Recipe: Gingerbread Bundt Cake

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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Gingerbread spices have ancient historical roots and feature a complex interweaving of tastes that is second to none when it comes to holiday baking. This cake — full of warm-yet-citrusy coriander; heady notes from the allspice, clove, and cinnamon; and depth of sweetness from molasses — delivers all the cozy, familiar tastes of the season with a bit of heat and pizzazz thrown in the mix.

The result is an intoxicatingly fragrant cake with a delicate but still tight crumb. The next time your afternoon get-together requires a casual, company-friendly cake, consider this gingerbread Bundt.

Tips for a Better Gingerbread Bundt

This cake, baked tall and proud in a Bundt pan or in a kugelhopf pan (a fun option with its towering and Germanic peaks), is a great choice for a beginning baker, as it’s mostly a matter of measuring out ingredients.

While you can customize the dried fruit, there are a few things that can’t be changed.

  • You will need buttermilk. The chemistry of buttermilk with the leaveners makes the cake rise in a way regular milk simply can’t. You can make a buttermilk substitution with milk and vinegar that works very well if you don’t have any on hand.
  • You have to use cake flour: With less protein, cake flour develops far less gluten than all-purpose flour. It ensures that the cake will never be a fruitcake doorstop.
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)
0 Ratings

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Serves12

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray containing flour, or cooking spray and 2 tablespoons cake flour

  • 1/2 cup

    currants, golden raisins, chopped dried figs, or a combination

  • 1/4 cup

    Cognac or brandy

  • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons

    peeled and grated fresh ginger (from a 2-inch piece)

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 2 sticks

    (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 6

    large eggs

  • 3 1/4 cups

    cake flour, divided

  • 1/2 cup

    buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon

    molasses

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsweetened natural cocoa powder

  • 2 tablespoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground allspice

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground anise

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    fine salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg, or 6 to 10 scrapes from a whole nutmeg

  • 1/2 cup

    toasted, blanched, slivered almonds

  • 2 cups

    powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    heavy cream, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 2 teaspoons

    silver or white sanding or finishing sugar, or silver dragées (optional)

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Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt cake pan or (4x9-inch kugelhopf pan) with cooking spray that contains flour, or coat it with cooking spray, dust with the 2 tablespoons of flour, and then shake the excess out; set aside.

  2. Mix the dried fruit, Cognac or brandy, fresh ginger, and vanilla together in a small bowl; set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the brown sugar and butter on medium speed until lighter in both color and texture, 5 to 5 1/2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stop the mixer.

  4. Place a fine-mesh sieve over another bowl and strain the dried fruit mixture into it. Reserve both the liquid and the fruit. Pat the fruit dry with a paper towel and place it in a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of the flour, and mix just until the fruit is coated; set aside.

  5. Add the buttermilk, reserved fruit soaking liquid, and molasses to the egg mixture and beat on medium-low speed until combined.

  6. Place a sheet of parchment on a work surface. Sift the remaining 3 cups of flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, allspice, coriander, cloves, anise, salt, pepper, and nutmeg onto it.

  7. Slowly add the sifted dry ingredients to the egg and butter mixture, and beat at medium-low speed until just incorporated. Add the reserved fruit and almonds, and beat on low just until combined.

  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is toasty-brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.

  9. Place on a wire rack. Once the cake is cool to the touch, invert it onto the rack and cool completely.

  10. Place on a wire rack. Once the cake is cool to the touch, invert it onto the rack and cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Storage: This cake will keep at room temperature, lightly covered or tented with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen prior to glazing and allowed to come to room temperature before serving. Do not refrigerate, as the cake will become quite stale.

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