When I was growing up, one of my favorite desserts was sticky gingerbread cake. I liked gingerbread men but only if this cake wasn’t available. I loved it fresh out of the oven with a dollop of whipped cream.
What wasn’t eaten was put into the fridge and then next day it was sticky and the best. I didn’t know until I was grown that it was an old English recipe. Since our family was all French, the chance of anything but French peasant food was rare.
I don’t care where the cake originated from, when I was a kid, as soon as there was ice over the puddles on the walk to school, I knew gingerbread would be on the menu soon. Now it’s not Autumn or Fall but Spring where I live but my soul still says, ‘somewhere in Maine, there are puddles with ice over them in the mornings.’
This cake isn’t too spicy but just enough ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves to bring back those childhood memories. I added a quarter cup of apple sauce to help keep the cake moist and sticky. If you’ve never tried sticky gingerbread cake, I urge you to have a go. It’s really easy to make – even the kids would enjoy it.
- 226 grams (8 oz) unsalted butter
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup unsulphured molasses
- ½ cup honey
- 155 grams (1 cup) packed brown or Muscovado sugar
- 385 grams ( 3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda (bi-carb)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 eggs (at room temperature)
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup applesauce
- Preheat oven to 165C/325F and butter and line a 13x9x2 inch pan with parchment. Leave enough paper hanging over to make handles - makes it easy to take the cake out.
- Add the water, molasses, honey, brown sugar and butter to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir often until the butter is just melted, then remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Leave to cool.
- While liquid mixture is cooling, Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and salt.
- When the liquid is just warm, add in the eggs, one at a time and mix well. Then add in the milk and mix again.
- Fold in the dry ingredients but don't worry if there's a lump or two of flour, it will bake out.
- Mix in the applesauce and pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until the top of the cake springs back when you touch it.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes and remove from pan and place on cooling rack.
- If you want dense, sticky gingerbread, cover and place in refrigerator.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
On my In My Kitchen post I mentioned a book called Flavours of Queensland. This is a book about great places to eat, wonderful traditional Queensland recipes and gorgeous photographs. I received an email the other day from the publisher who wanted to know if I wanted to give one away. If you’d like to win a copy, please like Smudge Publishing on Facebook and let me know in the comments.