Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Gingerbread Cake

You know, the first time I mentioned I was baking a gingerbread CAKE, Steve said 'cake?  I don't know if I've ever had it as a cake.'  Yes, CAKE!  All that rich, dark, molasses flavor in a light, fluffy cake instead of those awful dry cookies they use like bricks to make houses out of.  My dad's mom used to make this cake for Christmas dinners, and she served it with a heaping spoonful of real whipped cream.  The cake was so intense-tasting that you HAD to have the whipped cream to cut the flavor down a bit, it was that intense.  And I LOVED it that way.  Years later, when I was living for a short period with my Aunt (my dad's sister), we'd make this cake just because we loved it--at any time of year--and it always tasted like Christmas to us.

So here's to kicking off the Christmas season.  While everyone south of the border is celebrating their Thanksgiving over turkey (ours is long-since past), I will be eating Christmas dinner (yea, Christmas in November, don't ask, it just IS this way in my family) and I will be eating some of this cake, and getting all nostalgic about it.

So this is an adaptation of the recipe that came from my grandma.  I don't know where she got the recipe (she passed away years ago)--maybe the Toronto Star newspaper published the recipe 50 years ago or so.  She got a lot of recipes from the Toronto Star over the years.

Little bit of trivia here; the Toronto Star used to publish a new recipe every week--and they tried to use ingredients that were affordable for those times--like making cookies with lard instead of butter because it was much cheaper and more available at the time.  Homemakers would eagerly await the next new recipe each week.  Through the 40's and 50's, houses all over Toronto would be serving up the same Sunday night dinner--whatever was featured that week in the newspaper.

So here's my paleo-adapted version.  Let's be honest here, it may not contain flour and may have reduced and altered healthier sweeteners in it, but it's still cake.  During the holidays, you still deserve to eat cake.  Just let it be cake that doesn't turn your guts inside-out.  Don't eat the whole cake (once you taste it, you'll want to!).  Share it with guests like a nice host/hostess...


  • 1/2 c lard
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar
  • 1/3 c molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 pan with whatever fat you want to use (I used coconut oil).  Using a hand-mixer or stand-mixer, cream lard and coconut sugar together until fluffy.  Add molasses and eggs, mix thoroughly.  In separate bowl, mix all remaining dry ingredients.  Add to molasses mixture, alternating with boiling water, until all is added in.    Pour/spread in prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Serve with real whipped cream or whipped coconut milk (with just a pinch of coconut sugar in it--trust me on this one).


  1. This looks amazing! I think I know how I'm going to get my gingerbread fix this holiday season!

  2. While delicious, it completely fell apart when trying to remove it from the pan. Not a big deal though, I just made it into a gingerbread cake and whipped cream parfait. Yum!

  3. Lol, awesome starrchilde! We just serve it right out of the pan with a spatula. We've made this cake for every holiday-related event this year--my husband follows the recipe and whips it up effortlessly. But now you've got me thinking I want parfait....

  4. Made this for the first time tonight using coconut oil instead of lard and upping the amount of ginger and cinnamon to about 1 - 1 1/2 tsp of each (we like a lot of ginger and cinnamon :) ). It was the BEST gingerbread cake we've ever had!!! My mom had a craving for gingerbread cake like her grandma used to make, but we haven't had in years (and especially since we've switched to gluten-free-mostly-paleo eating). Thank you so much for sharing this incredible recipe!!! It was fantastic with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a spoon of coconut cream.