The history of gingerbread stretches back to ancient Greece, but our recipe isn’t quite that old-fashioned! Instead, our version might be more familiar to your grandparents and their grandparents, with the classic blend of warm spices, a little bit of ginger bite, and the rich sweetness of our Dark Brown Sugar. Topped with a simple glaze, it’s the perfect dessert for any fall or winter occasion.
1 hour cooling time
40 to 45 minutes
12 to 16 servings
Ingredients & Equipment
For the cake:
¾ cup (163 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed
1 tbsp (6 g) orange zest, finely grated
2¾ cups (344 g) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (5 g) ground ginger
2 tsp (6 g) ground cinnamon
1½ tsp (7 g) baking soda
½ tsp (3 g) salt
½ tsp (1 g) ground cloves
½ tsp (1 g) ground nutmeg
¾ cup (170 g) butter
¾ cup (188 ml) unsulfured or fancy molasses (do not use blackstrap molasses)
1 cup (250 ml) boiling water
For the glaze:
1 cup (120 g) Redpath® Icing Sugar
2 tbsp (28 g) butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tbsp (15 ml) milk
2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp (2 g) salt
Orange zest or slices
Cranberries (fresh or sugared)
Rosemary sprigs and/or fresh sage leaves (candied or fresh)
9 or 10 inch bundt pan OR 10 to 12 cup bundt pan
Scale OR dry measuring cups
Liquid measuring cup
Small bowl x 2
Stand mixer with paddle attachment OR large bowl with a hand mixer
Oven mitts OR kitchen towel
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
With a pastry brush, brush a 9- or 10-inch bundt pan (or a 10 to 12 cup pan) with a thin but even layer of neutral oil or shortening (see Chef’s Tips). Grease all surfaces and crevices well, especially if using an intricately detailed bundt pan, to ensure that the cake releases from the pan. Sift a handful (about ¼ cup) of flour all around the pan, tapping and rotating the pan for an even coating. Ensure all the greased areas are evenly covered; shake out any excess flour.
In a small bowl, combine the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar with the orange zest until well mixed. With a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon, massage the zest into the sugar until oils from the orange zest are released. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, and nutmeg.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter and the brown sugar mixture on medium speed until pale in colour and fluffy; 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and mix in until fully incorporated. Add and mix in the molasses.
Add in a third of the dry ingredients to the batter. Mix on low speed until almost combined. Add half of the hot water and mix until just combined. Repeat process with the remaining ingredients; do not overmix.
Transfer the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Place pan onto a baking sheet to prevent the pan, especially an intricate one, from toppling over.
Place into the preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean and the top springs back when gently pressed.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Gently tap the sides of the pan and shake the pan to help loosen the cake from the pan. If necessary, gently pull the edges of the cake away from the sides and the tube of the pan (see Chef’s Tips). Place a serving dish over the bundt pan. With the aid of oven mitts or kitchen towel, hold the dish and bundt pan together and carefully flip the pan over and gently tap the dish and pan together onto a flat work surface. Wait a few minutes to allow the cake to release itself from the pan (see Chef’s Tips). Let cake cool completely before icing.
For the glaze:
In a large measuring cup or small bowl, combine the Redpath® Icing Sugar, melted butter, milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Slowly pour the glaze over the cooled cake, letting it drip down the sides.
If desired, garnish cake just before serving and before glaze hardens with orange zest or slices, fresh or candied cranberries, candied ginger, and/or fresh or candied herbs.
Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or up to a week in the fridge.
*Ensure ingredients are at room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.
*Although melted butter could potentially be used to grease a bundt pan, the milk solids in the butter may prevent the cake from easily releasing from the pan. Use a neutral-flavoured oil, such as canola oil or vegetable oil, melted shortening, or even coconut oil (though the oil may impart some flavour to the cake) to grease the bundt pan. Any uneven spots (ungreased areas or lumps of flour) may cause the cake to stick to the pan. Even if the bundt pan is nonstick, grease thoroughly to ensure the cake comes out cleanly.
*Do not use anything metal that might scratch the insides of the bundt pan. Scratches may prevent future cakes from releasing properly.
*If cake is stuck, fill a sink with several inches of boiling water. Cover the top of the bundt pan with foil and wrap the sides of the pan with a kitchen towel(s). Place into the hot water; ensure water does not go above the rim of the pan. With the help of tongs, try to keep the sides of the pan covered with the towel(s). The hot water will soak into the towel and heat the areas that are not immersed. Cover the entire sink with a large baking sheet or kitchen towel to keep the steam in and the water hot. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Wipe pan dry before attempting to unmold.
*Do not ice the cake when it is still warm. The glaze will melt into the cake.
*Cover the sliced area of the cake by laying a piece of plastic wrap, parchment paper, or wax paper directly on the cut surface to prevent the cake from drying out before storing in an airtight container.
*Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar can be successfully used in place of the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar. Note that the resulting flavour will have a more subtle caramel undertone and a slightly lighter colour.