High-altitude Gingerbread Cake

November  2, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by monica
  • Serves 12
Author Notes

This delicious, dark cake is what happened when: 1) I modified Smitten Kitchen's gingerbread cake (that she adapted from the Gramercy Tavern version) to use butter instead of vegetable oil; 2) tweaked the spices to mimic those in Zingerman's Gingerbread Coffeecake; and 3) adapted it for high-altitude (7,000 feet above sea level). It is still very, very dense. And delicious. —monica

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup Guinness or other stout
  • 1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 20 cloves, run through spice mill
  • 1-2 grinds black pepper or 1 Balinese long pepper, run through spice mill
  • 12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  1. Mix Guinness and molasses in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and add baking soda (it will foam up). Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. Generously butter and flour a non-stick Bundt pan. (Seriously, I have a great non-stick Bundt pan, and I've had this cake stick if I was skimpy on the butter/flour.)
  3. Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and pepper) in a large bowl.
  4. Melt butter, add ginger and orange zest and let cool slightly. Beat in vanilla, eggs, and sugars.
  5. Mix wet (butter/egg and Guinness/molasses) mixtures into dry. Don’t over-mix, batter will be thin. Pour into Bundt pan, and bake about 50 minutes. A tester will come out with a few moist crumbs, and cake will pull away from sides of pan slightly. Cool cake in pan 5 to 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack (fingers crossed!) and let cool completely. (If you do lose any chunks, pull 'em out of the pan and set back on cake — dusting it lightly with powdered sugar camouflages a great many cracks.)
  6. Cake is definitely better the next day. Dust with powdered sugar, and/or serve with whipped cream.

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1 Review

ladyiris June 18, 2023
EXCELLENT ❣❣😍 Made this favorite of my Dad for Father's Day. So moist and tasty (the orange zest and fresh grated ginger made it!) Served with choice of orange zest cream cheese frosting, vanilla ice cream or a simple whipped cream topping. I personally like it all by itself...everyone loved it!!!

(Recipe ingredient list did not have espresso powder but the directions added it into the dry ingredients. I added a 1 1/2 teaspoons and it seemed just right.)