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.
Krista Bjorn says
I really love the sounds of this, Maureen. I adore gingerbread. 🙂
Gingerbread really is great when you come out of the cold.
best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Homemade gingerbread cake is such the perfect way to get into the holiday, cozy-up spirit 🙂 This one looks marvelous!
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
I love soft gingerbread cake and have it on my list of must make recipes this holiday season! Love the applesauce to keep it sticky 🙂 Beautiful photos Maureen!
GiGi Eats says
I like my food sticky…. Is that weird? LOL
I’ve been hesitating to try gingerbread anything dessert for my family as I do not know how will they accept the spices in desserts but this sure is light and looks wonderful. This will be on my menu for next week.
Victoria of Flavors of the Sun says
This is one of my favorite dishes of all time–and this is a lovely rendition of it. A keeper!
Mary Frances says
Oh I LOVE that final picture! The whipped cream looks so perfect! This recipe looks delicious, Maureen. I love ginger cakes as well much more than gingerbread men.
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
I’ve never tried sticky gingerbread cake ever – I have rekindled my love affair with molasses and any cake that has a cup of molasses in it is a must try for me – though I seriously doubt there being any leftovers to stick in the fridge and enjoy the next day!
Hi Maureen, gingerbread is one of my favorite holiday sweets, lovely pics. Just liked Smudge Publishing.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
There are always ice-covered puddles somewhere, aren’t there? So no excuse not to make this — ever! This looks terrific — and not something I’ve ever had. But I will. 🙂
Chris Scheuer says
This would be the perfect beginning, middle or end to any meal for me. It looks amazing!!! I never had this growing up. I think I was deprived!
Veronica (Roni) says
Perfect! Hope the patient is too….xx
‘Tis the season. Looks delicious. Wish I had a slice or two or three right now!!!!
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
I love ginger cake to bits, but no-one else in this house does. So if I make this delicious recipe I have to/get to eat it all by myself. Fun, but not entirely a good thing. #hips
Liz (Good Things) says
Your cake sounds quite exquisite, Maureen! xx
The cake sounds wonderful. I really enjoy the taste of ginger.
Abbe @ This is How I Cook says
I never had gingerbread as a child because my father hated ginger and still does. I love ginger and am now making up for lost time. This sounds heavenly!
I’m sorry you’re missing fall in New England. The pictures in this post are lovely, and I’m dying to get myself a piece of this cake! I think I’ll make it in December once I’m done with exams!
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Ginger is my all time fave taste, paired with a cake… well I just dont know that my senses would be able to cope. 🙂
Going to make this cake in the shape of a ninja for my BFF. Thanks Maureen.
Sticky Gingerbread cake, I love it and can’t wait to bake it.
Hotly Spiced says
I just posted a gingerbread loaf on my blog! I love gingerbread loaf and cake for the same reasons – so many beautiful spices that are balanced and not over-powering and also, it’s something that with its aroma, puts your home into the Christmas zone. I do wish you well for your Thanksgiving celebrations tomorrow. I’m quite sure you’ve gone to an unbelievable amount of trouble and I bet the meal will be incredible. And I do hope Charlie has recovered sufficiently to enjoy the celebration xx
I enjoy reading the blog and love your stories as well as your recipes. I reckon the gingerbread recipe will be a keeper. Yum.
I’d LOVE to win a copy of the book you mentioned, “Flavours of Queensland” (have already “Liked” the “Smudge Publishing” Facebook page). I really like regional cookbooks (must dig out my “Buderim Ginger” cookbook), and this one looks like a beauty.
From fellow Sunshine Coaster Marg
Nancy | Plus Ate Six says
Gingerbread always reminds me of Autumn in the UK – we always used to have it around Bonfire Night I’m sure. Yours looks so moist and the spices are lovely and warming.
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts says
My boys (big and small) are going to be a little bit in love with you this weekend. They adore gingerbread cake.
It reminds me of Autumn as well. Winter was fruit cake but Autumn was gingerbread, or carrot cake 🙂 Back in the UK we had Jamaican Ginger cake and a big slice of that with a cup of tea was how we warmed up after the cold walk home from school. Not sure you are meant to give kids tea any more!!! But the memories are still there.
Can’t wait to try this, they are going to be so excited!
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts says
p.s Have liked Smudge Publishing 🙂
Barbara | Creative Culinary says
And I love another English favorite called Sticky Toffee Pudding; guess it’s that sticky business huh? I’ll have to try this one too; sure sounds so good!
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Maureen! I do love a nice dense, not overly sweet cake and this fits the bill! On the other hand my birthday is in a few days and I always make myself a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! However, today I made a pumpkin pie and a chocolate pecan pie for tomorrow, so might put off my cake until next weekend! Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂
Carol at Wild Goose Mama says
Sticky gingerbread—-yum. I am unfamiliar with that, but I LOVE gingerbread. Fab—-I am going to have to
try it. I love gingerbread with lemon sauce. This whole conversation is reminding me that it has been
far far far too long since I have made gingerbread. What a lovely time of the year to be reminded to that.
Love anything with ginger, and a stick cake, so good. All you need is maybe a bit of caramel sauce on top too. Looks so wonderful.
Fran @ G'day Souffle' says
Oh boy, it must be the molasses that gives the cake its rich color and taste! I’m in San Diego for a few months- it was 90 F the other day- ain’t going to be any icy puddles here in winter!
InTolerant Chef says
Oh yummy! MiddleC insists on a sticky gingerbread cake every single birthday and this sounds like a nice change. I bet she’ll love it 🙂
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Love this, Maureen! AND the addition of the applesauce. Some people serve applesauce with gingerbread cake!
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
Gingerbread cake is what I whip up when I need something sweet, quickly – workmen, gardeners, dessert, lunchbox – so many ways it can be used.
The Ninja Baker says
Thank you Maureen for the flashbacks to my youth…The rare day when school was called off on account of snow, ginger bread was my baking project for the day…How interesting that your cuisine was so French-influenced….No wonder you’re a gourmet. It must be in the genes!
Gourmet Getaways says
Oh I love gingerbread Cake!!
It was one of the first cakes we cooked in Home Economics class in high school!!
We used a lemon glaze over the top if my memory is correct???
I think I will have to make one too, I need to smell that delicious aroma in my kitchen.
Thanks so much for sharing
Here in France, is the perfect saison for eat this ! Looks gorgeous, so sticky!
Laura Dembowski says
I love gingerbread too. This one looks extra dense and sticky. Save a piece for me 🙂
Amy (Savory Moments) says
I absolutely love gingerbread! Yours looks so moist and really tasty!
Denise @ Sweet Peas & Saffron says
Yay for holiday baking! This cake looks wonderful, all of those deep dark gingerbread flavours are calling my name!
Lorraine @Not Quite Nigella says
This looks like a fantastic recipe Maureen! A reader once gave me a recipe for a similar cake and Mr NQN was so pleased with it and he usually doesn’t like cake at all!
Love, love, love gingerbread cake Maureen. This one looks fab…and with the cream dolloped across the top…YUM!
Alicia@Eco Friendly Homemaking says
Oh my goodness this just looks so delicious!! This is the kind of recipe that makes the whole house smell good!
My Kitchen Stories says
Oh Maureen I just love gingerbread SO much. This recipe looks particularly special probably because it came from your posh French family background. Love The Eyebrow x
Such a treasured recipe! I’d love to have this on my holiday table—any ginger based dessert makes me happy!
Suzy | The Mediterranean Dish says
What a perfectly cozy cake for the holidays, Maureen!
I love sticky desserts with a scoop of icecream, oh so yum.
I haven’t made this combination and will be trying out for sure.
Be still my heart! This cake looks heavenly! I can almost smell it:)
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
I haven’t ever tried sticky gingerbread cake. I need to remedy that soon. It sounds fabulous.
No urging required, will definitely add this to my Christmas baking for the family.
Have a wonderful day Maureen.
🙂 Mandy xo
Sugar et al. says
I absolutely love gingerbread and ginger flavoured desserts. Also, molasses, traecle and golden syrup. There is something about the combination of spice and these syrups. This looks so moist and the colour is amazing!
Eva Taylor says
I have a friend coming for coffee this morning, I wish I had seen this sooner, the aroma baking must be intoxicating as well as delicious!
It brought back the best memories. 🙂
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
This is my kind of cake! Gingerbread cake is my all time favourite and whenever I go home to visit my mum & dad its always my first request. I would eat the whole cake if left in the room alone long enough…. yummy 😀
I need this cake in my life… Perfect for Christmas 😀 I love your new blog layout Maureen (though it may not be that new now – it’s been a while since I’ve surfed food blogs :(( ). All the best for Xmas! Monica
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
What a perfect cake, and yes please to whipped cream!
How lovely and what an easy cake to make for the holidays!! That would be perfect to serve at anytime of the day too!
I’ve never made a gingerbread but now that I see that it has 1 cup molasses and 1 Tbsp. ginger, I can understand why they taste SO good! Yours does look extra special moist. I’d love a piece right now with a glass of milk.
Helen | Grab Your Fork says
Oh my goodness this recipe has my name all over it. As soon as a recipe mentions ginger and molasses, I’m totally there!
Marcelle/ A Little Fish in the Kitchen says
Oooooh! This cake looks so moist and I love gingerbread. Seems like a perfect dessert for this time of the year, will definitely try it out. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Maureen, I am definitely making this cake for my workmates before Christmas, for a lovely morning tea. I might even whip up some cream to dollop on the side. Mmmm it sounds delicious, and the only ingredient I need to buy is the applesauce! Cheers, Kirsty
Maureen, your recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda however you don’t mention when to add it
argh! it goes in with the flour. I have updated the recipe and I apologize!
Elle Gee says
This looks wonderful! But I have a question: the recipe calls for baking in a 13″ X 9″ pan, but the photo shows a square pan. Which is the correct choice? Thanks!
Maureen, gingerbread has always has a classic appeal, and this looks delightful. I also love that the smell of a fresh baked ginger dessert. You simply cannot resist.
James Numbers says
I have finally found a Gingerbread Cake Recipe that’s just like my Mom used to bake. It has the beautiful texture which is my favorite. I also added an extra half tsp of fresh ginger to make it spicier. Thanks for such a good recipe.
I’ve made this cake this afternoon. It’s still cooling and I can’t wait to sink my jaw into it. It looks and smells so beautiful! I’ll post again after I’ve shoved it into my gob ?.