Classic Gingerbread Cake

Yield: one 8-inch square cake
Recipe: 9/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 132

Gingerbread cake

    Following the oatmeal and raisin cookies I baked last week to start off the holiday season, I figured it was time to try something completely new to me. A classic to most, but undoubtedly new to me. This dessert I had yet to ever bake myself or even taste. I am speaking of the classic gingerbread cake. Sure, I have tasted gingerbread cookies, but not a cake per se. I was very much looking forward to baking this cake and letting the aroma fill my kitchen in these cold winter days.

    Although the ingredient list for this recipe is seemingly long, a lot of them are spices or other products that are commonly found in one’s pantry. This recipe was straightforward to make. I greatly appreciated foremost the delicious aroma of the gingerbread cake as it was baking in the oven. I also enjoyed the moist and distinct taste of the gingerbread cake. There was one spice, however, that I was not used to (perhaps the cloves or allspice) which came as a surprise as I took the first couple of bites, but it did not change the fact that the cake was very good. The spice in question simply provided a surprise element.


  • 6 tablespoons (90 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup fancy molasses
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and side of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together until homogeneously combined. Add the eggs, making sure to beat well after each addition.
  4. Add the molasses and lemon zest to the butter mixture. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until blended.
  6. Stir in the hot water then add the chocolate chips.
  7. Scrape the batter into the pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.