Whoa, Nelly. This is a GREAT recipe. I love gingerbread, and I’ve been craving it this Christmas season. In Germany, we have lebkuchen. Though it is described as the German gingerbread, it is not AT ALL the same.
Eons ago, when I was first married, I made a recipe entitled, “Classic Gingerbread” that I found in a library cookbook. Yuck. It was spicy and not in a good way. No one liked it, so I never tried it again.
So, honestly, I find it rather strange that this particular recipe made its way to Germany with me. I decided to give it a go again, making some adjustments to the spices this time. I also found a ridiculous caramel glaze that literally is the icing on the cake.
Watch out – you might find yourself whipping up a batch of the glaze to eat all by itself while glued to It’s a Wonderful Life.
2 1/2 cups flour
3 t baking soda
1/2 t ground ginger
3/4 T cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t mace (optional – I didn’t have this on hand)
1/4 t salt
9 T butter – room temperature
3/4 c dark brown sugar
3/4 c molasses *
2 large eggs
1 c boiling water
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a bundt pan. Combine flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy (about 3 mins). Add molasses and slowly blend. Add eggs and beat for 30 seconds.
Add the flour mixture in 3 portions, alternating with the boiling water and mix for 30 seconds on medium speed. Beat gently just until the ingredients are evenly incorporated, only about 1 minute. Do not overmix.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and tape the pan on the counter to smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven until the top springs back and toothpick comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan 20 minutes; finish cooling on a rack. Cool to room temperature or chill before adding the glaze.
* It’s quite a headache trying to figure out what to substitute for molasses in Germany. I’ve heard there is something called melasse, though I get the impression it’s quite strong and not at all sweet. I settled for Golden Sirup aus Zuckerrübensirup, a form of sugar beet syrup that looks similar and tastes delicious.
Source: Some random dessert book from the library. I have made modifications to it, so it’s my adaption but not my original.
¼ cup butter
½ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
If you don’t want drooling piles of glaze at the base of your cake, place a piece of foil or paper under the cooling rack to catch any drips and make clean-up easier. (I glazed mine right on the base of my cake carrier since I knew I was taking it to a party.)
Cut the butter into cubes and place in a saucepan with the brown sugar, cream and salt. After everything melts together, bring to a full, rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it reaches that boil, count to 60 Mississippi, then pull it off the heat. Leave the pan to cool for about 5 minutes, then vigorously beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.
Immediately pour the glaze over the cake, but do so slowly and evenly to cover as much surface as possible. Leave the glaze to set, then slice and enjoy.
My apologies for not having any step-by-step pictures. I never thought this cake would be edible, let alone amazing. Enjoy!