Spiced Ginger Cake

Spiced Ginger Cake

Spiced GInger CakeGinger.  Either you love it or you hate it.  It’s kind of like cilantro in that I have yet to meet someone who’s wishy-washy in their opinion of it.  The spicy, aromatic, and in-your-face flavor of ginger is not for everyone, but for me, it serves as the perfect pick-me-upper.  The simple act of sniffing a knob of ginger is therapy for me, but it’s well worth the effort if I go a step further and grate it into an ugly but glorious pile of mush to be used for cooking.  While it makes its way into various savory dishes, since it’s that time of the year when all I want to do is bake, Spiced Ginger Cake was in order.

But before I get into the recipe, I wanted to give you a brief update on where I am in my dietetic internship.  I just completed 13 weeks of clinical rotations and started my business/management rotations this week.  Here’s a list of all the places I’ll be going over the course of the next 12 weeks:

Davita Dialysis Center (where I’m at this week.  It’s in San Antonio, so I’m incredibly thankful for my friend, Sarah, for allowing me to crash at her place), American Botanical Council, Seton Northwest, HEB headquarter, Cedar Springs Eating Disorder Clinic, and Hays Independent School District.

Oh boy…  Ginger!  I need to smell you!!

William Sonoma CookbookI adapted the recipe from one of the most ancient cookbooks that I own.  Seven years later, I’m still cooking my way through it.

Spiced Ginger Cake

The original recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, which I substituted half of it with applesauce.  I also added whole wheat pastry flour to sneak in some whole grains.  I love using ww pastry flour instead of ww flour as this keeps the end product from being too dense.  And for even more zing, I incorporated various spices and lemon zest.

I thought it was interesting that the recipe called for 1 cup of cool water in the wet mixture.  It didn’t state the reason, but I’m guessing it makes the cake even more moist?!  If so, then the recipe developers really knew what they were doing.  Moist (almost gooey) and flavorful is what this cake is all about!

I couldn’t stop the hands that reached in and grabbed a few slices before I got a chance to photograph.  And of course, a la mode is how I roll.  If you are a friend of mine, you know my obsession with Blue Bell Creamery :).  Enjoy a slice or two, and when you’ve had enough ginger, wrap the rest in plastic wrap.  It seems to make the cake even more moist with time!

Spiced GInger cake

Spiced Ginger Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 8


  • 3 Tbs grated ginger
  • 3/4 cup dark molasses
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. Add 1 cup cool water, molasses, sugar, oil, applesauce, ginger, and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl. Mix vigorously with a whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is glossy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the ginger mixture and mix thoroughly until batter is smooth.
  3. Pour into the cake pan. Bake until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and top is springy to touch, about 55-60 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
  4. Serve.


adapted from William Sonoma's Bride and Groom Cookbook



Are you on team ginger?  I am!

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About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian who is passionate about healthy eating and cooking. I am a follower of Christ, a wife to the most wonderful man, The Hungryman, who is also my faithful taste tester and co-author of this blog. I'm also a contributor for the Healthy Aperture blog. I hope I inspire you to get in the kitchen and create nourishing meals for you and your loved ones!

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Lovely comments

  1. Wow! This cake looks fantastic! I LOVE recipes that don’t call for eggs..and I love what you did by adding the applesauce in there. Thanks so much for sharing Min! I am on a major ginger/molasses kick lately.. :)

  2. I MUST try this GF! I love me some ginger!!

  3. LOVE ginger in everything but green tea. For some reason I thought ginger and green tea would be a good combination and I very much disliked it. Now, cake is another story. Love this cake served a la mode!

  4. I adore it :-) Of at least, I love it fresh in savoury dishes and in any form in baked goods, but don’t like the crystallised sort plain.

    This cake looks incredible!

  5. I am a ginger fan – I used to hate it when I was little because it reminded me only of the tea my mom would make me when I had a stomach ache, but I grew up a bit. Now, I love ginger candy, in sweet or savory dishes, even pickled!

    I imagine this cake makes the whole house smell wonderful – I am definitely going to make it soon!

  6. I love ginger. And I love cilantro. Not together, though. Well, maybe in certain dishes but I can’t see myself being like “oh I just love eating ginger and cilantro together.” Heh Heh. This cake looks great, Min! Pinned!+

  7. Oh I love ginger cake! This looks so delicious. You do such gorgeous, professional photos!
    Merry Christmas!


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