Because molasses, both light and dark, is very thick, it sticks to the inside of measuring cups. To solve the problem, coat the cup lightly with an oil that is neutral in flavor, such as canola, before you pour in the molasses. The oil helps the molasses slide free of the cup.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light molasses
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
Prepare the baking pan
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan or a cake pan with 2-inch sides. Sprinkle with flour and tap out the excess.
Mix the batter
In a bowl, stir together the 2 cups flour, the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and white pepper. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and molasses on medium speed until blended. Add the sour cream and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until blended. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake the cake
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. If using a springform pan, remove the pan sides and slide the cake onto a serving plate. If using a cake pan, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let cool slightly, cut into wedges and serve. Makes one 9-inch round cake.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).