Who else grew up with that old-fashioned brownie pudding cake, those magical layers of warm chocolate cake on top and warm chocolate pudding below? This is that cake except – be still, my beating heart – it's gingerbread.
Yes, you read it right. Gingerbread Pudding Cake. Warm gingerbread cake on top and warm gingerbread pudding underneath. It brings silence to tables. It causes grown men to groan. It makes up in minutes and while humble in appearance, is a stunning company dessert during the holidays.
Or you know, for two, enjoyed in companionable silence before a blazing fire, watching the twinkle of lights on the Christmas tree ... or after a glass or two of something bubbly on New Years Eve.
GINGERBREAD PUDDING CAKE
Time to table: 70 minutes
Enough for an 11x7 baking dish, serving 8
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 192g
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 114g) salted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (300g) molasses
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
- 1-1/2 cups very hot (near boiling) water
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 55g) salted butter
- Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
Heat oven to 350F/180C. Locate an oven-safe baking dish about 11x7, no need to spray it.
DRY INGREDIENTS In a bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients.
WET INGREDIENTS In a bowl large enough to hold everything, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, sugar and egg, mixing until creamy. Mix in the molasses and water.
With a spatula, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, just until combined. Pour into the baking dish, it'll be quite liquid, don't worry!
TOPPING Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly across the top of the batter but do not mix in. In a liquid measuring cup, mix the hot water and 4 tablespoons butter together until the butter melts, pour it over the brown sugar but again, don't mix it in! This is key!
BAKE uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes until the top is crispy and the cake has turned into, well, cake and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (In my oven, I start checking at 35 minutes but 45 minutes is just about perfect.) Let cool for about 10 minutes.
TO SERVE Serve hot from the oven with scoops of ice cream or dollops of whipped cream.
MAKE-AHEAD TIPS I always-always set this up ahead of time, an assembly line of bowls left out on the counter for a couple of hours, then combine it all in the baking dish at the last minute, right before we sit down to dinner. That way, it's ready to serve after dinner, hot out of the oven. So so good! This is my assembly line: the dry ingredients; the wet ingredients (already mixed); the brown sugar topping; the water and butter in a liquid measuring cup ready for the microwave.
ALANNA's TIPS Check your molasses bottle, a whole cup is a whole lot of molasses! I've used mild molasses but I've also mixed 1/3 cup blackstrap with 2/3 cup mild molasses. Molasses lovers, you'll love this extra-molasses-y Gingerbread Pudding Cake. The color is so-so black! I'm just figuring this out, I think if you use cold water with the wet ingredients, the top turns out quite crackly, very cool. If you use hot water with the wet ingredients, the top turns out softer, more like typical fresh gingerbread. Five times I've made this, just figured this out. (I think!)
SCALING THE RECIPE UP AND DOWN Interested in other pan sizes? Here's some guidelines, all it takes is a little math, calculating the area of pans!
An 8x8 pan will work but since it has a smaller surface area, will take longer to bake.
For a 9x13 pan, increase the recipe by half. What's that math? Take the specified amount, multiply by 1.5.
To halve the recipe for fewer servings, use a loaf pan, one typically used for baking bread, that's 4x8. (It's okay to use a whole egg, it works fine.) Please know, this is an excellent trick for halving recipes that fit 8x8 pans. I learned it from the lovely Dessert for Two. She's brilliant!
MORE PUDDING CAKE? I must have a "thing" for pudding cake! This Lemon Pudding Cake was my favorite as a little girl, must make again asap! Last spring, I made a pudding cake with rhubarb, it's here, Rhubarb Pudding Cake.
Mild or Blackstrap Molasses?
As you'd expect, using blackstrap molasses results in an extra molasses-y Gingerbread Pudding Cake. Here I've used 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses with 2/3 cup mild molasses. Just look how black that gingerbread is!
Molasses Lovers! I've Got Your Back!
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