My son requested gingerbread, but was visibly disappointed when I proudly served it for dessert one evening, alongside lightly sweetened whipped cream and no doubt a grand flourish and pronouncement. Apparently he had been looking forward to biting into a crisp, crunchy Gingerbread Man Cookie, and not the dense, dark cake I had produced. Needless to say, there are still pieces of the Gingerbread Cake languishing somewhere in the depths of the refrigerator – although interestingly, a friend we recently stayed with served a loaf of gingerbread for breakfast, her Mothers recipe, and my kids loved it!!
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup unsulfured molasses
whipped cream for serving
Heat oven to 350F.
Whisk flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and mace in a bowl. Stir raisins, buttermilk, orange zest, and juice in another bowl. Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Stir in molasses. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each, until smooth. Add dry and wet ingredients alternately, beginning and ending with dry, beating until smooth. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-by-13 inch baking pan. Bake until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool before slicing, serve with whipped cream if desired.
Recipe adapted from Saveur