Twice as Tasty

Triple Ginger Cake

Three types of ginger are just as tasty in cake as they are in cookies and worthy of a celebration

By Julie Laing
Photo by Julie Laing.

After combining multiple forms of ginger into Triple Gingersnaps, my homemade take on the Trader Joe’s cookies, I couldn’t resist mixing fresh, ground and crystallized ginger into other baked goods. Each form adds its own zing and texture, melding into the most complex ginger flavor I’ve ever tasted. As I mark eight years of the Twice as Tasty blog, I’ve folded this ginger trifecta into a celebratory cake.

Beyond all of the ginger, this cake has a few other unexpected components. Dissolving baking soda in hot water creates a fizzy concoction that crisps the exterior but leaves the center soft, especially with further moistness from the molasses. Just a little freshly ground black pepper adds a spectrum of flavors.

Peel and then grate the fresh gingerroot using a ginger grater, microplane or zester to minimize fibrous pieces. The ginger softens during baking, so you can finely chop the fresh root with a sharp knife instead. Crystallized ginger clumps up in a food processor, so chop it by hand.

Pouring homemade caramel sauce over the cake just before serving lets it drizzle attractively down the sides. A lemon and sugar glaze also tastes delicious with the ginger and molasses. You can instead wait and decorate individual slices with a dollop of whipped cream flavored with vanilla bean seeds or Homemade Vanilla Extract.

Triple Ginger Cake

Serves 12-16

2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup molasses

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup water

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 ounce fresh ginger, grated or minced

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Coat a Bundt pan or a 9-1/2-inch springform pan with butter and flour; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves and pepper. In a large bowl, whisk together the molasses, sugar and melted butter.

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture. Stir in the fresh ginger.

Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Add the eggs and vanilla; continue mixing just until thoroughly combined.

If you prepared a Bundt pan, sprinkle the crystallized ginger into it and then pour in the batter; for a springform pan, pour in the batter first and sprinkle the crystallized ginger on top. Bake on a centered oven rack at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake browns too quickly, drape a piece of foil over the pan and continue baking. Let the cake cool at least 30 minutes before using a knife to loosen it from the pan and then inverting the Bundt pan or releasing the springform rim.

Julie Laing is a Bigfork-based cookbook author and food blogger at TwiceAsTasty.com.