Deep, Dark, Spicy Gingerbread with Coffee Glaze

I'm not sure what exactly to accredit my new found desire to bake to. Maybe it's the fact there's something so meditative about sifting flour, mixing and pouring batter into a pan. Or maybe it's more than that. Maybe it's the fact that I love the smell of something sweet, warm with spices and baking away, and how it makes my apartment feel that much more homey; especially when it's starting to get a little chillier out. Whatever the reason for my new found hobby, I've decided to embrace it, while I think of what I'm going to bake next week...

After apple picking last week, I was craving something sweet that would be very seasonal, with lots of traditional fall flavors and heavy on the spice. I ended up selecting a gingerbread cake recipe from the cookbook Flour because it had everything that I was looking for, plus utilized what I already had on hand.

This was my first attempt at a recipe by local celebrity chef Joanne Chang and I was very happy with the outcome. The cake was moist with a deeply spiced taste and, while the cake looks a little unsuspecting, it packed a generously sweet bite from all of the ginger. It was a rich brown shade, courtesy of molasses and the coffee glaze that topped everything off created a thin shiny sheen that firmed up when the cake was cooled. I took some creative liberties and added a light snowy layer of powdered sugar to the top of the cake. It was enjoyed best with when slightly warm from the oven and with a hot cup of coffee by its side.  This cake is a new favorite of mine and I wouldn't be surprised if it made another appearance or two this year, particularly around the holidays..

Deep, Dark, Spicy Gingerbread with Coffee Glaze
Recipe from Joanne Chang's Flour Cookbook
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 large eggs
3½ cups (490 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ½ cups (480 grams) unsulphured light or dark molasses
1 cup (240 grams) boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
Coffee Glaze
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons double-strength brewed coffee
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), cream together the butter and brown sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (This step will take 5-6 minutes using a handheld mixer.)
  3. Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the grated ginger and eggs until blended. On low speed, slowly add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again and beat on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the mixture is homogeneous.
  5. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves.
  6. In another medium bowl, whisk together the molasses, boiling water, and baking soda. It will foam up! On the lowest speed, add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture, and mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the molasses mixture and mix until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Again on the lowest speed, add about half of the remaining flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the molasses mixture and mix until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture, mix on low speed for about 1 minute or until the batter is homogeneous. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 50 to 60 minutesor until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  8. To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and enough of the coffee to make a smooth, thick, spreadable glaze.
  9. While the cake is still warm, spread the glaze evenly over the top. Let the glaze set for at least 1 hour before serving.
  10. The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Michelle Collins said...

This looks divine! I love gingerbread anything during the colder months.

Elizabeth said...

This looks amazing! I absolutely love Flour.

Mom said...

Oooohh!! You said it might surface again around the holidays!! Yum!! Does Columbus Day count as a holiday?!?!??!?!

Ranjani said...

Looks beautiful! I have that cookbook too but I haven't tried this cake yet.

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