Do you have certain desserts that you associate with different seasons or times of the year? Gingerbread is one dessert I tend to associate most with the coldest winter months for some reason. It’s a plain but tasty dessert any time of the year but it’s a particularly good comfort food in the dead of winter.
Gingerbread is very easy to make and doesn’t take any ingredients that are unusual or difficult to find. I add a small amount of hot strong coffee to the batter because I find it brings out the strength of the spices. Adding some applesauce also helps to make the cake moist.
I made this cake in an 8″x8″ cake pan because I was planning to split it into two layers to fill with whipped cream. If you want to keep it at just one layer, then I recommend baking it in a 9″x9″ pan which will yield a more shallow cake. Note, however, that the baking time will need to be adjusted as a 9″x9″ cake will take less time to bake.
Gingerbread is best when served warm and drizzled with brown sugar sauce.
2 c. flour
1½ tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
⅛ tsp allspice
1 tsp soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp applesauce
⅔ cup molasses
⅔ cup boiling water
2½ tbsp hot strong coffee
Preheat oven to 350º and position rack in middle of oven. Line 8”x8” pan with parchment paper with two strips of parchment as shown in photo below. Make sure you leave enough parchment over the edges of the pan so you can easily use the parchment as a “sling” when it comes time to remove the cake from the pan. Set prepared pan aside.
Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time and beat into butter and sugar. Stir in applesauce on low speed.
Combine the molasses, hot water, and coffee. Stir to mix well.
Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter-sugar-egg mixture alternately with the liquid ingredients, starting and ending with dry ingredients (process is three additions of dry ingredients and two of liquid ingredients). Scrape sides of the bowl as necessary to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Turn batter into prepared pan.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes until cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean or cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. If edges start to brown too much, loosely place a piece of foil over top of cake.
Let cake rest in pan for at least 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan by lifting the parchment paper sling. Cut into squares. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream and/or brown sugar sauce.
Note: A 9”x9” pan may be used instead of an 8”x8” pan. This will make a more shallow cake. Adjust baking time accordingly as the 9”x9” pan will likely take less baking time.
Yield: 9 servings