Iron Chef Shellie

Really Good Gingerbread

With a recipe named Really Good Gingerbread, how could I not try it?


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Really Good Gingerbread
May 13, 2012

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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.


32 comments on “Really Good Gingerbread
  1. JJ @ 84thand3rd

    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.

    May 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Thanks for the tip JJ! I never thought to use it in savoury dishes!

      May 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm
  2. Michelle

    thanks for sharing the link. I actually do not know much about molasses. 😀

    May 13, 2012 at 10:36 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      no worries, sharing is caring 😛

      May 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm
  3. leaf (the indolent cook)

    Glad to hear it really was really good! Oh and I love blackstrap molasses. Such a rich dark flavour.

    May 13, 2012 at 11:04 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Very rich, and perfect for this recipe 🙂

      May 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm
  4. Tv Food and Drink

    Thanks for the molasses education. I really had no idea. Beautiful pics!

    May 14, 2012 at 5:57 am
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      No problems! I had no idea either!

      May 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm
  5. Tina @ bitemeshowme

    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…

    May 14, 2012 at 8:16 am
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      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 🙂

      May 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm
  6. Sefie

    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.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:52 am
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Thanks for the tips Sefie, good to know the multiple purposes it has!

      May 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm
  7. Esz

    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.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:54 am
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Yay! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks for the link, LOVE stout in cakes!

      May 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm
  8. Little Pudding

    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!

    May 14, 2012 at 11:30 am
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      No really a fan of pecan pie, but thanks for the tip 🙂

      May 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm
  9. tania@mykitchenstories

    Your gingerbread looks fantastic. I look forward to giving it a try

    May 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Thanks Tania, hope you enjoy it 🙂

      May 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm
  10. Nic@diningwithastud

    Perfect with the crystallised ginger 🙂

    May 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Great if you get seasick 😛

      May 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm
  11. Gisele

    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..

    May 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Enjoy 🙂

      May 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm
  12. Hannah

    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!

    May 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      haha, ah well alter it to your needs 😛

      May 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm
  13. Cara @ Gourmet Chick

    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!

    May 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Indeed it is! Glad I could share my new found molasses knowledge 😛

      May 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm
  14. Winston

    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!!

    May 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Things we do for our love of cooking ey?

      May 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm
  15. Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Love a good ginger bread. Your really good one looks delicious.

    May 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm
  16. msihua

    Yayy for success! Boo to never fail 🙁 Hahaha oh yeah I must now go eats cake!

    May 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm
  17. Gourmet getaways

    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.

    May 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm
  18. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    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 😛
    Heidi xo

    May 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm
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