Cholly's World-Famous Gingerbread Cake

James Carrier

This dark, moist gingerbread cake is a favorite of guests at the Vista Verde Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where it's cut into rounds and set on a pool of custard sauce. You can make the cake up to 2 days ahead; cool, cover, and store airtight at room temperature.

Yield: Makes 9 or 10 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 378
  • Calories from fat: 26%
  • Protein: 4.7g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 6.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 67g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Sodium: 526mg
  • Cholesterol: 68mg

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Crème anglaise
  • Unsweetened cocoa and/or powdered sugar (optional)
  • Fresh mint sprigs (optional), rinsed

Preparation

  1. 1. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in molasses and baking soda. After mixture stops foaming, stir in 1/2 cup cold water; let cool to room temperature, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
  2. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves.
  3. 3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs until blended. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add flour and molasses mixtures alternately until incorporated, then beat on high speed until well blended. Pour into a buttered and floured 9-inch square pan.
  4. 4. Bake in a 325° regular or convection oven until a toothpick inserted in center of thickest part comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack at least 1 1/4 hours.
  5. 5. Pour about 1/4 cup crème anglaise onto each plate. Cut cake into pieces (see notes) and set them in sauce on plates. If desired, lightly sift cocoa and/or powdered sugar over each plate and garnish with a mint sprig. Offer remaining crème anglaise to add to taste.
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