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Week 45: Gingerbread Cake

December 20, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro


Calling this a “cake” is a bit misleading. It wasn’t a cakey cake. It was more like a bread, but not a savory bread. It had the faint sweetness you find in a muffin. Does that make sense?It’s the holiday season and I’m bingeing on baking. And the easiest way for me to do that and not also binge on the cake is to prepare some cakes that I’m not too tempted by. And this is one of them. I’m not a huge fan of gingerbread. But the flavors of this cake are festive and I wanted to share it with you in case gingerbread is your thing.

This recipe is adapted from this Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cake recipe from Here’s my mise en place.

gingerbread mise

The first step was to sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves into a medium bowl.

sifting dry ingredients

In a small bowl I creamed together the butter and sugar. Then I beat in the honey, brown sugar, and egg.

butter and sugar

I poured the wet ingredients into the dry and mixed.

gingerbread batter

I mixed a cup of warm water into the batter just before pouring into my prepared and parchment-lined 8×8″ square pan.

gingerbread batter in pan

Now the recipe I adapted this concoction from said the cake would bake at 350 degrees for an hour. After 50 minutes, the cake had already burned. It was so burned it had pulled away at least a centimeter from the sides and the parchment on the bottom of the pan didn’t even stick to the cake. I let it cool on the rack while I thought about how to fix it.

gingerbread cake cooling

Trimming the sides off seemed to be the most obvious solution. But after I did that I became concerned about how the cake tasted. So I continued trimming, diving the cake up into squares so I could also trim the burned bottoms off.

trimming gingerbread cake

Trimming all the burned bits off made the middle unburned portions salvageable. I arranged the squares on a serving platter and sifted confectioners sugar on top.

slice of gingerbread cake

The display made a nice addition to my holiday cake party table.

party table

Week 45: Gingerbread Cake
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2½ cups cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, greasing both sides of the paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, and applesauce. Beat in the egg, and mix in the honey and brown sugar.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 30-40 mins in the preheated oven, until the middle of the cake springs back when touched. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto rack to cool completely.
  5. Garnish as desired and serve.

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