Intensely flavorful and super moist, Sticky Ginger Cake isn’t your typical gingerbread – and it’s super easy to prepare, too. I love the warm, earthy flavor of ginger, and this scrumptious cake has it in spades, calling for both fresh and ground. Molasses, maple syrup, cinnamon and allspice provide even more intensity to the taste. A two-ingredient tangy lemon glaze is the perfect finish!
Who doesn’t love gingerbread? Cookies, cakes, muffins, I think it’s wonderful in all its forms, but my favorite is this Sticky Ginger Cake. It comes from my cousin Beth Kidwell, wife of Jim and mother of Becca and Sarah — all fabulous cooks. Dark, spicy, and surprisingly moist, it’s the perfect warm and cozy winter dessert.
Gingerbread Cake Recipe – A Perfect Holiday Dessert
In fact, Sticky Ginger Cake is the perfect dessert to serve during the busy holiday season, for two reasons: first, it’s versatile; you can make it either as one cake to serve at a sit down dinner, or 32 mini muffin-size cakes to pass as part of a buffet. Second, you can prepare it ahead!
Decorating This Ginger Cake Recipe
The cake is topped with a tangy lemon-sugar glaze that pairs perfectly with the spiced ginger flavor. I like to drizzle it in the style of the abstract painter Jackson Pollock. I’ve also put the glaze in a squeeze bottle and drawn a Christmas tree in the middle, surrounded by branches. At Valentine’s Day, I draw a heart in the middle. Use your imagination! Some examples of more sophisticated decorations are in this Pastry Arts Magazine article about Lebkuchen, or honey cake – a cousin to ginger cake.
This Ginger Cake needs to be eaten at room temperature. The cake needs to be cooled for the the glaze to adhere. If it’s warm or hot, the glaze will side off.
Well wrapped, it will keep for 4 to 5 days. No need to refrigerate.
Yes, definitely. Wrap it first in plastic wrap, then in foil to seal. It will last for up to 1 month.
Yes, definitely! I think it would be delicious with this Lemon Frosting.
To store ginger, peel it and put it in a jar with a fitted lid. Then pour in vodka to cover, screw on the lid and refrigerate. It will keep for weeks in your frig – and you will have ginger infused vodka to drink in a yummy cocktail! If you don’t have vodka, you can use sherry or white wine, too. Find more of my tips on fresh ginger here:
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Other delicious fall and winter desserts:
- Sticky Toffee Pudding
- Frozen Brandy Alexander Pie
- Individual Butterscotch Pies
- Apple Cake
- Rum Pumpkin Tart
- Caramel Cheesecake Apples
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses (can use sorghum according to taste)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger (or grated, for even more ginger flavor)
- 1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
- 4 to 6 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9- by 9-inch nonstick pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, molasses and maple syrup and cook, stirring, just until the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice and fresh ginger. Make a well in the middle and whisk in the milk mixture. Add the cooled butter mixture and stir just until incorporated.
- Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 5 to 10 minutes, then remove from pan (and remove parchment paper) and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons lemon juice until well blended. Mixture should be fairly thick, yet thin enough to drizzle. If too thick, add more lemon juice.
- Drizzle over the top of the cake (I like to put it in a squeeze bottle and drizzle it in lines).
High altitude: No adjustments necessary.
Make ahead: Cake can be prepared, well wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 5 days. Can also be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.
Variation for mini cakes: Pour the batter into 32 greased mini-muffin cups (nonstick works best) and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Double the glaze.
- Category: Dessert, make ahead
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: British