Gingerbread Cake With Lemon Sauce

I enjoy gingerbread cake, but I’ve never been a fan of molasses.  When I make gingerbread cookies, or gingerbread houses, I always substitute molasses with dark corn syrup.  Using dark brown sugar in this recipe along with the warm delicious spices, gives this cake the iconic gingerbread taste.  It’s so moist and yummy!

Ingredients for cake:

  • ½ cup (113 grams) salted butter
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
  • 1 cup (230 grams) dark brown sugar**
  • 1 ½ cups (186 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature

Instructions for cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray.
  • Crack the egg and place it in a small bowl.  Whisk slightly and set aside until ready to use.
  • In a small saucepan, add the milk, butter and brown sugar.  Stir until combined. Place over medium high heat and cook until the butter is melted and bubbles form around the edges of the pan.  Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt until combined.

  • Slowly pour about a cup of the milk mixture into the beaten egg, whisking the whole time so your eggs don’t scramble.  Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the milk mixture and whisk until everything is smooth and well combined.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Stir gently until a smooth batter forms, being careful not to overmix.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

  • Dust cooled cake with powdered sugar.  Serve with whipped cream and lemon sauce*, if desired.

*Recipe below⇓

 Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • Make sure to use baking soda and baking powder that is fresh and hasn’t expired!
  • Be careful not to overmix the batter. Stir just until combined. Overmixing the batter can cause the cake to be tough and dry.
  • Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.
  • To extend the life of your cake, you can freeze it (before adding any powdered sugar, whipped cream or lemon sauce) for up to 3 months. Be sure to properly seal in plastic wrap and foil.
  • Make sure that you allow the butter mixture to cool slightly before adding the egg (or you’ll end up with a scrambled egg!).
  • I recommend using dark, instead of light, brown sugar in this recipe. While the two are normally interchangeable in most recipes, the dark brown sugar gives this gingerbread cake the classic color and rich taste that you expect.  **It’s especially important since you’re not using molasses.

Ingredients for lemon sauce:

  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) lemon juice

Instructions for lemon sauce:

Stir the first five ingredients in a small saucepan until smooth. Stir over medium high heat until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 more minutes.  Remove pan from heat.

Stir a small amount of hot filling into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so your yolks don’t scramble. Return to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring sauce to a gentle boil and stir for 2 more minutes. The sauce will coat the wooden spoon and leave a mark when you run your finger down the back of the spoon.

Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, vanilla, lemon juice and zest (increasing juice if needed to thin sauce).

Serve with gingerbread cake. Refrigerate leftover sauce and heat before serving.

I like to put the lemon sauce on the plate and top it with cake, dust it with confectioners’ sugar AND whipped cream.  Who says we can’t have it all (wink, wink)?!!

I hope you make this tasty treat soon!  If you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi. I would love to hear from you and see your photos!!

This recipe is inspired by Blair Lonergan @theseasonedmom

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