I always thought I didn’t like gingerbread. Just the word conjures up images of those his-and-hers bathroom signs that you stamp out of dough in kindergarten and slather in royal icing. They’d do a better job as hockey pucks than food items. Then last December, I went to a holiday potluck that opened my eyes. The gingerbread at the dessert table wasn’t a bread or a hockey puck cookie but a cake, rich, dark, and spicy. I tried to find out who’d brought that cake so I could get the recipe, but with no success. So since then, I’ve been searching for a recipe I could use to recreate real gingerbread at home.
The following recipe is a simplification of a recipe I found in an old cookbook at my folks’ house. It’s different from the potluck gingerbread, but just as good.
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 cup raisins
- 3 tablespoons rum
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger or some fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 cup apple jelly
Grease a 9″ square baking pan and preheat oven to 350°F.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. Mix in the sour cream, molasses, and 1 tablespoon of the rum.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then add the raisins to the whole thing. Scoop the whole thing into the 9″ pan. Bake for 45 minutes in a water bath (see picture below.)
Once the cake’s done, let it cool for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt together the apple jelly and the rest of the rum. Once the cake has cooled, poke holes in it and pour the rum jelly glaze on top.