Guiness ginger cakeGuiness ginger cake

At Thanksgiving last year, Emily asked me to bring a dessert to her family’s celebration in Connecticut. I consulted with Sabena and decided on a Guiness Ginger Cake from the July 2004 issue of Food & Wine. It was literally the first thing I had ever baked, so I was quite nervous. I had Emily and her mom to help me, though, and despite forgetting to put all the spices in until after the cake went in the oven, the result was more than acceptable.

I wanted to try this cake one more time since I still had all of the necessary ingredients on hand (except for the stout), and since n8 is cooking tonight I decided to make it this afternoon. It’s a distinctly autumnal cake, what with the ginger and nutmeg, but I don’t really care. (Mom, please don’t laugh at my powdered sugar. I don’t have one of those little sugar sifters yet.)

The cake is delicious, and I’m going to give you all Claudia Fleming’s recipe, which belongs on the Internet for everyone to enjoy. This is a spicy and dark cake, and it really begs for freshly whipped cream or ice cream.

Guiness Ginger Cake

  • Seeds from 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1 clove (I don’t have any and I don’t miss the flavor)
  • 1 cup stout (like Guiness)
  • 1 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (yeah right, ground is fine)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (this is key)
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan. Toast the cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns and clove over moderate heat until fragrant, about one minute. Grind them. (The first time I did this, I used a knife and chopped the hell out of them. I have since acquired a mortar and pestle).
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the stout and molasses to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda, which will cause it to bubble vigorously. Let it cool.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars, then whisk in the oil and the cooled stout mixture.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the ground ginger, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and the freshly ground spices from step 1. Add the wet mixture in two batches, and stir in the fresh ginger. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, or the top is springy.

If your computer will permit you, check out my sweet new 9-speed in action. I intend to whip some cream with it tonight:


your new toy sounds dirty. the good dirty.

Surely you have a strainer; that’s what I use to sift powdered sugar over a cake. What do you use for your vortex eggs?!

I remember that cake! In fact I still think I have that issue of Food & Wine (one of my favourites).

Yours looks delicious …

Oh, I can use my big strainer? I guess I was picturing you with one of those little hand ones. Okay I’ll try that.

Just put a T. or so of the sugar in the bottom of your strainer and position it over the cake, then tap gently on the edge with the side of the spoon and let the sugar sift through. I’m assuming this is a mesh strainer or those vortex eggs wouldn’t have worked.


Yes it is, and I’ll do that next time. Happy birthday, mommy!

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