gingerbread {cake}

gingerbread {cake} | movita beaucoup

This is the gingerbread my mother has been making forever. We eat it every Christmas. Actually, we eat it throughout the fall and winter, because eating it just once a year would be silly. This Christmas, the entire Beaucoup Family will be reunited at Beaucoup Headquarters. It has been years since we’ve all been together to celebrate the season, and you can bet this cake will be just one of many holiday traditions to be revived later this month.

Other Beaucoup Family Christmas traditions include:

  • the annual argument my sister, Haddy, and I have over who owns the red stocking and who owns the green
  • the annual argument my sister and I have over who owns the purple mouse ornament and who owns the yellow
  • the failure of guests to notice that there is something different at Beaucoup Headquarters, such as a new paint colour in the bathroom, a new ornament at the top of the Christmas tree, or the addition of orange rind to the carrot pineapple muffins
  • the failure of Beaucoup Children to arrive early enough/stay long enough at planned events

gingerbread {cake} | movita beaucoup

  • the Poop Progress Report – guests with “travel belly” are encouraged to track the progress of their digestive issues on a chart posted upon the refrigerator
  • the hourly rearrangement of Rosie Beaucoup’s NOEL letter blocks to spell LEON
  • the consumption of Burger King Whoppers just prior to mealtimes
  • Rosie Beaucoup’s disappointment when she learns that her adult children have consumed Whoppers just prior to mealtime, and are not “hungry enough” for her prepared banquet
  • the smuggling of food stuff into the basement – consisting entirely of snacks Bill Beaucoup is not supposed to eat, and facilitated entirely by the Beaucoup Children

gingerbread {cake} | movita beaucoup

  • the forced enjoyment of breakfast prior to any gift opening on Christmas morning
  • the forced enjoyment of some random fruit/raisin/current laden bread which everyone in Poland/Germany/Sweden will also be eating for breakfast on Christmas morning
  • the huge ass mistake of choosing to eat toast and peanut butter for breakfast rather than one of the 814 muffins Rosie Beaucoup has lovingly prepared in the weeks prior to Christmas
  • arguing over who’s turn it is to retrieve some of the 814 muffins from the freezer in the basement, and then opting for the toast that’s already on the kitchen counter

gingerbread {cake} | movita beaucoup

  • the absence of dish towels in the Beaucoup Headquarters kitchen, and subsequent drying of hands on someone else’s pants/sweater
  • the Beaucoup Children’s insufficient interest in PVR’d British mysteries
  • What’s In your Mouth? - a game that my brother, Adopamop, and I invented (this game involves chewing something vigorously in your mouth and then showing it to Haddy)
  • the cries of protest Haddy emits when getting in trouble for laughing at What’s In Your Mouth? 

and finally:

  • someone barfing

Just thinking about this Christmas has me bouncin’ around like an elk on a trampoline.

Back to the gingerbread. This is a cake. Do not try to build a gingerbread house out of it. It is dark and spiced, with a molasses undertone. The spices do not overpower. It will leave your house smelling of ginger and Christmas. We’ve always baked it in a bundt pan, and I’d recommend you do the same. Watch your bake times – I’ve listed guidelines only, as the material/thickness/finish of your bundt pan may affect your bake rate. This old-fashioned cake is best served sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, then sliced and topped with lashings of whipped cream.

Served with a side of of friends and family? Even better.

. . .

Gingerbread {Cake}

recipe: a Beaucoup Family recipe, with adjustments to the notes

print and bake

Yields one bundt pan.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water

Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Read through the entire recipe. Measure out all of your ingredients. 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and floofy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula at least once during the creaming process. Beat in the egg until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl. Stir in the molasses – low speed.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in the boiling water. Set aside.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the water/baking soda, and mixing just until blended. Do not over mix. (Additions will be as follows: 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 water mixture, 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 water mixture, 1/3 flour mixture.)

Spoon evenly into bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. This is only a guideline, as the material/thickness/finish of your bundt pan may affect your bake times.

Cake is done when a cake tester/toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes in pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serving suggestion: sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and then top slices with whipped cream.

75 Responses to gingerbread {cake}

  1. Cindy December 3, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    YAY!!! A gingerbread cake recipe! My Dad loves gingerbread cake and every year for Christmas morning, I try another recipe trying to find the perfect one…….this year it will be your recipe! I’m looking forward to this recipe being “the one” so I can stop searching for any more recipes. :-)

    • movita beaucoup December 3, 2013 at 11:08 am #

      Well, I’m thrilled to think our family recipe will be a part of your family holiday!

  2. Kathy Jollimore December 3, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Dark and romantic. Love it.

    • movita beaucoup December 3, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      It’s almost as awesome as that photo of you stuffing a sandwich in your face…

  3. jennybwilde December 3, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    What a wonderful post! You’ve captured the immediate regression of “the sibs” and…f.y.i. – the game is called “Look!”. Another family favorite when everyone is seated at the table, is to make somebody jump up from their chair with either “there is a spider on your shoulder” or “what is that thing crawling in your hair?”. Once the targeted sib is standing, desperately trying to rid herself of whichever plague has befallen her, say (very sweetly): “While you are up, would you mind getting me a glass of water?”
    Ahhh…memories and a gingerbread cake, too!

    • movita beaucoup December 3, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      BETTER YET: while you are up, would you mind getting the muffins out of the freezer?

  4. Willow @ Will Cook For Friends December 3, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Your family Christmas sounds epic. And so does this cake. I love me some (real) gingerbread cake… none of those cookies-held-together-with-royal-icing crap (great to look at, don’t get me wrong, just not what I want to eat). I feel like I can smell the spices emanating from my computer screen. Nom!

    • movita beaucoup December 3, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      Yes, let’s tell Rosie Beaucoup that all the stuff the Beaucoup Children do to torment her over the holidays simply creates EPIC atmosphere…

  5. Juls December 3, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    I’m spending my first christmas with my family in TEN YEARS this year! The last time I was present at Christmas, my brother was still the fatty-fat kid who ate everyone else’s chocolate and about six bagels for breakfast (he’s now an Army Officer. He might not be fatty-fat-fat anymore, but the bagel intake may have increased…) and my sister was fourteen and at the height of puberty (slamming doors, really bad skin, thinking she’s too grown up for all the cool shizzle). I spent the next few Christmases in hospital, had one where I ran away two weeks before christmas and didn’t come back until the 28th (wow, everyone loved that stunt!), one where my parents said ‘screw you, you ungrateful children’ and went to their family in South Africa and then the last bunch after I met Vinnie, since his family live abroad I’ve stayed with him and the cats each Christmas. Now he’s coming along to the family Christmas and I just know that there will be charades and that it will get highly inappropriate, my mother will get seriously drunk, my father will claim that roast potatoes were his invention and start a fight, my sister will get highly offended at some innocent gift (not because she’s still in puberty, but because she’s an uber-feminist with a Masters in gender politics working for an international gender equality charity) and there won’t be leftovers of the goose because my brother will eat EVERYTHING. There will also be at least ten wreaths. My mother gets seriously competitive with her neighbours over wreaths.

    • movita beaucoup December 3, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      Wait… your dad didn’t invent roast potatoes?

      • Juls December 3, 2013 at 11:36 am #

        It’s this belief that has given him the strength to be successful! Bob the king of the potato!

  6. Stacy December 3, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    We bake gingerbread starting in November and December too. It just smells like Christmas! I’ve never thought to put it in a Bundt pan though. How do you cut it into squares? Gingerbread must be in squares, like brownies. Honestly. The rest of your traditions sound like a lot of fun though. Especially What’s in Your Mouth” Well, maybe not the barfing. How great that you will all be together this year! That’s the best.

    • movita beaucoup December 5, 2013 at 6:58 am #

      Um… we don’t cut it into squares. My slicing style could be described as: hunks of happiness. I hope this won’t change things between us…

  7. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) December 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    This makes me extra want a stand mixer and a bundt pan, especially a bundt pan as beautiful as yours.

    I loved this insight into your family life around the holidays, too. :) I know what it’s like to have a big family that is rarely all gathered together in one house, let alone in one city, let alone in one country… the last time my family did this was for our annual winter solstice party that we had to postpone/transform into a summer solstice party last year, but it had been years since we’d all been in one place before that! Enjoy your family time!! (And good luck with that stocking color argument…)

    • movita beaucoup December 5, 2013 at 7:16 am #

      Allison, you could make this with a handheld mixer or, if you’ve got a strong arm, by hand. Now all you need is a bundt pan.

      Also, the green stocking is mine.

  8. spree December 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Oh Movita, this is Gorgeous! Wonderful recipe, beautiful bundt shape, pretty cake stand, photographed so alluringly! I’m pinning this, and I’m baking this…as many times as I can between December and March! Lovely, lovely lovely! Merci Beaucoup! x

  9. Emma December 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    You get to enjoy the delights of Hoboken AND see all your family for Christmas!? You gotta slow down, or else you’ll get some serious travel belly.

  10. Lan | morestomach December 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    your xmas sound so fun!
    a POOP PROGRESS REPORT?? best idea ever.

    • movita beaucoup December 5, 2013 at 7:18 am #

      Poop Progress Reports are very festive. And, it’s nice to support your family.

  11. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl December 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Honestly, I’m in love with this cake! Gingerbread is one of my favorites!

  12. natalie @ wee eats December 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    I once had an assortment of bundt pans… I have no clue where they have gone. I’m guessing that the fiance sneakily got rid of them when I wasn’t looking (which may be grounds to demote him from fiance to boyfriend, or possibly just ‘that one guy i used to know’). I’m totally hunting for them this weekend, because this cake deserves more than just a regular ol’ bundt. One question, though, how do I get the snow? Does that just happen when I make the cake? Or magically inserts itself into pictures during the photo session?

    I like the “what’s in your mouth” game. That sounds like fun. I’m unsure about poop tracking and vomit though, I could probably do without those. Do you get stars? Does anyone WIN the poop game? Or it’s just keeping track? Because I feel like a lot of competition is lacking from it… you could totally turn it into a winner/loser type of scenario.

    • movita beaucoup December 5, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      WordPress just gives you the snow in December. I believe it is some sort of gift. Then they take it back in January. So… it’s not the best gift.

      Natalie, when you poop, you win.

      Just ask my sister.

  13. Janice Lawandi December 3, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Who eats bagels and Whoppers when there are Christmas cookies to be eaten? I am very confused ;)
    Your Christmas’ sound highly entertaining!
    This gingerbread bundt looks amazing, especially the color. I can almost taste how good it is! Quick question: did you ever try sifting (or whisking, as I lazily do) the baking soda into the flour and not pre-mixing with the boiling water? I’m wondering how the bundt would differ (or not) if you skipped that step. OK, I’m rambling now.

    • movita beaucoup December 4, 2013 at 6:50 am #

      Janice: the Beaucoup Children LOVE Whoppers. Especially my brother – and he can’t get them in France. So when he’s here in Canada, he binge eats them. He HAS to!

      Dissolving baking soda in water seems quite common in old recipes, and we used to do the same with a couple of recipes at the bakery I worked at last year. Honestly, I’m not 100% sure why it’s done – I believe it has to do with even distribution of the soda throughout the batter. Also, this recipe calls for quite a bit of soda, so dissolving it would cut it’s potency at bit (once it reacts with the water), and might prevent the cake from rising too much. We’ve never made it any other way, so my personal recommendation would be to stick to the dissolving method as it is tried and true, and I’m always reluctant to recommend something I haven’t tested myself!

  14. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef December 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    Some people might laugh at all your antics but for someone who has zero family and both her parents have gone off to heaven, I think it sounds absolutely fantastic. I do have acquired family but it’s not the same as playing what’s in your mouth or hold the egg to the ceiling.

    So in that light, I’m going to make your gingerbread and pretend I’m with you. :)

    • movita beaucoup December 4, 2013 at 9:42 am #

      We’d be happy to have you. Mostly because we like making fun of new people…

      It builds character.

  15. Renee December 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    First off, I want you to adopt me as a sister from another mother, just so I can experience a Beaucoup Christmas. Second, your cake looks right awesome. And I love that phrase “lashings of whipped cream”. Indeed!

    • movita beaucoup December 4, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      My mother coined that phrase. I can’t say “top with whipped cream” anymore. Nope. Things are served with “lashings of whipped cream.” Always. She also likes to use the word “cloying” a lot. As in: this [insert treat name here] is very cloying. Or: you know what’s nice? The [insert ingredient name here] doesn’t make this cloying in the least.

  16. Liz December 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Thank you for your beautiful recipe.

  17. stephbo93 December 4, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    The cake sounds wonderful and easy to reproduce. I’m pretty sure I don’t own a bundt pan, but I might get one now. And can anyone say “bundt” anymore without picturing the scene from “My Big, Fat Greek Wedding”? I sure can’t. And I love the Noel to Leon gag. I just may start with Leon this year and see if anyone notices. Happy holiday season!

    • movita beaucoup December 4, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      Rosie gets so upset when we wreck her NOEL sign. And yet, we continue to do it over and over and over again…

  18. Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories December 4, 2013 at 3:35 am #

    This sounds epic! We have many such traditions, but my favorite is when each table bursts out in fake laughter on cue to prove to the other tables that ours is having more fun than yours.

    • movita beaucoup December 4, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Aaaaaaand now we need to set up a second table for Christmas.

      For a while, my sister was the only Beaucoup without a cell phone, so we’d all text each other repeatedly and laugh whilst glancing at her. Good times…

  19. Bridget December 4, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Your hilarious stories remind me that I should write down all of my family’s crazy antics for posterity. The stories also remind me that I should have had three children, not just two. (Ah well, too late now), I love that you dress up your gingerbread in a snazzy bundt pan. May be I’ll do the same with mine…

    • movita beaucoup December 5, 2013 at 7:28 am #

      Snazzy bundt pans are the best! As in: take cake out of oven, invert, DONE. I like a cake that decorates itself…

  20. Mary Ann December 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    This recipe sounds delicious, I will bake it in New Jersey and ship it to San Francisco so my daughter who loves Gingerbread can have it for Christmas. Thanks.

    • movita beaucoup December 5, 2013 at 7:28 am #

      I don’t think our gingerbread has ever been shipped so far!

      • Cindy December 5, 2013 at 7:32 am #

        How would it need to be packaged so it could be shipped. I’ve never shipped a cake, only cookies. Thanks for any suggestions.

        • movita beaucoup December 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

          I’ve never shipped something like this, Cindy. Sorry I can’t help you out!

  21. Jennie December 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    Sounds like the perfect family Christmas. This gingerbread cake makes me feel all warm and cozy. If only I had a piece to go with my cup of tea instead of just staring at a piece of cake on my screen. I love that your site snows. I don’t know how you do it, but I find it lovely.

    • movita beaucoup December 5, 2013 at 7:30 am #

      Jennie, WordPress makes my site snow in December. It just happens. I wake up on December 1st, and my blog is in the middle of a snow squall. In fact, I don’t know how to make it stop.

      Thank goodness snow makes everything better.

  22. shannon December 5, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    MAKING IT.
    right after i come up there and steal that beautiful bundt pan. so, soon maybe. set one more place for christmas or something, whatever. :)

    • movita beaucoup December 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      We’ll put you at the end of the table by the Christmas tree. Right in the corner. Your job will be to ensure that Nora-the-Dog’s tail doesn’t knock any ornaments off as she tries to squeeze by you to get around the table. DON’T MESS THIS UP. Rosie will get very mad if either of you break an ornament.

  23. Amy December 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    I love gingerbread anything!!! The spices just remind me of winter and christmastime (never mind that I’m Jewish) and it just makes me so happy :) I think I might have to whip up a batch of this to have around for munching. Hahahah, your family sounds a lot like mine…particularly the poop progress report. Thank god we’re not the only ones. It sounds like you guys have so much fun!!! Can i come? ;)

  24. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen December 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    I love all of your traditions.. well, maybe not the, er, chart on the fridge. But most of all I’m in love with your bundt pan! I love the design it makes on your equally lovely gingerbread cake! Excellent photography as well!xx

    • movita beaucoup December 7, 2013 at 8:01 am #

      I must say, that bundt pan is one of my favourite baking tools. My mummy bought it for me a few years ago, and it always receives rave reviews!!

  25. Len Williams December 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    This looks great, would love to try it today. We are frozen in our home and I know the smell of this cake would make the house all warm and comfy.. Hate it when I am missing one ingredient. Wonder is there a substitute for Molasses ?

    • movita beaucoup December 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Molasses is an important part of the flavour profile of classic gingerbread. I’d wait until you’ve got molasses in hand!

  26. URBAN BAKES December 13, 2013 at 2:25 am #

    It’s good to know my family isn’t the only crazy/chaotic one lol. My sister and I always argue who wants to be “Santa” in which we announce ‘to & from’ of the gifts and then pass it to the person it’s meant for. At my age, I don’t know why I still do this but it’s our thing and we argue about it every year. Hope your Christmas is a good one! Your gingerbread cake looks very pretty. Btw, I also want to let you know, it’s snowing on your blog Lol.

  27. shannon December 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    you should know i’m making this now. In theory, it’s headed to Mr. Table’s various workplaces. In reality, it may be staying safe with me. The smell seems to indicate the latter.

  28. Raquel December 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Just wondering if this can be served with some kind of warm sauce that you drizzle on this? Seems like when I was a kid we had one..any suggestions?

    • movita beaucoup December 17, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

      We’ve always had it as indicated – confectioner’s sugar and whipped cream – but I’m sure a warm sauce would be lovely. Or ice cream! The options are endless!

      I don’t have a sauce recommendation at this time, as I haven’t tested one for use with this cake, and I never recommend anything I haven’t tested/tried myself.

  29. Raquel December 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Thanks for the response on the sauce. My mom made one when I was a kid. Will try that when I make it for her. Made this for the 1st time to take to our vet for the holidays and a special thank you to them for the loss of our dog they were very sympathic and sweet. Merry Chrisrmas!

  30. wendy@chezchloe December 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    That cake is some kind of awesome. And your family gathering should go lifestream 24/7. It could be everybody’s ticket to fame, fortune and who knows what other perks.
    Have a happy happy xox

  31. Paula December 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Has anyone ever added crystalized ginger to this recipe? I’m thinking minced bits of ginger goodness would add to it but have no clue how to pull it off. Any suggestions or would it ruin the recipe?

    • movita beaucoup December 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

      Sorry, Paula – I’ve only tested the recipe as written! I’ve never tried crystallized ginger in it – my main concern would be that it might compromise the texture of the cake. If you decide to try it, please let me know how it goes!

      • Paula December 19, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

        Maybe I should just leave it alone for this time. I’d hate to mess it up when I plan to bring it to the inlaws for Christmas dinner. ;-) I will try the candied ginger another time. Thanks for your advice! :-D

  32. Averie @ Averie Cooks December 23, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    What a gorgeous cake! I am a massive gingerbread and molasses fan and posted my last GB/mol recipe of the season over the weekend and it was with a sniff, sniff. I love this cake and would definitely eat it year round! Pinned to my GB/mol board :)

  33. Gina DeLaune December 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Making this as I type! Oh my the smell is wonderful! Can’t wait to try it! Merry Christmas!

  34. Ohhhdear December 26, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    My mother in law majesty a very similar gingerbread cake, but it’s not complete without a warm lemon-egg yolk custard sauce! She always bakes it in a 9×13″ pan, but I’m heading for the resale shops to find a fancy bundt pan like yours. So pretty!

    • movita beaucoup January 3, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      Oh, a lemon-egg yolk custard sauce sounds AMAZING!!! Want. Immediately!

  35. Ohhhdear December 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    MAKES, sheesh. *sigh*

  36. Corinne December 28, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    I made this tonight and it was fantastic! I had to switch out the egg with a replacement (food allergies) and it was incredible – perfect for a cold Canadian night! Thanks for sharing!

    • movita beaucoup January 3, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      You are most welcome – glad to hear the egg replacement worked! We’re in the middle of a blizzard here, and now I’m thinking some gingerbread may be in order…

  37. backpackbee December 29, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    Just recently stumbled upon your delightful blog. This cake looks oh so tasty! I love that you and your family keep the standing tradition alive. Cheers!

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