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Fresh Ginger Spice Cake

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Fresh ginger

We had a slice of very good, spicy ginger cake Saturday at Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard. We came home and searched the recipes for something that sounded similar.

The cake at Sandy Oaks, made by chef Cathy Tarasovic, was made in a Bundt cake pan and drizzled with a powdered sugar icing.  This is a smaller recipe, and calls for a 9-inch cake pan. But, it has ginger three ways: candied.crystallized, powdered and fresh. The brown sugar and mild (lighter brown) molasses give it a dark, spicy color.

We thank author Tish Boyle, and her blog, Sweet Dreams, for this recipe.  The original recipe was published in “The Cake Book” by the same author. In the book, though, the recipe didn’t list the leavening in the ingredients. (Who knows why these things happen? We think computer gremlins.)

This is the corrected version. The alternate measurements (ounces, grams) are left in, as most professional bakers consider them the most accurate.

This recipe came with a Strawberry Rhubarb Compote as well. If you want to make the compote, here is the link.

Fresh Ginger Spice Cake 

2 1/2 cups (10.7 oz/302 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup finely (1.9 oz oz/53 g) chopped crystallized ginger

1 cup (240 ml) mild molasses

3/4 cup (5.7 oz/163 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/3 cup (2.8 oz/79 g) peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger root

1 cup (2 sticks/8 oz/227 g) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

1 cup (240 ml) water

2 teaspoons baking soda

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting top of cake

Vanilla ice cream for serving, if desired


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 1/2-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper, cut to fit.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Place the crystallized ginger in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture. Stir to coat the ginger pieces and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the molasses and brown sugar, breaking up any large lumps of sugar. Whisk in the eggs until well blended. Whisk in the finely chopped gingerroot.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter and water and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Stir in the baking soda – the mixture will fizz a bit. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk about 1/2 cup of the mixture into the molasses mixture until blended. Whisk in the remaining butter mixture. Whisk in the flour mixture just until blended. Whisk in the flour-coated crystallized ginger. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.

Remove the side of the springform pan and invert the cake onto the wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper, re-invert the cake and let it cool completely.

Dust the top of the cake with sifted confectioners’ sugar before serving.

For serving, if desired, serve a slice of the cake with ice cream, or the compote.

Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 10

Storage: at room temperature under a cake keeper or covered with foil for up to 5 days.

From “The Cake Book” by Tish Boyle.  (


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