Iron Chef Shellie

Really Good Gingerbread

With a recipe named Really Good Gingerbread, how could I not try it? Although recipe names aren’t always accurate; Bill Granger’s Never Fail Chocolate Cake failed when I made it. Putting the words never and fail in a recipe name is  just setting you up for failure.

This recipe did involve a trip to the health food store to find some blackstrap molasses.

I was hoping I could get away with what I thought would be ‘regular molasses’ but turns out there isn’t such a thing. There are four types of molasses; lite molasses, cooking molasses, unsulphured molasses and blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap is lower in sugar than the other varieties. To find out the difference check out this link :

Verdict? It was really good! The addition of cream with extra chopped crystallised ginger, totally unnecessary but extra decadent. Luckily I liked it, cos I don’t know what else to do with the rest of the jar of blackstrap molasses!!

Really Good Gingerbread

Belinda Jeffery

  • 1½ cups (225g) plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • ½ tsp bicarb of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (as fresh as possible)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice or nutmeg
  • 7 small lumps crystallised ginger, chopped, plus extra chopped to serve
  • 125g unsalted butter, brought to room temperature
  • 1 lightly packed up (160g) brown sugar
  • ½ cup (185g) blackstrap molasses (available at health food stores)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup (125ml) buttermilk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Icing sugar, to dust
  • Softly whipped thickened cream, to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 20cm square cake pan. Line base with buttered baking paper and dust with flour.
  2. Sift flour, soda and ground spices into a large bowl. Stir in the crystallised ginger, then set aside. Place butter and brown sugar in another bowl, and beat with an electric beater on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Add molasses and beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each additions – don’t worry if the batter looks curdled, it will smooth out when you add the flour. Mix in fresh ginger and zest, then gently beat in the flour mixture. Add buttermilk and vanilla and beat on low speed until just combined.
  3. Scrape into the pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top feels springy and  a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then carefully loosen around the sides and invert onto the rack to cool completely.
  5. To serve, dust with icing sugar and cut into 12 slices. Top with cream and extra crystallised ginger. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or in the fridge for up to 10 days, if you prefer it stickier.

Serves 12.

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32 Responses to “Really Good Gingerbread”
  1. I adore gingerbread cake and this looks delicious! Molasses keeps for ages so there is no need to use it right away but I put it in bread (to activate yeast instead of sugar) and in teriyaki marinades for meat and fish.
    JJ @ 84thand3rd recently posted..Fluffy Blueberry & Spelt Vegan Pancakes

  2. Michelle says:

    thanks for sharing the link. I actually do not know much about molasses. :D
    Michelle recently posted..Recipe: Ocean trout stew

  3. Glad to hear it really was really good! Oh and I love blackstrap molasses. Such a rich dark flavour.
    leaf (the indolent cook) recently posted..phat brats, fitzroy

  4. Thanks for the molasses education. I really had no idea. Beautiful pics!
    Tv Food and Drink recently posted..Mother’s Day Video: Electrocuting Mom on National Television (VIDEO)

  5. This looks fantastic, Shellie! I’ve only recently discovered gingbread and it is amazing. I always steered clear of it because I always thought it tasted much a like ginger, which sadly, I am not a fan of…
    Tina @ bitemeshowme recently posted..Happy Mum’s Day 2012

    • Iron Chef Shellie says:

      Thanks Tina! I never used to be a ginger fan, but my tastes seems to be developing the older, or the more cooking I do :)

  6. Sefie says:

    You can use molasses to simulate raw or brown sugar if you’ve run out. Just whizz up normal white sugar with a dollop of molasses in a food processor and store in an air-tight container. I eyeball about 2 tbsp molasses to a cup of white sugar. Or if you’re lazy like me, just replace the brown sugar with an equal (or slightly smaller) amount of white sugar, and dollop the molasses in.
    Sefie recently posted..IKEA Magnetic Spice Rack

  7. Esz says:

    Oh yeh – I’m gonna make this! Nothing I like better than a super spicy, rich cake. Yum!!
    If you need another recipe for the molasses, try this one I made it a while ago and it’s extremely delicious – It only specifies ‘molasses’ but I reckon the blackstrap should work.
    Esz recently posted..Another Sewaholic Cambie Dress

  8. Looks yum. Only ever had gingerbread so will give this a go.
    Molasses is great in pecan pie too, if you have another sweet craving!

  9. Your gingerbread looks fantastic. I look forward to giving it a try
    tania@mykitchenstories recently posted..Chicken Cakes with Tahini, Mint and Preserved Lemons

  10. Perfect with the crystallised ginger :)
    Nic@diningwithastud recently posted..Berry & Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Lemon Drizzle

  11. Gisele says:

    This makes me definitely crave for one and I am sure my kids would love to have it on weekends when we go to grandma’s house.. Anyway, thanks for the recipe..

  12. Hannah says:

    Oh! I adore blackstrap molasses and gingerbread both, so this is right up my alley (so long as I ignore the crystallised ginger. What can I say? I’m an enigma). Looks lovely and dense, spicy, wonderful!
    Hannah recently posted..Chocolatepalooza: Patchi and Fremantle Chocolate

  13. That’s true dedication where you have to go to a special shop to get ingredients – sounds like it was worth it though. Personally I had no idea there were four types of molasses – have learnt something new!
    Cara @ Gourmet Chick recently posted..Best brunches in Collingwood

  14. Winston says:

    Hahhaha!! I totally understand how you feel about buying an ingredient just for the sake of a recipe then left clueless about what to do with the rest lol! Hey very informative too. I didn’t know there were that many kinds of molasses. Really want to try this recipe now. Looks as good as it sounds… Yum, Michele!!
    Winston recently posted..THANK YOU + (seriously awesome) Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cookies Recipe

  15. Love a good ginger bread. Your really good one looks delicious.
    Sara (Belly Rumbles) recently posted..Weekly Rumbles

  16. msihua says:

    Yayy for success! Boo to never fail :( Hahaha oh yeah I must now go eats cake!
    msihua recently posted..Frank Camorra’s Chef Series Wines at MoVida Bar de Tapas y Vino @ Hosier Lane, Melbourne CBD

  17. Oh!! I used to have a delicious gingerbread recipe that I made all the time but I lost it :0 I hope this is my new replacement recipe.
    Gourmet getaways recently posted..Coffs Harbour Rotary Wine Appreciation 2012

  18. As soon as I see recipes with more than 1 different type of ginger, my head spins. I think I just need to buy crystallised ginger already so I have some in the pantry & can stop using that as an excuse! Coz this looks soooo good. Or really good :P
    Heidi xo
    Heidi – Apples Under My Bed recently posted..Almond Olive Oil Cake

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