December 25, 2009

Gingerbread Season

The holidays are finally here and better yet — it’s gingerbread season!

If there is a more intoxicating smell than warm gingerbread, I’ve yet to sniff it. And I’m not talking about the man-shaped cookies you hang on the Christmas tree. I mean a moist, tender cake glazed with lemon and sugar. There’s magic in gingerbread’s combination of molasses and spices that celebrates the coolness of winter and makes you glad to be tucked up at home.

My favourite gingerbread is a simple cake that comes together faster than you can find your winter gloves. In 10 minutes it’s in the oven and the house smells as good as a warm molasses hug. And the ingredients are so simple — they’re probably in your pantry right now, waiting to be turned into this humble yet special cake. Served warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream, gingerbread makes me wish fall lasted forever.

Claire Tansey’s Easy Gingerbread Cake Recipe

1-2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger (optional)
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp dry ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
Pinch ground cloves
1/4 tsp table salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8” x 8” baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

Step 2: In a bowl, whisk flour with candied ginger, baking soda, spices and salt. Stir in sugar, molasses and egg. Stir in oil and boiling water until smooth.

Step 3: Scrape into prepared pan and bake 35-45 minutes or until a cake tester or knife comes out clean.

Step 4: In a separate bowl, whisk lemon juice into icing sugar. Pour and spread over the warm cake. Serve warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream.

Photo: Gingerbread Squares with Honey-Mascarpone Cream, from

Here are some other great gingerbread recipes I’ve come across:

Gingerbread Squares with Honey-Mascarpone Cream

Martha Stewart’s Gingerbread Cake

Molasses-Gingerbread Cake with Mascarpone Cream

Lafayette Gingerbread

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

Photo credits:
Angus Fergusson
2. Gingerbread Squares with Honey-Mascarpone Cream, from