New England Gingerbread is one of my most favorite perennial recipes. It was a recipe originally thrust upon me by a chef at a hotel I was baking at. We baked it in pullman loaf pans (large square shaped pans usually about 12″ long) and sold it as slices with ice cream and butterscotch sauce. It was pretty basic, but I’ve had so much fun with this cake over the years. It’s a recipe that’s always game for something new.
I’ve diced and toasted it and stirred it into szechuan peppercorn ice cream. I’ve sautéed it in brown butter and served it with passionfruit sauce and cinnamon almond brittle and cinnamon ice cream, topped it with lemon mousse for buffets and huge plated lunches.
It really likes to bake in any shape and just about any pan. As long as the pan has a sealed bottom, this cake will bake into deliciousness and make the room you are baking in smell heavenly.
When I scaled this recipe down and baked it in my home kitchen, I had my kiddos help (it’s that easy!). They love mixing and dumping ingredients in the bowl. Another thing I love – no need for a mixer! It made 2 loaf pans at my house, but they were smaller. If you have a large loaf pan it will make 1 pan. If you only have 1 small loaf pan bake up the rest of the batter in whatever pan you have including cupcakes.
New England Gingerbread
2 1/2 C flour
1t baking soda
2T warm water
1C boiling water
Preheat oven to 350°F
Place dry ingredients into a bowl, mix to combine
Add eggs, oil, and molasses. Mix to combine
Dissolve the baking soda into the warm water, stir into batter
Add boiling water to the batter. Mix carefully to avoid splashing
Pour into prepared pan (they should be sprayed)
Bake loaf for approx 1 hour, or cupcakes for 20 minutes. Check for doneness by touching the top, it should spring back when done.
Mise en place
A good trick to remember what you have measured is to measure everything side by side
Always hold liquid measures up to eye level to be sure you have the right amount (or leave the container on the counter and bend down to see)
Be sure to fully dissolve the baking soda in the warm water
Be careful stirring the boiling water into the mixture, it can easily get splashy. This is especially true for stand mixers!
Pouring batter into the pan. Very liquidy!
Licking the spoon is the best part of being a kid and baking.
Baked cake. Yum!
Professional Scale file: