There was a recipe in the paper a few years back that really caught my eye – a gingerbread cake made with Guiness! Described more like a fudgey brownie than a cake, it sounded like a winner to me. (It had me at Guinness)
I whipped up a batch a week or so before Christmas (as loaves and muffins rather than a regular layer cake). I liked it so much that I immediately worked on another batch while the first was still cooling. – As an interesting aside, the power went out while I was just getting everything started, so I packed up, drove over to the inlaws and “borrowed” their oven.
I’ve made this every year since without any problems, although, I sort of OD’d on Ginger cakes and cookies last year. I made a triple or quadruple batch of the cake, as well as chocolate chunk ginger cookies, so I’ll probably only make a single (or double) batch this year.
But I plan to take this new holiday staple of mine to a new level of homemade this year. I’m going to forgo the regular inclusion of Guinness for my own homemade stout! How’s that for “from scratch?”
If you’re not that ambitious, pop open a can, pour off 3/4 of a cup (and let it go flat) and enjoy the rest while the oven preheats. (350 degrees)
- 2.5 cups AP flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter (room temp)
- 1.25 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup molasses
- 3/4 cup stout (beer) flat, room temp – best if left out several hours to flatten
- Butter and flour two 9″ cake pans, (muffin tins, bread pans or what have you)
- Combine dry ingredients (first six) in med bowl set aside.
- beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in molasses.
- Beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with 1/3 of the stout (mixture may look curdled, but that’s ok). Beat until just smooth.
- Pour into pans, and bake 40 min (or until passes the toothpick test). let cool before frosting.
This cake is fantastic with whipped cream, or you can take the ginger level up a couple steps and frost the cake, or plop on a dollop of:
- 3 cups chilled whipping cream
- 6 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp minced crystalized ginger
- orange slices
- crystalized ginger
- cranberries (fresh or chopped craisins)
- Beat cream and sugar with electic mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Fold in minced crystallized ginger.
- garnish with any/all other options.
I love starting my own new food traditions. I’m anxious to see how my own beer will hold up. Perhaps I’ll find myself taking homemade to a new level with other recipes as well. I’ve already made a knock-off of Bailey’s Irish Cream several years ago – mom uses it (the Bailey’s, not mine) in a few of her desserts… could certainly continue with those!