To be honest, I agonized a little over what to bring to my future in-laws house for Christmas. In the final hours I settled on gingerbread cake. Baking this cake literally filled the house with the smells of Christmas. It’s moist and well spiced, and deeply, deeply satisfying.
The only substitution I made was to use brown sugar instead of cane sugar. To the best of my knowledge, a little extra molasses flavor has never hurt a gingerbread cake. Speaking of molasses, don’t even entertain the thought of making something in the gingerbread family if it doesn’t call for this rich, dark syrup. There are only two ingredients that make gingerbread what it is—ginger and molasses. Everything else is an avenue for these two flavors to shine.
The other great thing about this cake is that I had almost every ingredient on hand. It’s not difficult to make, but it does take some patience to mix the sticky molasses and water in thoroughly. My cake was done in 35 minutes and probably could have come out of the oven a few minutes earlier. With a little dollop of maple whipped cream on top, this cake is like tasting Christmas.
Fine Cooking Issue 23