This is a substantial yet tender spice cake that's flavorful enough to serve unadorned. For my gingerbread variation, consider bringing along a jar of lemon curd.

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Recipe Summary

Servings:
16
Yield:
16 servings
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Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a metal or disposable foil 9-by-13-inch pan. Whisk dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl. Mix milk, eggs, molasses and vanilla extract in a 2-cup measuring cup.

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  • Beat softened butter into dry ingredients, first on low, then medium, until mixture forms pebble-sized pieces. Add about 1/3 of the milk mixture and beat on low until smooth. Add remaining milk mixture in two stages; beat on medium speed until batter is just smooth. Add the sugar; beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into cake pan.

  • Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the cake's center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the pan perimeter and turn cake onto rack. Let cool.

Picnic tip

For an elegant touch, dust the cake with powdered sugar sprinkled through a sieve or strainer.

Can be double-wrapped in plastic a day ahead. Return to pan to transport. Also, the batter can be divided and baked in two 8-inch square cake pans. Take one on the picnic; freeze one for later.

Copyright 2004 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.

Nutrition Facts

299 calories; protein 3.9g 8% DV; carbohydrates 42.3g 14% DV; fat 13g 20% DV; cholesterol 66.6mg 22% DV; sodium 213.7mg 9% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (32)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/23/2006
We love gingerbread with a full and spicy flavor. This certainly is both of those. The only thing I changed was to add a 1/2 cup of applesauce to the batter. It smoothed the spices a bit and made it even more moist. I served it with a Kentucky Bourbon reduction (hard sauce) and it was fantastic. The kids loved theirs with Cool Whip. We'll definately make this again. Read More
(32)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
11/25/2008
I thought this recipe was just ok. It has a slightly strange taste to me and I think it has to do with the spices. I think I should have used less ginger and added some cloves and nutmeg. I made the cake in two loaf pans and baked them for 50 minutes. They didn't rise very much and once I cut into the cake it dried out very quickly. I frosted the cake with cream cheese frosting and that really improved it. Next time I make gingerbread I will probably try a different recipe. Read More
(12)
39 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 22
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
10/22/2006
We love gingerbread with a full and spicy flavor. This certainly is both of those. The only thing I changed was to add a 1/2 cup of applesauce to the batter. It smoothed the spices a bit and made it even more moist. I served it with a Kentucky Bourbon reduction (hard sauce) and it was fantastic. The kids loved theirs with Cool Whip. We'll definately make this again. Read More
(32)
Rating: 5 stars
11/15/2007
Loved this with a light vanilla cream sauce. I replaced 1/4 cup of molasses with 1/4 cup of applesauce. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
03/19/2006
This is fabulous! I split the batter into two bread pans and baked for 45 minutes. Light and fluffy without skimping on flavor. I will definitely make it again. Next time I will use a larger measuring cup to mix the wet ingredients...I had an overflow situation. Read More
(15)
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Rating: 3 stars
11/25/2008
I thought this recipe was just ok. It has a slightly strange taste to me and I think it has to do with the spices. I think I should have used less ginger and added some cloves and nutmeg. I made the cake in two loaf pans and baked them for 50 minutes. They didn't rise very much and once I cut into the cake it dried out very quickly. I frosted the cake with cream cheese frosting and that really improved it. Next time I make gingerbread I will probably try a different recipe. Read More
(12)
Rating: 1 stars
09/01/2008
I made this recipe exactly as stated with the exception of using light brown sugar rather than dark (because that's all I had). The cake was dry and tasteless. I doubled checked my ingredients to be sure because of all the marveleous reviews the recipe had gotten. I don't think I'll try this one again. Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
12/03/2005
Great with cream cheese frosting Read More
(10)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/08/2007
This recipe is fantastic! I baked it in the alternate method of two 8x8 pans. I frosted one with cream cheese frosting and left the other plain. I substituted whole wheat flour for white flour and brown sugar Splenda for the sugar. So moist spicy and delicious!! A real hit with the whole family! I'll be making this again! Read More
(7)
Rating: 4 stars
03/11/2007
Moist and delicious. Hubby who almost never eats cake took a bite and ended up cutting himself a nice big slice. Made cream cheese frosting which complimented the cake very nicely. Thanks! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2006
I loved this and it recieved great reviews from family anf friends. Read More
(6)