Ginger Molasses Cake

Well, after today, the sun will set before 5:00 p.m. and the days will get ever shorter until mid-December. It’s rainy and grey today; it is the kind of day that is best spent curled up with the pets, a cozy blanket, and a hot mug of tea. And, if you have cake, well, that’s a bonus, especially if it’s this spicy, rich Bundt cake. The combination of molasses and ginger is one of my favorites—it’s a comforting and satisfying combination that I most associate with this time of year. I’ve been making this stout, ginger cake for a few years, most often as cupcakes with a citrus cream cheese frosting (and it would be lovely as a layer cake, I’m sure!) but it works beautifully as a Bundt cake. Topping the cake with a thinned version of the citrus cream cheese frosting is highly recommended—seriously, do it. This cake is intensely gingery and has a very dense, moist texture. It’ll keep for a few days covered at room temperature.

Ginger Molasses Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

1 C Stout or Porter*
1 C Molasses (not black strap)*
1/2 tsp (3 g) Baking soda
2 C (292 g) All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp (5 g) Baking Powder
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp (23 g) Ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp (3 g) Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground clove
1/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
3 Lg Eggs (165 g total) at room temperature
3/4 C Vegetable oil
1 C (198 g) Granulated Sugar
1 C Packed dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp diced crystallized ginger (optional but do it!)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Block (226 g) Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 C Softened unsalted butter
Juice of 1/2 Small Lemon (~3 Tbsp)
Zest of 1/2 Large Orange
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 C Heavy cream or whole milk
2 C (129 g) Powdered Sugar

Details:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Generously grease and flour the 10-inch Bundt pan—I recommend using a mix of equal part melted butter and vegetable oil and a pastry brush to get all of the crevices in the pan well-coated! Knock out the extra flour.
  • Combine the beer and molasses in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and whisk in the baking soda; the mixture will foam and double in volume. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and spices together.
  • Whisk the eggs with the sugar; add the oil and whisk to combine. Then, add the stout-molasses mixture; stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Stir in the diced candied ginger.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap forcefully once or twice on the counter to knock out the air bubbles.
  • Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or with only a few tender crumbs attached.
  • Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 mins.
  • Invert onto a cake plate and cool completely.
  • While the cake cools, make the frosting by combining the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until the cream cheese-butter mixture is creamy.
  • Add the orange zest, lemon juice, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Add 1 C powdered sugar, beat to combine; then, add the remaining powdered sugar.
  • Add the heavy cream or milk and, using the whisk attachment, beat for 3 mins.
  • Once the cake cools completely, coat generously with the cream cheese frosting.

*Notes:
–I used a coconut porter from Black Raven this time but have used Guiness, a chocolate stout, and an oatmeal stout before.
–I used Brer Rabbit Full Flavor molasses. This is my go-to molasses for cookies and cakes that call for molasses. Grandma’s Robust molasses is great, too, if you can find it!

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