When the sun starts to set early and rise late, and the weather turns cold, I start thinking about making Guinness Triple-Ginger Cake. There’s something about a moist, spicy ginger cake paired with a tangy cream-cheese frosting and sliced candied ginger that just hits the spot in the depth of winter. This particular cake is dense with heaps of finely grated ginger, as well as powdered ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. It gets its almost chocolatey depth from both molasses and a pint o’Guinness…well, maybe just a half-pint. But you can sip the other half while you measure, mix, and pop your ginger cake in the oven.
While the cake bakes, take your time with the candied ginger. It can be sliced thin to create intricate designs and patterns. After dolloping a generous layer of not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting on top of the cooled cake, spike it with the slices of candied ginger, and turn a simple winter dessert into a celebration.
Prep time: 45 minutes, Baking time: 1 hour
For the Cake:
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup Guinness stout beer
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 packed heaping tablespoons finely grated, peeled fresh ginger
For the Frosting:
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- 12 oz. cream cheese, cold
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted after measuring
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- small pieces of thinly sliced crystalized ginger
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 9-inch springform pan, lining the bottom and sides with parchment. Lightly butter parchment.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the molasses and Guinness. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and stir in the baking soda. It will foam and bubble up. Allow to cool while you continue.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar, then whisk in the oil.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom and whisk.
- Combine the Guinness mixture, the egg mixture and fresh ginger, then whisk into the flour mixture in two additions.
- Pour batter into your prepared springform pan and bake until the top springs back when gently touched, about 1 hour. Note: do not be tempted to open the oven door until the cake is almost finished baking—it could cause the cake to fall in the middle.
- Let cool on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting, place all ingredients in a Cuisinart and blend until smooth, scraping the sides down once or twice. Do not over-blend.
- Once cake is completely cooled, spread over top of cake in a single layer.
- Now’s your chance to get creative! Decorate with pieces of crystalized ginger and you are ready to celebrate!