I positively love the flavor of ginger. Whether it’s pickled ginger with sushi, ginger ale (mint ginger ale is a favorite variety of mine), candied ginger or ultimate ginger cookies, if it has ginger in it, there’s a 99.9% chance I’m going to love it. Which is why it’s so shocking (and wrong) that up until this week, I had never made a proper gingerbread cake for the holidays. Molasses, ginger, beer, and spice – what’s not to love?! Turns out, absolutely nothing. This cake rises beautifully, is soft and moist, and most importantly – packed with boatloads of flavor. Christmas needs gingerbread, I’ve decided. I’ve seriously missed out until now!
I’ve been eating this plain, straight from the plate (breakfast of champions!) but I also think that a dollop of sweetened whipped cream would be a nice touch to the cake.
An extra tip: If you wrap it well in plastic wrap and let it sit overnight before serving, it becomes even moister and the flavor really bursts, I highly recommend it!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.
Bring the stout to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda (mixture will foam up). When foaming subsides, stir in molasses, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until dissolved; set mixture aside.
Whisk the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pepper together in a large bowl; set aside.
Transfer the stout mixture to a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, oil, and grated ginger until combined. Whisk the wet mixture into the flour mixture in thirds, stirring vigorously until completely smooth after each addition.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and gently tap the pan against the counter 3 or 4 times to pop any large air bubbles. Bake until the the of the cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 1½ hours. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.
*Note: This cake does pack some heat thanks to the ginger and pepper. If you are particularly sensitive to spice, you can decrease the amount of dried ginger to 1 tablespoon.