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Fresh Ginger Cake [David Lebovitz]

June 2, 2011

Fresh ginger cake

Dala horses
Dala Horses for sale in Stockholm

I’m obsessed with Dala horses. Ok maybe obsessed is a bit too strong a word. But I will always smile when I see one. The little painted horses remind me so strongly of a trip to Sweden that my younger brother and I took a few years ago with our three German cousins. Away from the watchful eye of any parents, aunts or uncles – it was our little snippet of freedom.

I miss them a lot


So when I found out Ikea was selling a set of Dala horse pans, I knew I had to have them.

So cute. Only $15 too! Thanks so much to my friend Erica who helped me get a hold of them

And I knew exactly what kind of cake I wanted to bake in them too. If Dala horses are what I see when I think of that trip, then what I smell is the spicy gingery Pepparkakor biscuits we bought by the tubful to eat in our hostel room.

I found this recipe for fresh ginger cake by David Lebovitz on Epicurious. You can find the original link here: Fresh Ginger Cake.

DSC_7721.jpg DSC_7725.jpg
Ginger… before and after my massive microplaning effort. I grated this entire thing without injuring myself even once! A big win for me!

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Maybe a bit unconventionally, I used my homemade Masala Chai mix (which you can find the recipe for in this post) as a substitute for all the ground spices in the recipe. I figured they’d be a lot fresher than the stale ground spices in my cupboard.


Believe me when I tell you this concoction smelled amazing.


The mixture is super duper ultra runny because of all the water in the recipe. So make sure you line the pan if you’re using a springform!! Otherwise DOOM.


The cake was so ultra delicious. I was a bit worried that having so much fresh ginger in there would be overwhelming, but it’s just perfect and a tiny bit spicy – just how I wanted. The cake is perfectly moist and not too sweet either – the molasses made it deliciously dark and dense. (Next time I might try it with a lighter treacle though, as I couldn’t find a light molasses) Perfect with a cup of tea.


The recipe makes quite a lot of batter – so I was able to fill the two horse molds AS WELL as this loaf tin. (Perfect! Means there’s an uglier cake for me to eat while I decorated the horsie cakes.)

Fresh ginger cake

Definitely going to keep this recipe to make again later.

Fresh Ginger Cake (by David Lebovitz)

1/2 a cup of fresh ginger
1 cup mild molasses (it can be hard to find molasses here in Australia, let alone mild – you can substitute treacle, or golden syrup instead)
1 cup sugar (I used brown sugar because I like the taste)
1 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut (I used light olive oil here)
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs, at room temperature

Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 3-inch round cake pan or a 9 1/2 inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Peel, slice, and chop the ginger very fine with a knife (or use a grater). Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.

Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture. Stir in the ginger.

Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the batter. Add the eggs, and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, drape a piece of foil over it and continue baking.

Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.

(recipe by David Lebovitz, via Epicurious)

16 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2011 11:31 pm

    your always blogging at night & strangely enough, ive come to enjoy reading your posts before bed. its nice.

    the pans are … adorable, downright incredibly sweet. the cake sounds delicious too, I’m a big fan of ginger, I love roasting it up & getting a garlic paste. mmmmmmm. might explain why I’m single.

    • June 2, 2011 11:39 pm

      Haha that’s so true! I’m a bit of a night owl I think. Can’t concentrate enough to write anything during the day.

      Oh and plus I am too busy being diligent at work. *cough* Yes. That’s the real reason.

      They are so cute aren’t they? My friend wants me to make some My Little Pony cakes – I might just have to do that next…

  2. June 3, 2011 12:48 pm

    yum.. do these taste like ginger bread men but cake version?

    • June 14, 2011 11:32 am

      I used quite dark molasses, and brown sugar – so it was much richer than gingerbread! But still yummy all the same!

  3. June 3, 2011 10:49 pm

    I spend the whole post going charlieeee , sorry my silly mind :D. Really cute pans i want!

    • June 14, 2011 11:32 am

      hahaha! we’re going to candy mountain charrrlie!!

  4. June 9, 2011 10:26 am

    i want those pans! i think a trip to ikea is due for me soon :O)

    • June 14, 2011 11:33 am

      They’re so cute aren’t they!!! They’re sitting on my desk now… I just like the look of them!

  5. June 11, 2011 10:06 pm

    Ooh! My Little Pony cakes! Yes please!! Would love to see those 🙂

  6. June 15, 2011 11:32 am

    I saw these horse pans in IKEA Rhodes the other day and was tempted to get ! hehe

  7. June 15, 2011 4:42 pm

    Dala horse is certainly traditional for the particular Southern part of Sweden (same part where the owner of IKEA is from, hence they are being featured there so frequently). These cakes look so pretty and I love the idea of a ginger cake!

  8. revshirls permalink
    June 5, 2012 6:55 am

    Actually, Ingvar Kamprad. the founder of Ikea comes from Småland in the South of Sweden. The “Dalahäst” (Dala horse) originates in Dalarna (the beautiful dales that are north of central Sweden). However most Swedes tend to be fond of the dala horse and are glad to see picures, ornaments of the Dala häst – especially when abroad

  9. May 2, 2013 6:46 am

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  10. May 13, 2013 2:54 am

    Wow, that’s what I was exploring for, what a information! present here at this blog, thanks admin of this web site.

  11. December 16, 2014 1:54 am

    Looks lovely! Did the cakes in the horse tins bake quicker? I have a set and dying to give this a go but previous attempts at other cakes have ended badly… Thanks!

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