Wake and Bake: Triple Gingerbread Cake
Now that the pie plates are put away, it's time to shift focus to the next set of holiday flavors. For me, that first and foremost means gingerbread. While the rule of "any food is better when dressed up as a twee little man" means that I'll be making gingerbread men and other decorated cookies in mass quantities, I decided to start of my December baking with breakfast.
This cake was also appealing because it gets better over the course of a few days, meaning I didn't have to rush to eat it all at once (by the time you read this, I will still be digesting pumpkin, mince, and apple pies). That means it's also a good option for a holiday party. A simple confectioners sugar glaze or cream cheese frosting will push it firmly into dessert category, though be warned that, regardless, I like breakfast to be sweet. The cake is spiced with the whole gang (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice) and given a deep sweetness with dark brown sugar and blackstrap molasses. The real flavor comes from the three applications of ginger: ground, as mentioned above, plus some grated fresh ginger and candied ginger.
I will give you my forever plea on candied ginger again: please try to find the cubed candied ginger (sometimes called Australian ginger). It is much more pleasant to bite into something soft and chewy in your cake than a hard nubbin of chopped, hard, flat candied ginger. In fact, if you can only find the flat kind, I would chop it up and add it as a decoration to the top of the cake.
About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios