Nani’s Ginger Cake

To round off the week, I’m sharing one of my grandma’s many cake recipes. This was probably one of my favorite cakes growing up and oft requested as my birthday cake. I have neglected to make it until recently, when I was browsing recipes and realized that I hadn’t tasted this moist and flavorful cake in years. So, I whipped it up and brought it to an ensemble rehearsal and the guys loved it! This sheet cake is perfect to take to potlucks or parties. You may notice that in the notes I have specified to use a specific brand of molasses. Stay tuned next week when I will review more trusted brands that I never deviate from.

Nani’s Ginger Cake

Nani’s Ginger Cake

There are two important things to remember about this recipe. First, allow the cake to cool completely before icing it, otherwise the icing will melt, run, and it won’t be pretty. An offset spatula works best for an impressively smooth icing job. Second, make sure to use Grandma’s Original Molasses.

Ginger Cake

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup dark molasses (Grandma’s Original)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water, lukewarm
  • 3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, ground ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon, and mix. Then add the baking soda, salt and dark molasses. Mix well. Next add the lukewarm water, mix well, and add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well between each cup. Scrape down sides of bowl and ensure batter is thoroughly mixed. Pour into the greased pan and place on the lower oven rack. Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted in the middle comes out clean. I usually begin keeping an eye on the cake at 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Traditional Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk plus more as needed

Combine butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and milk. If consistency seems too thick for spreading, add a little more milk until the desired consistency is achieved. Spread over cooled cake. Slice, serve and enjoy!


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