Classic Gingerbread Cake

Published January 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

Ground ginger, grated fresh ginger, cinnamon, and ground pepper ensured our gingerbread recipe tasted like ginger. Dark stout, heated to minimize its booziness, added a bittersweet flavor to our gingerbread, and replacing butter with vegetable oil allowed the ginger flavor to shine. To keep… read more

Ground ginger, grated fresh ginger, cinnamon, and ground pepper ensured our gingerbread recipe tasted like ginger. Dark stout, heated to minimize its booziness, added a bittersweet flavor to our gingerbread, and replacing butter with vegetable oil allowed the ginger flavor to shine. To keep our gingerbread recipe from sinking in the middle, we incorporated the baking soda with the wet ingredients and roughed up some of the batter to strengthen the flour, giving our gingerbread a more sturdy texture while maintaining its moistness.

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Makes one 8-inch square cake, serving 8 to 10

This cake packs potent yet well-balanced, fragrant, spicy heat. If you are particularly sensitive to spice, you can decrease the amount of dried ginger to 1 tablespoon. Guinness is the test kitchen's favorite brand of stout. Avoid opening the oven door until the minimum baking time has elapsed. If your cake pan has thin walls, you might want to wrap it with premade cake strips or make your own from cheesecloth and foil. This extra insulation will help ensure that the edges of the cake don't overbake. Serve the gingerbread plain or with lightly sweetened whipped cream. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for 2 days.

Ingredients

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