Easy Gingerbread Cake


Easy Gingerbread Cake

Sweet Lesson 3

By Caro

Gingerbread cake takes me back to my childhood, and a truly simple cake to prepare, I had to include in the Sweet lessons. Recipe in grams, ounces & cup measurements, with handy saving and sharing options (including where to buy the Golden Syrup & Black Treacle). 

Growing up, I remember eating Jamaican Ginger bread.  I had some shop bought recently but it wasn’t the brand I remember as a child, so it just didn’t taste as good or have that nice soft almost ‘crust’ like edge to it.  Then a friend’s mum was making some for a charity fundraiser and I luckily got to taste some (her and her family are regular taste testers of my bakes). It was so good, I wanted to try it for myself and add it to the website.  (She couldn’t remember where the recipe had originated from, but she had tweaked it over the years).  Although it is named gingerbread cake, it doesn’t have a very strong ginger taste.  It’s hard to describe it and it’s because of the also unique taste of the Black treacle that is used in the batter.   


Now I see debates about what Black treacle is like on Facebook groups, people saying it is the same as molasses & dark corn starch.  It is definitely not the same as corn starch.  It’s closest is probably black strap molasses.  However, there is no guarantee they will taste the same or have the same over all affect on the baked cake.  If I ever get some of that molasses sent over from the states, I will taste and do a test.  In the meantime, some internet sites selling British products have this in stock and those that do often have the golden syrup.  Yes, another British product.  (Here is a list I compiled from readers in the states & Canada, of where to buy these:

WHERE TO BUY GOLDEN SYRUP & BLACK TREACLE

These are both widely available in the UK and even shops like Aldi sell their own version of the syrup. But for bakers in the US & Canada, here is a list of where you can source these:

World Market, some Walmarts in Canada, Sobys, ‘Stop & Shop’, Wegmans, Frys (Smiths), Woodmans, Nugget Store, The Scottish Bakery, The British Store, Talin Market, Albertsons & in Dorgnacs.  It is also available online at Amazon (free delivery for Prime accounts), 647-Florist.com, British Food Depot.com, UK Gourmet.us, World Market.com, Cost Plus World Market & Marina Market. (Information current at October 2019).   Now I am also told, that you can get both the Golden Syrup & Black Treacle from:  Nugget Store & online from: Marina Market, UK Gourmet, British Food Depot & Amazon.  So if possible, try to get both.  The Golden Syrup can even be used as is on top of desserts and cakes so won’t go to waste.


WHY THESE INGREDIENTS ARE BEST

Apart from being the original ingredients intended for the recipe when it was designed, a friend from the Facebook GBBO Fans conducted a little experiment and halved the recipe. She baked half with the Golden Syrup & Black Treacle, and the other cake with US Grandma’s Molasses & Karo Dark Corn Syrup. Not only was the taste different, but the colour and more surpisingly the texture was different too. Here are Jennifer’s results in her own words:

A COMPARISON OF US VS UK INGREDIENTS FOR CARO EASYBAKINGLESSONS GINGERBREAD CAKE 

I used Karo Dark Corn Syrup in place of Golden Syrup and Molasses in place of Black Treacle in the US version.

Golden Syrup taste is just incomparable to anything I’ve ever had in the US products. It’s very similar to butterscotch, but not as heavy. Corn Syrup just does not compare at all.

Black treacle tastes very like the Sorghum/Blackstrap Molasses that my Grandfather used to love. I couldn’t get any of that, but I believe it would be a good substitute.

On oven exit, the UK cake seemed fluffier than the US one. US is much lighter in colour, and lacks the strong flavor of the UK ingredients. It’s still very good, but I would recommend purchasing UK ingredients if at all possible. The taste is just that much better.

As always with Caro’s recipes, I highly recommend. “

Jennifer Jones, Facebook October 2020.

Other than that, this recipe is really simple with nothing technical to it.  It makes one loaf size cake, but you could make in other cake tins too.  I used a 22 x 11cm x 6.5cm deep 2lb bread tin (8.5 x 4.3 inches x 2.3 inches deep).  The recipe was originally written using Self-raising flour, but I have subsequently tested it using Plain (All Purpose) flour and have listed below how much baking powder you will need if using this flour.  


MINI GINGERBREAD BUNDT CAKES



DOWNLOAD the recipe lesson – save onto your phone or computer for using or printing off later.  


INGREDIENTS

  • 113g  Butter, unsalted
  • (4 oz, 1 stick or 1/2 cup)
  • 150g  Golden Syrup
  • ( 5.25 oz or 1/3 cup)
  • 75g  Black Treacle (see note above)
  • (2.5 oz, 1/4 cup or 3 3/4 tbsp)
  • 113g  Light Brown Sugar
  • (4 oz or 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp tsp Ground Ginger
  • 3/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 188ml  Milk
  • (1 fl oz or  3/4 cup)
  • 2 Medium – Large  Eggs
  • 3/8 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
  • 225g  Self-raising Flour (8 oz) (see note above)
  • OR  1  3/4 cup Plain/All Purpose plus  2 3/4 tsp Baking Powder (be sure to also add the 3/8 tsp above too, so that would make a total of 3 1/8 tsp)

For Icing/Glaze (optional)

  • 125g  Icing/Powdered or Confectioners’ Sugar, sieved (4.5 oz or 1 cup)
  • Few tsp Water or milk.

EQUIPMENT

  • Scales or measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small measuring jug
  • Small cooking pot
  • Medium – Large mixing bowl
  • Hand Whisk
  • Baking/parchment paper or loaf tin liners
  • Spray oil or butter for greasing
  • Loaf tin (I used a 21.5 x 10cm / 8.5 x 4 in, see note above)
  • Sieve
  • Medium bowl x 2
  • Metal spoon
  • Timer or phone timer
  • Cooling rack

OVEN: 180c/160c Fan Oven/350f/Gas Mark 4


INSTRUCTIONS

Photo 1

1. Place the butter, golden syrup, black treacle, sugar, cinnamon & ginger in a small saucepan and warm on medium heat until everything is dissolved and melted.

** Tip for using the syrup & treacle – spray oil on the measuring spoon and it will slip off easier.  Mix everything thoroughly and remove from the heat.  See Photo 1.  Allow to cool while you prepare all the other ingredients.  We don’t want it too hot when added to the eggs.  


Photo 2

2. Grease and line your cake tin with some baking/parchment paper.  You can buy paper liners for loaf tins, but I just cut out my own.  Place the paper under the tin and cut out a cross shape, (like in Photo 2), ensuring the paper is long enough to go up the sides and for a little excess to hang over.  I cut in angled lines, so there is little or no over-lap once positioned inside the tin.  Then simply grease or oil the tin well and place in position.  See Photo 2.


Photo 3

3. Heat the oven to 180c/160c Fan Oven/350f/Gas Mark 4.

4.  Place the egg in a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk lightly.  This ‘wakes up’ the protein in the egg and helps provide the structure of the cake. Add in the milk and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and whisk till all combined.  See Photo 3.  


Photo 4

5.  Add the cooled mixture to this milky egg mixture and stir continually until all incorporated.  See Photo 4.


Photo 5

6. Finally sieve over the flour into the mixture and beat until combined and the batter is smooth. (A few small bumps is fine).   Note that this batter will be thin and runny in comparison to some other cake batters.   See Photo 5.


Photo 6

7. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin  and then give a tap of the tin on the top of the counter/worktop to expel any trapped air.  See Photo 6.


Photo 7

8. Bake in the centre of the oven,  for about 25 minutes, until set and when you insert a wooden cocktail stick into the centre of the cake, it comes out clean of crumbs.  Note if colouring too soon, cover in foil till cooked through.  It will be very soft on top.  See Photo 7.

9. Leave to cool in the cake tin for about 10 minutes before transferring, paper and all, to a cooling rack.  


Photo 8

10. While the cake is cooling, make up your icing/glaze if you want some (believe me it’s nice without it too).  Sieve the icing/powdered sugar into a medium sized bowl (otherwise you will get the sugar everywhere). See Photo 8A.

11. Add 1 tsp of water (or you can use milk), and mix with a spoon.  Once the water is in, use the back of a large spoon to push down on the sugar that will keep absorbing the liquid.  Keep doing so –  you will be amazed at how much liquid this sugar can absorb if you keep at it. Then gradually add in a 1/2 tsp of water at a time and the sugar will become paste like. (See Photo 8 below, bottom left pic).  Keep rubbing in, & adding 1/8 tsp drops until you get a thick but pourable icing/glaze. Thick is best as it will form a nice layer and not ‘melt’ into the cake.  To test if it’s right, hold your spoon up high above the bowl with some icing/glaze on it and point it downwards to let it drip off. (See Photo 8 below, bottom right pic).  You want it to run down gently. If it stays where it is, add more water a little at a time. If you have added too much water at once, sieve in more sugar and repeat until you get it right.  Very gradually is the key here.



Photo 9

12. Once the cake is cooled down, take a small spoon’s worth of the icing/glaze and hold high above the cake.  I like to start at the end/edge of the cake and draw it across the cake as the sugar drips down. Holding up high gives you a thinner drizzle.  Just move your hand left and right while drizzling above the cake and do any pattern or random drizzle that you like. See Photo 9. Alternatively, keep the glaze thick and spread it on, starting from the middle with a thick amount and then spreading out to the edges.  It should set up in minutes if the room isn’t too warm.   Having the paper still under the cake comes in handy for the drips of the glaze!


Photo 10

13.  Add some chopped crystalized ginger if you like & let the glaze set (dry to touch).  See Photo 10.    Now go ahead and slice the cake with a large serrated knife, very gently (hold the cake if you can at the sides, as the crumb is very soft and delicate).  Enjoy!

14.  Store in an airtight container or cake stand & dome, for at least a few days.  Can easily be frozen too. Just include some kitchen paper/paper towel in with it, so that this absorbs any moisture when defrosting. Thaw at room temperature.


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Please see the sharing options or even printing, at the right/bottom of your screen (bottom of your screen for mobile devices, and down the right-hand side on computers). You can even pin this to your own Pinterest page. Alternatively, you can download this article, see below. You could also leave some feedback if you like.

DOWNLOAD the recipe lesson – save onto your phone or computer for using or printing off later.


DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Super Easy, Beginner.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Thanks for reading. Next Step – proceed to Theory Lesson 6 – Importance Of Sieving In Baking.


MINI GINGERBREAD BUNDT CAKES

I also have a slightly altered version for mini Gingerbread bundt cakes, that are ideal for the holidays and gifting. Recipe coming soon.


Happy Baking & Making

Happy Tummies & Memories!

Caro  xx


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