Five-Spice Ginger Cake

The flavors in this cake will surprise everyone's taste buds. I tried a similar cake when I was living in the US. It is definitely an interesting use of five-spice! I make this cake based on my tasting memory, and I added in some ingredients that I consider will go well with it.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr
Additional Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 35 mins
1 9x13-inch cake


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger

  • 1 ½ tablespoons grated orange zest

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoons five-spice powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • ½ cup brewed black tea

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • ¼ cup sunflower seed oil

  • ½ tablespoon ground turmeric, or to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper.

  2. Mix flour, ginger, baking powder, orange zest, baking powder, five-spice, and salt together.

  3. Mix applesauce and tea together in a separate bowl.

  4. Beat eggs with 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until very fluffy and light. Pour in oil gradually and beat on medium speed until combined. Alternate adding the flour and applesauce mixtures, mixing just until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Place a wire rack over the cake pan and flip to release cake onto the rack. Let cool completely, at least 45 minutes.

  7. Cut parchment paper into any shapes you like to act as stencils. Brush lightly with water and stick them over the surface of the cake. Gently sprinkle turmeric around the shapes. Carefully lift up stencils.

Cook's Notes:

I used molasses-crystallized ginger. Substitute with fresh ginger if desired.

To make it strong, use 2 tea bags for 2 cups water. You can use green tea or oolong as well.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

168 Calories
6g Fat
27g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 168
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 273mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 107mg 8%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 105mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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