Gingerbread baking, in any form; cake, cookie or loaf catapults me back in time to my grandmother’s kitchen when I was a little girl. Ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg smell like the holidays to me. As soon as the weather cools, I crave old fashion, comforting food. The food I grew up with. Food nostalgia is a powerful magic. Without intention my grandmothers left me with a lifetime of delicious, nourishing memories that swirl around me at this time of year. It’s glorious.
Several years ago, my daughter Sara’s mother-in-law, Julie Irwin, gave me a gorgeous baking cook book, Bobbette & Belle by Allyson Bobbitt and Sarah Bell. I’m slowly baking my way through the entire book and loving every recipe. Their photographs are stunningly inspirational and the recipes are straight forward and easy to follow. This is not a promotional post. I really do just love their cook book. I made slight adjustments to the spice measurements and the cooking time of the original recipe.
This is a bundt cake recipe. Whenever I see a recipe specifically for a bundt cake, I’m all over it. Having to frost one cake layer rather than two appeals to the lazy baker in me. However, you have to be careful with deep cakes during the baking process not to dry them out over fear of under baking. If your oven runs hot, decrease the temperature slightly and rotate the cake to even out the browning. Most gingerbread recipes call for molasses whereas this recipe uses honey. The final product is not as dark as I’m used to but every bit as delicious.
I decorated my gingerbread with fresh cream cheese frosting and candied orange zest leftover from last Christmas. I wasn’t kidding when I told you it lasts a long time in a well sealed container! The orange paired perfectly with all the winter spices. You could use your favourite chopped, toasted nuts, sugared cranberries or nothing at all.
Serve it on a pretty cake plate or pedestal and you’ve turned a humble dessert into a show stopper. I tend to lean towards simple, clean displays so that the dessert can be the star.
Now is the time of year to start getting ready for your holiday parties and dinners. If you’re anything like me, life is too hectic once the season is upon us. Much better to take the time now when you’re not so busy and fill your freezer with make- ahead desserts that freeze well. When you’re ready to serve, all you need to do is add the frosting and whatever garnish you like.
Thanks for reading.
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350*F and grease an 8 inch bundt pan with spray release.
- Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the melted butter and honey until completely combined.
- Beat the egg and sugar until thick and fluffy in your stand mixer using the paddle attachment. It will take 3 - 5 minutes depending on the power of your machine.
- Once the egg mixture is ready, using medium-low speed, start alternating additions of dry ingredients and butter mixture about a third at a time ending with the flour mixture. When the last of the flour has been well incorporated, reduce the speed to low and add the water and sour cream until thoroughly incorporated.
- Remove bowl from stand mixer and pour cake batter into your prepared bundt pan. Use a rubber spatula to smooth out the top of the cake.
- Place gingerbread bundt in preheated oven on the bottom rack and bake for one hour. Check for doneness at 45 minutes using a slender bamboo skewer. Your cake is done if the skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cakes centre.
- Let the cake cool completely in the pan sitting on a cooling rack.
- Once it's cool, loosen the centre and sides with a butter knife then invert over the cooling rack.
- Place your gingerbread on a serving platter to frost or wrap well in freezer wrapping and store in freezer up to three months.
THE LOVE: Use unsalted butter to ensure you have complete control over the cake's flavour. Also, having the wet ingredients at room temperature produces a lighter cake.
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