Monday, December 21, 2009

English Gingerbread Cake

IMG_0339I baked the English Gingerbread Cake the same day as the Classic Carrot Cake, and the gingerbread got somewhat neglected in the photo area. It's a pretty simple cake to bake and the presentation is not elaborate either--quite appropriate for a gingerbread. The batter is mixed up, the cake bakes in a round or square pan, then a lemon-butter syrup is brushed on the top of the cake while it's still in the pan. The cake is then turned out, the syrup is brushed on the bottom crust, then the cake is turned back over and allowed to cool.

My gingerbread cake baking went smoothly until the 'turn out on rack' part and my good racks were already in use cooling the carrot cake layers. The flimsy wire rack that I used sagged while the cake was on it and I was brushing the lemon-butter syrup on the bottom, and the top of the cake touched the counter. When I turned the cake back right-side-up, cake stuck to both the rack and the counter top. Oh, well, not a big deal--I just served it upside down.

The taste test? This cake is not gingery enough for my tastes in gingerbread--it's heavy on the cinnamon, too, giving closer to a spice cake effect. I also tend to prefer my gingerbreads darker and moister. The lemon syrup was perhaps the best touch, and I think if I had wanted to serve the leftovers the the family again I'd have dug out my grandmother's lemon sauce recipe that she always used over gingerbread. In the same vein, my older niece said she thought the parts where the lemon-butter syrup had penetrated were really good--the rest she found unexciting. On the other hand, when the leftovers went into the office a co-worker stopped in to tell me she liked it so well she'd gone back for seconds.


  1. Hi Nancy,

    I think I agree with you about the cake not being ginger-y enough.

    I had never heard of serving lemon sauce with gingerbread so was interested to hear about your grandmother's lemon sauce...

    Cake looks good!

  2. You're right about it not gingery enough but it suits me all right since i don't like anything too gingery. Now that you mentioned it, i remembered eating the more gingery version of the cake.

  3. I can only imagine the shock when finding out the cake's stuck to the rack *and* the counter top. As for the cake not being ginger-y enough, that'll work just fine for me, as I don't like gingerbread that are heavy on ginger and molasses. I'm debating whether to use the lemon syrup or not. Some said they loved it, some said they'd leave it out next time... Will decide later :o)

  4. Looks delish! I'm headed into the kitchen right now.


  5. Nicola, I dug around and found my grandmother's lemon sauce recipe--I'll do a post on it shortly.

    Faithy and Hanaá, I think gingerbread lovers come in 2 schools, the 'dark and gingery' and, well, ones who prefer Rose's style. Vivé la difference!

    ButterYum, we're all waiting for your results! :)