What I Liked
Molasses can have a strong smell and flavor. When I first read this recipe for ginger cake, I was worried that there would be an overwhelming molasses flavor. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find the recipe works very well and there aren’t any overly sweet notes. I loved the subtle heat in the aftertaste from the fresh ginger. My cakes got a great rise and I was very satisfied with the overall denseness and texture of the ginger cake.
Original Recipe for Ginger Cake
One pint molasses, one quart flour, one-half teacup brown sugar, one teacup butter, one tablespoonful cinnamon, two tablespoonful ginger, one teacup sour milk. With it mix a teaspoonful soda and three eggs. Cream butter and sugar together, then add molasses, then flour, then eggs, then milk, then ginger and cinnamon; stir thoroughly and put to bake in oblong pans.
1 pint molasses
1 quart flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream butter and sugar together, then add molasses, then flour, baking soda, then eggs, then milk, then ginger and cinnamon; stir thoroughly and put to bake in cake pans or bread pans. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until a fork comes out clean.
What I Learned
The technique of this cake fascinated me. In the past I always creamed the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar. This recipe has you add the eggs after adding the flour. A friend told me this gives a dense texture to the cake, which makes sense. Granulated sugar was somewhat of a luxury item in 1881, and molasses was often used to sweeten cakes and desserts. This ginger cake seemed to hit all the right notes without being overly sweet. I would absolutely make this ginger cake recipe again.
What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Souther Cooking , Soups, Pickles, Preserves, ETC. 1881