December 07, 2012

Gingerbread Cakes

Gingerbread and a cup of tea. 

This is what comes to mind when I think of my father's mother.  Sitting in her kitchen, eating a slice of gingerbread and having a cup of tea while she leaned against the sink with the sunlight shining in through the window on her smiling face.

The memories I have of her are few and far between.  She lived in Newfoundland and I lived in Ohio.  Spending time with her and getting to know her wasn't very easy given the 1600 mile separation.  I was about 16 years old when I asked her for this recipe, somehow even back then I related through food.

If you know nothing at all of Newfoundland,  this is one thing I experienced over and over:  
Visiting is practically an Olympic sport and they excel at it.  You are offered a cup of tea as soon as you cross the threshold and of course something to eat with the tea... whether it be toast, cookies, cake, etc.

At first I thought this was just something that my relatives did.  Then I quickly realized after nearly bursting out of my jeans, it was what everyone did.

The recipe below is slightly tweaked (although not much) from Nanny's original recipe. I had thought about adding a ganache or a creme anglaise to it, but decided to leave well enough alone.  

As you go "visiting" this holiday season, take a few of these with you to share as you make the rounds... 
Put the kettle on, stay for a cup of tea and make some memories.

Gingerbread Cakes

2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup strong tea
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a mini bundt pan (or muffin pan) and set aside.
In a small bowl, add baking soda to tea, stir and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt; set aside.

Using paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add egg and beat until incorporated.  Add molasses and tea mixture.

At this point, the batter will appear broken.  Don't panic, it will come together once flour mixture is added.

Scrape down bowl, add flour mixture and beat until combined.

Divide batter evenly, filling about 2/3 up.  Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until knife comes out clean, about 15 - 18 minutes.  Let cakes cool slightly in pan.  Remove cakes and place upside down to cool completely on wire rack.

Dust with powdered sugar.



  1. Lovely! You should share this story over at Della Rose Living on facebook. She's been doing a series on Food from the Heart, and this definitely fits the bill!

    You are a very good writer, sis. :)

    1. Thank you so much Sis... I actually didn't think I did this post justice.
      I appreciate your kind words. You are a great Sis :)

  2. What a beautiful story. I wish more than anything that I had a few of my grandmother's recipes or spent some time with them cooking in the kitchen.