (The espresso powder is optional; it will lend one more dimension of flavor to your cake.)
- Whisk the vanilla, eggs, and milk into the saucepan with the molasses and melted butter. When it is completely combined, pour this liquid slowly into the bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk thoroughly to combine, making sure there are no lumps.
- Pour the thick batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 20 or 30 minutes, then run a thin, flexible knife around the inside of the pan to help the cakes edges release. Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a cooling rack before icing.
make the frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl, then add the vanilla extract and dash of salt and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Adapted from the kitchn