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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sticky Ginger Cake


Even though the holidays are nearly over, I can't get enough gingerbread-flavored baked goods.  The spices make my kitchen smell wonderful, and the heat from the oven provides a little extra warmth on these blustery winter days.  This dessert is the perfect all-purpose snack cake.  Kids will love it as an after school treat, and I found myself eating a square (or two) for breakfast.  It would make a great addition to your New Year's Day brunch too!

The cake itself is delicious, but the honey-molasses glaze keeps the cake moist and chewy for several days.  I recommend you make the cake  a day ahead of when you plan to serve it to give the molasses and ginger flavors some time to intensify.

The original recipe from Cooking Light uses all-purpose flour, but I swapped out half of the white flour for whole wheat flour.  I liked the nuttier flavor and denser texture that whole wheat flour provides, but I'm sure it would be just as delicious when using white flour.


I usually cringe when reading recipes that use fresh ginger because I inevitably have to buy a huge ginger root when I need only a few teaspoons.  Fresh ginger actually freezes really well, so just cut off what you need and store the rest in a plastic baggie in the freezer.  It will keep for about three months.  Problem solved!

This cake brought back memories of time I spent in England while on a mini-student exchange program in high school.  My host-mother would make these delicious snack cakes to serve with our after-school tea.  Whether it's served with tea or a tall glass of milk, make this cake and enjoy it with someone you love.

Sticky Ginger Cake
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 16

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 5 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 5 tablespoons molasses, divided
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Preparation


Preheat oven to 400°.
Lightly coat an 8-inch square metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set prepared pan aside.
Combine both flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt); stir with a whisk.  Combine buttermilk and eggs.  Combine 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup molasses, brown sugar, butter, and fresh ginger in a pan over medium heat.  Stir constantly until sugar melts.  Remove pan from heat; cool 5 minutes.  Add egg mixture to honey mixture, stirring with a whisk.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until well combined.
Pour batter into pan.  Bake at 400° for 25 minutes. Place on a rack; pierce surface with a skewer. Combine 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon molasses, and 1 tablespoon water; brush over hot cake. Cool.  Dust with powdered sugar.
Approximately 210 calories per serving, 2.5 grams of fat.