Moist Gingerbread Cake Validates Entire Holiday Season

I think we can all agree that the holidays are terrific, food-wise. Carry the feeling of eating too much deliciously-spiced food with you into the joyless polar vortex that is January with this moist gingerbread cake.

I’m always trying to remember which gingerbread cake recipe is the one I like, which is the good one that is warm and sticky where the spices blend together and the whole thing does not taste like a jar of molasses. The answer is: this one. This is that perfect gingerbread recipe.


Modified from Thibeault’s Table.

Moist Gingerbread Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) room temperature butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup hot-to-boiling water



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a round or square 8 inch pan.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients. I did this onto a large plate and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, preferably with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes. Add the cream and beat until it gently stiffens, about 1 minute. Stir in the molasses and honey.
  4. Beat the egg until thick, adding it to the wet mixture. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture by stirring in 1/3, mixing, then adding the next portion. Continue until all dry ingredients are mixed. Do not overbeat the batter.
  6. Stir in the boiling water until just smooth. Again, do not overbeat.
  7. Transfer to pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cake top will be moist but springy.
  8. Optional: Use biscuit cutters to make round serving sizes if desired. The edge pieces are terrific eaten by hand in the kitchen. No one will know.
  9. Serve hot with lemon sauce. To really moisten things up, transfer individual pieces of cake to a frying pan, add some lemon sauce (add some more lemon sauce…), and heat until the sauce bubbles.


Lemon Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Grated lemon rind from 1 washed lemon. Do this before you juice it.
  • Juice of 1 lemon. Don’t cheap out on this. Just juice a real lemon.


  1. Whisk the flour and water together in a small saucepan over medium heat until the flour is dissolved and the mixture bubbles slightly.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and bubbling. It should be viscous but not gelatinous in consistency. Adjust your liquid and continue heating if necessary.
  3. Serve hot over ginger cake (or chocolate cake or pancakes or fried chicken or whatever).

As an aside, I just want to point out how important good honey is. I use Champlain Valley honey, the good crystallized kind that looks creamy yellow instead of golden and clear. I highly recommend that you support your regional honey makers rather than buying the weird, filtered stuff in the grocery store. If you don’t have any local producers, Champlain Valley ships!



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