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.
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!
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.