Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spiced Gingerbread Cake

I first posted the recipe over on my Napa Farmhouse 1885 blog back in 2009. Some of my favorite food bloggers guest-hosted the site for a Thanksgiving roundup. My blogger friend Theresa Loe submitted this post. Since then, it has become one of my favorite cakes and I make it year round. The spicy ginger flavor is perfect for a blog about spicy food. Enjoy!

Holiday Spices Evoke Memories, By Theresa Loe

"They say that the sense of smell is closely tied to the memory portion of our brains. Various aromas can immediately take us back to recollections of our past. I’ve experienced the way a perfume will remind me of someone from long ago or how the aroma of certain foods reminds me of the kitchen from my childhood. 

When I smell the spicy aroma of ginger, it immediately makes me think of holiday preparations as a little girl helping my mother make gingerbread. Growing up, our kitchen was a hustle and bustle of activity for weeks before Thanksgiving (and all the way through Christmas). The whole house was filled with the wonderful aromas of ginger, cinnamon and allspice.
My mom loves to, bake and she passed that love on to me. As a little girl, I always had the important job of measuring these spices and stirring the ingredients when she was making something delicious. While other households only made pie, we were making gingerbread cake, gingerbread cookies, bread puddings and spicy pies with extra ginger and cinnamon. 

During these baking sessions, I learned many important culinary trade secrets. But more importantly, I built a closeness with my mother that I don’t think we could have forged any other way. Baking gave us common ground for intimate mother/daughter talks and I soon realized that it was those moments in time I cherish the most. As a kid, you think you will grow up to remember the movies, toys, and games played with friends. But in reality, it is the unplanned moments with loved ones that touch our hearts and remain as snapshots in our memories. Having a strong fragrance like ground ginger associated with those snapshots creates an even stronger spot in our memory banks. For this reason, I do a lot of baking with my own children. I’m hoping to create new memory snapshots. 

The close bonds my mother and I forged many years ago still exist between us today. No matter what differences we have had, we can always come together to share a recipe. It is no wonder that the smell of ginger reminds me of a warm, inviting kitchen filled with holiday sweets and my mother’s love! 

Although most people only associate ground ginger with gingerbread, there are many other 
wonderful ways to enjoy the spice. Below is a recipe for gingerbread cake that we like to make each year."

Gingerbread Cake 
This recipe is a spiced up version of traditional gingerbread cake. When you bake it, it fills your home with all the aromas of the holidays. 

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
½ cup hard-packed dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 large egg
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground coriander
1 cup boiling water
Whipped cream for garnish 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, and molasses until creamy. Beat in the egg. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder baking soda and spices. Mix well. To the butter mixture, add the flour mixture alternately with the water, stirring well until combined. Pour into a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool ten minutes before removing cake from pan. Set on wire rack to cool completely. Serve with whipped cream
About Theresa....Theresa Loe gardens and cooks with her husband and two young boys in Southern California. She is also a locally syndicated newspaper garden columnist, author (The 2009 Herbal Calendar, Tidemark Press) and freelance writer specializing in utilizing fresh-from-the-garden ingredients for food and decorations in the home. She blogs at http://www.gardenfreshliving.com/ which is a place to learn about organic gardening and fun ways to bring the freshness of the garden into our everyday lives.

It is Cake Week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast roundup. Do you have a favorite cake recipe to share? Please list (or link) in the comments below. And be sure to check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Homemade Delish: No-Bake Mascarpone Cheesecake in a Cup
Creative Culinary: 
St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Three Cake Recipes To Get You Through Till Spring
Red or Green: 
Spiced Gingerbread Cake
Healthy Eats: 
5 Cupcakes That Are Secretly Lighter
In Jennie's Kitchen: 
Dark Chocolate Brownies
The Mom 100: 
Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake with Sweet Vanilla Drizzle
FN Dish: 
5 Stunning Cakes with Sky-High Fan Reviews


I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.


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