David Lebovitz’s Fresh Ginger & Molasses Cake

Cakes & Cupcakes
October 18, 2014
Cakes & Cupcakes
October 18, 2014

David Lebovitz’s Fresh Ginger & Molasses Cake

You can tell that I photograph food just by looking at my camera. There’s flour in the grooves of my


David Lebovitz’s Fresh Ginger & Molasses Cake

Fresh Ginger and Molasses Cake siced

You can tell that I photograph food just by looking at my camera. There’s flour in the grooves of my lens, specks of cinnamon by the shutter button, and who knows what on the grip. It’s impossible not to when you take pictures, especially step-by-step ones, of food. Now that I’m putting this in text, it sounds pretty gross. But, hey. It’s part of the job. And I know those who blog about food share this experience with me. So I deal (and clean, occasionally).

Is it weird that I kind of like flour on my lens? It’s kind of like hikers that, once they break in their boots, have trail scars all over them. Or like guitar players with rough finger pads. It’s a reminder that you do what you do.

So now, what I made: this fresh ginger and molasses cake by David Lebovitz. It’s absolutely brilliant. So ridiculously moist and melt-in-your-mouth-y. So intense and flavorful. One of those cakes you can have for breakfast, teatime, or dessert. For those of you that are unaware, David Lebovitz’s recipes never fail to disappoint. I’ve made his Chocolate Sorbet and Banana Cake and both have rocked my world. As I expected, so did this ginger molasses cake.

Fresh Ginger and Molasses Cake on plate

Tips for making this ginger molasses cake

Fresh ginger and molasses are the stars of this simple cake recipe, so don’t try and wiggle your way out of using them. Fresh ginger adds serious flavor to this cake, and the powdered stuff doesn’t hold a candle to it. Fresh ginger is super cheap, and it should be easy to find at your local grocery store! If you have leftover ginger, either whip up another easy ginger recipe with it or add some sliced ginger to some hot water for a soothing morning drink.

When buying the molasses for this recipe, go for a light, unsulphered molasses. Sulphured molasses has a more distinct flavor and isn’t as sweet, so avoid that if possible. And blackstrap molasses is much too bitter for this cake recipe, so definitely don’t use that either! If you get to the store and are still super confused about which molasses to buy, I recommend checking out The Kitchn’s guide to molasses to set things straight. Otherwise, leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you out!

Fresh Ginger and Molasses Cake with powdered sugar


Sprinkle this cake with powdered sugar and you have yourself the moistest, most perfectly spiced fall cake. Plus just a teensy bit of flour in the grooves of your camera 🙂



Fresh Ginger & Molasses Cake

5 from 2 reviews


  • 4 ounces fresh ginger
  • 1 cup mild molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature


  1. Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 3-inch round cake pan or a 9 1/2 inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper.
  2. Peel, slice, and chop the ginger very fine with a knife (or use a grater). Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.
  3. Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture. Stir in the ginger.
  4. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the batter. Add the eggs, and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, drape a piece of foil over it and continue baking.
  5. Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.

More fall dessert recipes from Broma Bakery:

Ginger Molasses Apple Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

Gingersnap Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake

Chai Spiced Caramel Macarons

Cardamom Spiced Carrot Cake with Ginger Frosting

The Best Pumpkin Cake EVER

Fresh Ginger and Molasses Cake slice


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  1. This is the first cake recipe that I tried from your blog, and it came out just as delicious and divine as it looks in your pic. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I baked a few weeks before the holidays just to try it and it was an immediate hit with my 3 kids. They wanted me to bake it again during xmas. I ended up making this recipe three times. I wish I could share my pics. I also baked them in small meat loaf pans, and packed them in cookie tins and shared with my friends and kids did the same, and everyone loved it.

  2. Unfortunately, the center of my cake collapsed after 50 minutes in the oven. It had risen beautifully to the top of my springform before it decided to drop. Any suggestions?

    • Hey Lawrence! Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that–I know that can be a total bummer. It’s possible that you didn’t bake the cake for long enough–all ovens are different so it might be that the cake didn’t bake long enough to fully form and therefore collapse. It’s also possible that your cake rose too much too quickly and then fell. What kind of molasses did you use? Baking soda reacts to the acidity of your batter, so if one of your ingredients was more acidic than normal, it can overactivate the baking soda and cause the cake to collapse!

  3. I don’t have any mild molasses. Will treacle do? and I never use peanut oil. Is the mild olive oil OK to use. Please let me know as I am always looking for fresh ginger recipes and this one looks really interesting. Thank you for your time and anticipated response.

    • Mey Malou, we’ve never tried this with treacle, but it’s pretty similar to molasses so it should work! Olive oil will work fine too–you’ll just lose a little bit of the nuttiness. Let us know how it goes!

  4. First of all, this cake is DELICIOUS! Light, with the perfect sweet/ginger-spicy balance 🙂
    Second, I subbed a 1-to-1 gluten free flour blend (Bob’s) and it worked wonderfully! Great for my gf friends.
    Third, I have a question, just out of curiosity as a relatively new baker – what is the purpose in dissolving the baking soda into boiling water?

    • Hey Helen,

      Thank YOU. So sweet of you and happy this worked for you and your substitutions. Bob’s is the BEST.

      Great question. Dissolving the baking soda in the water helps to activate it and allow it disperse evenly throughout the cake, giving you a better rise!

      Hope this helps 🙂