Claudia Fleming’s gingerbread—aka, the Gramercy Tavern’s gingerbread—might be the most famous of its kind. I wanted to see what would happen if I made it even more gingery. So I swapped out the stout beer for ginger beer, then doubled (yep, doubled) both the ground and grated ginger. Turns out: Too much ginger in gingerbread is not a thing. (Worth noting: I made some other nips and tucks, too, including adding salt, black pepper, and lime zest, and switching from dark to light brown sugar.) I love sprinkling this with confectioners’ sugar and dolloping barely-sweetened sour cream on top, but it’s just as great sliced plain and served with coffee. —Emma Laperruque
Combine the ginger beer and molasses in a large saucepan (about twice as large as seems necessary). Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the baking soda. It will fizz and fuzz—this is why we’re using the large saucepan! Let cool—stirring to release steam every so often—while you prepare the rest of the cake batter.
Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Place on a rimmed sheet pan.
Combine the flour, ginger, salt, black pepper, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth.
Combine the sugars, oil, eggs, ginger, and lime zest in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add a small splash of the ginger beer–molasses mixture. Whisk. Add another small splash. Whisk. Repeat this until you’ve added about half. (This tempers the eggs, so they don’t scramble.) Add the rest and whisk.
Add half the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the liquid mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour into the prepared Bundt pan.
Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a long, thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan until you can touch the pan without burning yourself. Turn out the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the sour cream topping: Mix all the ingredients together and keep in the fridge until serving.
Just before serving the Bundt cake, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Slice and serve with dollops of gingery sour cream.
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing stories about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. She now lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, which is all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.