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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!!


gingerbread cake

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

3 eggs

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