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Gingerbread is all about the molasses and spices, and this gingerbread is nicely spicy. I like to serve with a big spoonful of sweetened whipped cream and a tiny sprinkle of minced candied ginger. This is truly a special and favorite fall and wintertime treat.

Gingerbread falls somewhere between a cake and a quick bread. This recipe uses milk and buttermilk for additional flavor and tenderness, and melted butter for a moist dense cake. The spice combination is just right for the perfect ginger and spicy flavor.
Recipe type: Dessert | Buttermilk Cake | Spice Cake
Serves: 8 to 10 servings
Parchment paper and small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pan
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • ½ cup whole buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ¾ cup light or dark unsulphured molasses
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
  • 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • ½ cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 9x9x2 inch square pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line the pan with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper.
  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine melted and cooled butter, buttermilk, milk, molasses, sugar, egg, and lemon zest; beat on low to medium low speed until thoroughly blended. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until the batter is smooth and thick, about 1 minute, scraping the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a small offset spatula or the back of a large spoon. Bake 40 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for at least 10 minutes
  4. Serve: serve gingerbread still warm or cooled to room temperature. Gingerbread is wonderful as is or serve with a spoonful of sweetened whipped cream.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
  1. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until soft mounds form. Gradually add the powdered sugar, then add the vanilla and continue beating until thick and stiff. Tip: the cream will whip easier if the mixing bowl and beaters are first chilled; place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to whip the cream.
Adapted From: Baking Illustrated, by the editors of Cook's Illustrated, 2004; Baggett, Nancy, The All-American Dessert Book, Houghton Mifflin Co, New York, 2005
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 9x9x2 inch square pan Pan Prep: Greased and Floured or parchment lined and lightly greased Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Cover and room temperature or refrigerate

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