Grandmother’s Soft Gingerbread Cake

  • Yield: 16 servings


2cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4teaspoons kosher salt
1teaspoon ground cloves
1teaspoon ground ginger
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1cup sugar
1cup dark molasses
1cup vegetable oil
3large eggs
1cup boiling water
Whipped cream:
1cup heavy cream
2teaspoons sugar
1/2teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch-round springform baking pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, salt, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon.
  3. In a mixing bowl with electric beaters or by hand with a whisk, beat together the sugar, molasses, oil, and eggs until well blended and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until blended, scraping the bowl once or twice. Add the boiling water and beat just until smooth. Don’t overmix or the cake will be tough. The batter will be thin.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before removing the pan sides.
  5. For the whipped cream: In a mixing bowl with electric beaters or by hand with a whisk, whip together the cream, sugar, and vanilla to soft peaks.
  6. To serve, cut the cake into 12 to 16 wedges. Transfer to dessert plates and put a dollop of whipped cream and a few sprinkles of nutmeg on top.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Jack and Dolores Cakebread and Brian Streeters’ The Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 2011).