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Gingerbread with Whipped Cream

Ginger in three forms triples the impact of this wonderfully spicy cake, a fresh alternative to more traditional gingerbread. You can top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of crystallized ginger, or frost the whole cake with the cream just before serving and scatter the ginger evenly over the top.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup light molasses
  • 1/4 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup minced crystallized ginger

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a 12-by-17-inch half-sheet pan or two 7-by-11-by-1 1/2-inch baking pans with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and allspice. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until creamy. Beat in the egg. Add the molasses and fresh ginger and beat until well mixed, about 2 minutes. Beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Slip a knife or an icing spatula between the paper and the pan, then gently invert the cake onto the rack. (If making a large single sheet of gingerbread, place 2 or 3 racks together.) Peel off the paper, turn the cake right side up and let cool completely on the rack. Transfer the cooled cake to a cutting board. Set aside until ready to serve.

Pour the cream into a bowl. Using the electric mixer, beat the cream on medium-high speed. Sprinkle in the confectioners’ sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Cover the whipped cream and refrigerate until ready to serve the cake. Briefly beat the cream again with a whisk if there is any separation.

Cut the cake into triangles and arrange the triangles on a platter or a pedestal. Top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream. Scatter the crystallized ginger over the whipped cream and cakes and serve. Serves 12 to 14.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Entertaining with the Seasons (Free Press, 2010).