Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Old-fashioned Gingerbread (Barefoot Contessa)

Hi everyone! I'm back!

The past two weeks of our holidays have been cruising off fast. We enjoyed and missed our Phuket and Singapore trip and also strangely like the fact that we are back to our normal routine.

Now back to blogging...

When I first saw this old-fashion gingerbread recipe, I know our ginger-cake loving auntie J and K will love this cake and so I have baked and brought a couple of these gingerbread to Singapore for them.

This recipe originates from Barefoot Contessa being gingerbread cupcakes with orange icing and exact replicates are also found in Food Network at either here or here, showing that this recipe can be baked in forms of cupcakes or old-fashioned loaves.

Nice to know that both recipes mentioned at Food Network at here and here are highly-rated and reviewed. Reading these reviews is interesting and beneficial and these are the tips that I have learned:

  • Surprise! Surprise! This cake contains NO eggs and added white sugar. I have stick on to this recipe and my egg-less cake has turned out to be amazingly moist and delicious. A few reviews mentioned that they were skeptical baking this recipe with no eggs and added three eggs in theirs and strangely, their cakes with eggs turned out well too.
  • This versatile cake can be baked with many substitutions such as extra ginger, dried cranberry, walnut, lemon, cardamon and more...
  • Yes that this cake is the moist, syrupy and dense kind. Please do not bake this cake if you are not a fan of cakes with compact texture.

And these are tips that I like to share with everyone:
  • Yes that this gingerbread contains orange zest. I reckon that this addition is a must as it makes the cake extra fragrant.
  • The raisins used can be pre-boiled with either rum or water. Instead, I have used Marsala (an Italian sweet wine) and it works very well for me.
  • It is not difficult at all to mix this cake batter and all you need is a hand whisk and moderate arm strength to mix.
  • The finial cake batter can be firm and difficult to mix but remember not to over-mix.
  • The moisture of the cake develops with time and become moister on the next day.
  • The cake can be more compact, stickier and sweeter when it is stored in the fridge and served without resting at room temperature. So, do remember to warm up your cake after removing it from the fridge.

I have baked two loaves and added minced fresh ginger in one specially for auntie J and K.

Surprise! Surprise! Yes that we are very surprised!!! ... that this fully packed dense ginger cake is actually very delicious. Surprise that my boy and the non-ginger-cake-loving me are loving it too! As suggested, the cake can be served with either orange frosting or orange icing but an old-fashion-grandma-like me was enjoying one slice of this cake with my favourite orange-scented yogurt.

Knowing that this cake is definitely good, I'm not surprised at all that both my aunties said "shiok!" (meaning "wow" in Singapore and Malaysia context) when they were enjoying these cakes. *smile*

gingerbread Barefoot Contessa
A beautiful Gingerbread recipe by Barefoot Contessa
These cakes were made with crystallised ginger and I have added fresh ginger on only 1 loaf.
I boiled mine longer to fully vaporize the alcohol content.
This recipe uses only molasses and no other sugar.
At this stage, mixture looks creamy but with specks of orange zest.
Mixture becomes firm and harder to mix.
My cake batter has rough surface!
Not much difference, isn't it?
This is the loaf that I baked with minced fresh ginger.
gingerbread Barefoot Contessa
Freshly baked gingerbread - It tastes like a fruit cake with soft and moist brownies texture.

Here is the recipe from Barefoot Contessa or Food Network at here and here
(with my note and modification in blue)

1/4 cup dark rum or water
(I used Marsala)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 stick unsalted butter
(I used 125g)
1 cup unsulphured molasses
(I used the blackstrap one)
1 cup (8 ounces or 250g) sour cream
1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda

(replaced with baking powder)
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

(I didn't add this)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup minced dried crystallized ginger (not in syrup)

Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C or 160°C fan forced). Grease an 8 by 8-inch (or 15 x 25 cm) cake pan and line with parchment paper or line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners.

Place the rum (or Marsala) and raisins in a small pan, cover and heat until the rum (or Marsala) boils. Turn off the heat and set aside. Place the butter and molasses in another small pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or just a mixing bowl). Cool for 5 mins, then mix in the sour cream and orange zest.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda (or baking powder), ginger, cinnamon, cloves (I didn't add this), and salt together in a small bowl. Mix with your hands until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and mix only until smooth (My son and I whisked the cake batter with a whisk by hand). Drain the raisins and add them and crystallized ginger to the mixture with a spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 mins for bread size or 25-30 mins for cupcakes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely. If it is a gingerbread, cut and served.

When the cake/s are coled completely, they can be served with either orange frosting (recipe from here) or orange icing (recipe from here). I like to enjoy mine with orange scented yogurt (recipe from here).

Note: Using double amount of this recipe, I have baked two loaves of gingerbread using one 20 x 20 cm square pan and 15 x 25 cm loaf pan. Both were baked at 160°C fan forced for 30-35 mins (30 mins for the 15 x 25 cm loaf and 35 mins for the 20 cm square cake)

Happy Baking
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  1. Elo Zoe, you are back! Planning to blog about your holidays? Your gingerbread looks very moist and full of goodness, yep, about to say same thing, it looks like a rich fruit cake.. I can eat all!

    1. Sorry, Louiz. I won't be doing any travelling post.

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  3. Mmm....I love gingerbread! This looks very tasty! :)

  4. Hello Zoe! Miss you while you were away! First thing first, your plate was perfectly matched with the purple flowers, very pretty. And of course I like your gingerbread too! So strange leh, before seeing your gingerbread picture, I only know about gingerbread man so when I read the title, my mind was automatically linked to the cookie but look at it, the texture of this bread is totally different from the cookies, isn't it? So moist leh & the last picture looked like a chocolate cake to me too, hehe.

    1. Hi Jessie! Miss you and blogging too! Yeah, the term, gingerbread is confusing. It can be in the cake or cookies form! I guess the cookies form is often referred as gingerbread man or house. Gingerbread as a cake is just gingerbread??? Confuse! Confuse!!!


  5. Delicious looking gingerbread!! and a wonderful display of dishes. Blessings, Catherine

  6. Hello Zoe, good to see you back on post.....whereas Im been lacking behind. Gingerbread cake sounds as good as gingerbread cookies.

  7. Hi Zoe,
    Welcome back! Glad to hear that you had a smashing holiday!
    Your gingerbread looks really moist and yummy. No wonder your aunts are enjoying the cakes
    These would be lovely with some Chinese tea!

  8. Welcome back, Zoe. I've missed reading your posts. This is beautiful. I love how decadent it looks. Yum stuff!

  9. Zoe, delicious looking low fat gingerbread, I will think it looks more like brownie texture based on your last photo....which I like so much!!

  10. Hi Zoe, Hope you're better now. Thank you for taking your time to post this lovely bread recipe for CLAS and LTU. Totally agree with Jessie, the last picture really looks like a cake :)

  11. Hi Zoe, welcome back!!!! Miss you too :) Today must enjoy a big slice of gingerbread from you, hehe. .

    1. Hi Esther! Miss you and all your delicious bakes! You have reminded me that I have to bake your zebra ji dan guo :p

  12. Welcome back Zoe!!! I missed you:) I'm so delighted to hear you had some quality family time. We all need some down time once in a while:)

    I love Gingerbread! I haven't made it in years but oh my goodness, the smell in the house this rainy day would just be hypnotizing!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Zoe...It's good to have you back:)

    1. Hi Louise! I missed you too! Nice to hear from you :D

  13. Welcome back! What a nice way to return.

  14. Ciao Zoe...bellissima la tua ricetta..
    Complimenti per tutte le altre.
    Buona serata.

  15. Hi Zoe, Welcome back ! This bread sure looks good & delicious with crystallized ginger . I really like crystallized ginger ginger in bakes & I bet this bread is very flavourful . BTW what's the difference between crystallized ginger & candied ginger ? Same , right !!??

    1. Hi Kit,

      I think you are right that crystallized ginger and candied ginger are different names for the same thing. Saw the answer at https://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070411202722AA2Z7OL



  16. Your gingerbread looks absolutely incredible, delicious looking creaminess :D

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  17. Zoe, your gingerbread looks like cake, very moist!

  18. Hi Zoe , glad to have you back ... glad you enjoyed your down time with family and it always seem to go to fast . I will be trying this tasty recipe love gingerbread . Thanks for sharing :)

  19. how are you? you must have a pleasant holiday! Your aunty must be so so so happy when she ate this cake.

  20. Hi, WAs wondering where you disappeared , good to hear you had a lovely holiday. Gingerbread looks delicious

  21. Hi Zoe, welcome back! Hope u had a great trip. Love the look of your old fashioned gingerbread..... :D

  22. Hi Zoe! Glad that you are back! Your ginger loving aunties were really thrilled with this cake, huh? That would be something that they will look forwards to in your next trip!

  23. This kind of gingerbread I haven't tried yet.. Looks so yummy!

  24. I love anything gingery and your cake is making me drool! I must bake this for myself :)

  25. Welcome back! This is certainly a healthier cake!

  26. Welcome back! I love gingerbread, and we haven't made it in ages. That should change, don't you think? ;-) Inspiring post -- thanks.

  27. I hope you had a wonderful trip. This gingerbread looks very moist. And I love ginger!

  28. Welcome back Zoe! This gingerbread looks great, my son is a big gingerbread cookie fan so I can't wait to try making this for him too :) Thanks for sharing!

  29. Hi Zoe, I'm so glad you're back! Love your amazing gingerbread, and always are amazed with your creative adaptation from the original recipe! Totally droolworthy, and delicious! xoxo