High-altitude Gingerbread Cake

By monica
November 2, 2015
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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

Serves: 12

  • 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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