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I found myself with a craving for a gingerbread Bundt cake.
I had never actually made one before, but I had a clear picture in my head of what I wanted it to be.
It needed to be fierce with the spices with enough ginger that you could feel the heat. But the ginger had to be balanced with a mix of other warm baking spaces for it to have a pleasing complexity.
It had to be rich with molasses with a moist, tender crumb.
And it had to be easy. (Easier than my favorite soft gingerbread cookies.)
I didn’t want to have to soften butter or reach for the stand mixer or sugar cranberries or make a complicated icing.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with those things. I love a good over-the-top dessert as much as the next person.
But I wanted this to be homey and comforting as a pair of fuzzy slippers.
A gingerbread Bundt cake for when you want baking to be relaxing and unfussy.
And I’m happy to say I got what I was going for with this one.
The spice situation involves both fresh ginger and ground ginger, along with a generous hit of cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg and cloves and black pepper to make things interesting.
Unlike some recipes, I didn’t want to have to open a bottle of porter or stout and be left with a weird amount of beer leftover, especially since I like to do much of my baking in the morning.
But I did like the idea of using something more flavorful than hot water that some recipes use instead.
This one uses hot coffee to melt the molasses into a whiskable consistency while adding a complementary flavor to the mix.
You don’t necessarily notice the coffee in the final flavor—it’s subtle—but it plays well with the molasses and spices here.
I avoid the need for a mixer by using a neutral oil instead of butter in this one. The oil gives the cake a delightful texture I just love.
The whole thing is easily mixed by hand in a couple of bowls.
Then you just have to be sure to butter and flour your Bundt pan or use a good baking spray with flour (my favorite is Baker’s Joy) before pouring the thin batter into the pan.
(It would be a shame to let a chunk of cake stick to the pan.)
Then after the cake cools a bit, it gets topped with a shower of powdered sugar giving the cake a look reminiscent of a snow-capped mountain.
It’s worthy of a holiday feast, but simple enough to throw together on any cold weekend when you want to turn on the oven and make the kitchen smell amazing.
- 3 1/4 cups (406 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly ground)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (preferably freshly ground)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) brown sugar, light or dark
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- powdered sugar, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 12-cup (10-inch) Bundt pan or spray with a nonstick baking spray formulated with flour such as Baker's Joy or similar.
- Add the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, baking soda, and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk together until combined.
- Add the eggs to a separate mixing bowl and beat gently. Add the vegetable oil, brown sugar, and fresh ginger and stir to combine.
- If your molasses is cold, heat it in a heat-safe liquid measuring cup in the microwave until it's fluid, about 15-30 seconds (or in a water bath on the stove for a few minutes). Add the molasses the the other wet ingredients. Then add the hot coffee and stir to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the flour has just disappeared into the mixture. The batter will be thin and fluid.
- Pour into the prepared Bundt pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes.
- Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool for at least 10 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar.
This cake keeps well for several days. The spice flavors intensify as the cake sits.
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- Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Set of 3 Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers
- Peugeot 23584 Paris U'Select 7-Inch Pepper Mill, Red Lacquer
- Frontier Natural Products Cloves, Ground, 1.92 Ounce
- Bellemain Cooling Rack - Baking Rack, Chef Quality 12 inch x 17 inch - Tight-Grid Design, Oven Safe, Fits Half Sheet Cookie Pan
- The Spice Hunter Organic Nutmeg, Whole, 1.8 oz. jar
- Frontier Organic Vietnamese Cinnamon, Ground, 1.31 Ounce
- Simply Organic Ginger Root Ground Certified Organic, 1.64-Ounce Container
- Kyocera Advanced Ceramic 3-1/2-inch Ceramic Grater
- Microplane 46020 Premium Classic Series Zester Grater 18/8 Black
- Brer Rabbit Molasses, Mild, 12 oz
- Bakers Joy Cake Pan Spray 2 Pack
- Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Anniversary Bundt Pan
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 174mg Carbohydrates: 46g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 25g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g