Monday, December 21, 2009

English Gingerbread Cake

This week's Heavenly Cake Baker's assignment is Rose's take on gingerbread cake. I love a good gingerbread, so I was excited to try her take.

December 5, 2009
Name of cake: Rose's Gingerbread
Occasion: Heavenly Bakers
Constituents: Gingerbread, with a lemony syrup

This cake is definitely one of the quick and easy cakes. Everything can be mixed together by hand in a lovely earthenware bowl, instead of beaten wildly by a stand mixer. As much as I LOVE my stand mixer, it is fun to go old school and mix up a batter by hand. When I do, I like to pretend I have six children and a husband who still plows the fields with our trusty horse, Trusty, and that our older children help their pa out in the fields while the younger ones play with paper dolls and wooden soldiers by the roaring fireplace. Yes, I was a big Laura Ingalls Wilder fan when I was a child.

First off, butter is melted in a saucepan with golden syrup, more of my favorite dark muscovado sugar, and a little bit of orange marmalade. I was happy to have an excuse to buy orange marmalade as it is one of my favorite spreads for toast.

the liquids, before heating

Next, all the dry ingredients are whisked together in a bowl. I was excited to see that whole wheat flour was one of the ingredients; not only did I have some waiting patiently to be used, but I like to sneak a little fiber in my baked goods and then tell people the cake is "healthy." I mean, it kind of is. Kind of.

This is the best part. After completing the melted butter concotion and whisking together the dry ingredients, all that is left to do is to add the liquids to the powders and mix by hand. Then the very liquidy batter is poured into a square cake pan and baked. Easy peasy!

Mine had a funny looking top after it was baked, plus a few little floury spots. I guess I didn't incorporate the liquid and flours too well.


While the cake cools, a lemony buttery syrup is made to pour over the cake. This is also easy-peasy, as the syrup is literally sugar, lemon juice, and butter, which you heat over a low flame until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved. And, scene.

This syrup is then spread over the top and bottom of the cake, and it keeps the cake moist and gives it a nice lemony edge. After syruping it takes another 24 hours before the cake should be eaten, presumably to let the moisture evenly distribute and the flavors to sort themselves out. I found that after another 24 hours (48 hours total) the cake had thoroughly sorted itself out and was much fuller in flavor than the day before.

Rose describes the cake's flavor as "an intriguing blend of buttery, lemony, wheaty, and treacly flavors" which I quite agree. There is a little bit of spiciness from the cinnamon and ginger, but it plays a faint background note. This cake, covered and at a very cold room temperature (my kitchen is very very cold), stayed moist and yummy for about a week.

I will admit that I wouldn't call this cake a gingerbread cake. I associate gingerbread cake with the flavors of molasses, ginger, and cinnamon. I like my gingerbread spicy, dark, and a tad dense. This cake was none of these things, but it was delicious with a wonderful blend of unusual flavors. I would certainly make it again, but I might not call it gingerbread. Maybe I'll call it a Lemon-Treacle Cake. I like the way that sounds!

gingerbread cake


  1. O.k...that Laura Ingles Wilder...(is that how you spell it?) image was too funny! lol...I love the cake too...awesome pictures:)

  2. Fantastic post. Can't wait to dig into this cake tonight.


  3. Saira, thanks!

    ButterYum, thank you! I'm looking forward to your post :)

  4. Lemon-Treacle Cake--that's the ticket! If I don't think of it as gingerbread, it's a very nice cake. :)

  5. ב''ה

    What a lovely texture your cake has. I agree it did not taste like 'ginger-bread'

  6. Nancy B, Lemon-Treacle it is!

    Mendy, thank you!

  7. Your English gingerbread looks very nice.
    Just had our Christmas morning here now. Am cooking the dinner. I made a pumpkin pie and can't wait to have this treat! I haven't had a pumpkin pie in 2 years now!
    Hope your Christmas is fantastic!
    I have about 6 inches of snow melting in the garden. It has been thawing out since Wednesday. Did have about total of 15 inches. Boy, did it cause a chaos here!
    Cheers! xx

  8. Mighty fine cake, Ma!

  9. Melinda, Christmas has been wonderful this year, particularly because my little nephew has made everything so much fun! He's 3 months old now, and he likes to make sounds and smile. Sometimes when he's really excited by what you're saying to him he leans in and opens his mouth excitedly, like he's trying to join in! Or maybe it is just gas, but it is very cute.
    I heard about all the snow in your part of the woods! I hope everything is getting back to normal now that the thaw has begun. Did you enjoy your Christmas? How was your pumpkin pie?
    Love, ECL xoxo

    Marie, thank you! Now go 'round back and get some more wood for the fire. And tell your pa to come in for dinner.

  10. Delicious. I had 5 pieces in one day. What a oink, yeah?
    Lovely Christmas here. Snow just about gone now. Got an ipod. Gosh aren't they something? I know I am way behind in the techno dept. but wowee! I love having all my music on one tiny gadget. It also does the radio. I am a huge radio fan. England has really good radio. Shhh, don't tell the government or they will try to ruin it.
    Your little nephew will change things a lot. He sounds delightful. I just know you are going to be a way cool auntie. x

  11. I love my ipod! I put Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on mine to listen to while I drove from Portland to California and back. It was great!
    I'm glad you had a lovely Christmas. My nephew was awesome. I'll see him again in March, but I already miss him. Would you like to see a little video of him? click here

  12. Sweetie pie baby!
    I love those bucket baths.