The Best Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Glaze

the absolute best

If you participated in my last post and donated to a charity, then 10 of you should have received an email from me asking for your address so that I can send you some cookies! Thanks SO much to those of you that donated. It means so much to the people that you’re helping, especially this time of year with the political and social climate that we find ourselves in. It gives me hope to see how much everyone cares and how hard you’re all working. If you’re interested in yet another worthy cause, I recently saw a new film called Jackson, about the last abortion clinic left in Mississippi. It was definitely painful to watch, but it’s re-energized my commitment to women’s health and a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body. If you’re able, I encourage you to look into hosting a screening in your town if they haven’t already had one. This is a powerful documentary about the scary future of our country and how women’s reproductive care is being torn away from those who need it the most. If you’re in New York, I’ve also recently signed up to volunteer with the NYAAF. It’s a great organization and it needs all the help it can get, so please sign up if you’ve got the free time and are so inclined. I’m going to continue to do what I can to spread awareness and make sure we don’t forget that progress and change only happen if we work towards it. The right thing doesn’t just happen because we will it to happen. It’s only been a little over a month since Donald Trump was elected president, if you can believe it. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday, and other times it feels like it’s been a year. I know it’s exhausting and hard to fight every day, but there’s a lot of work to do and we’re the ones who need to step up and do it. Thank you all for being supportive and for all of your amazing comments. I love hearing what you guys are up to and how you’re bettering your communities and worlds. Don’t stop!

the best gingerbread cake with lemon glaze

Okay, so, while you’re out there changing the world and fixing the mess that this country is in, make sure that you’re taking care of yourself, too. That means trying to get enough sleep, eating well, and, most importantly, treating yourself to a little something now and again because you work hard and you deserve it. May I suggest this gingerbread cake? The recipe comes from the New York Times and let me tell you, damn! This cake is incredible. It’s made with real grated ginger, freshly brewed black coffee, and a little bit of beer. Throw all that together with lemon zest and a lemony glaze, and boom! This is going to be your new go-to cake for the holiday season. It smells like fake gingerbread, but it’s the real deal. When I was mixing the batter together, I made Kramer come over to the kitchen and smell the bowl because I was in awe of the aroma. It must be the combination of the hot coffee and the ginger. It’s just wonderful, and it only gets better as it bakes. This cake is rich, moist, and perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning or maybe with a little port or red wine in the evening. It took all of my willpower not to eat this cake all by myself, if I’m going to be honest with you. It was truly phenomenal, and best of all, I didn’t need to spend hours decorating it, which I really hate doing. Nope! Just throw some glaze over this sucker and get ready to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Thanks, NYT. You’ve done it again.

the best gingerbread cake with lemon glaze
All the things.

the best gingerbread cake with lemon glaze
The fresh ginger is really what makes this cake special.

the best gingerbread cake with lemon glaze
Make sure you use a pot that’s big enough to boil your beer, molasses, and coffee. When you add the baking soda, it will bubble up!

the best gingerbread cake with lemon glaze
Finally, a batter is born.

the best gingerbread cake with lemon glaze
Time to bake!

the best gingerbread cake with lemon glaze
Once cooled, add your glaze and finish with a little powdered sugar, if you’re so inclined.

the best gingerbread cake with lemon glazethe best gingerbread cake with lemon glaze
I’ve gotta say–this is the best gingerbread cake I’ve ever had!

the best gingerbread cake with lemon glaze

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Glaze
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 slices
This gingerbread cake is so good you'll think that there's some kind of weird artificial extract in it– but it's just really, really good!
For the Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup, packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (optional–you can just use regular dark brown sugar if you don't have turbinado)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger (this is non-negotiable if you want a really gingerbread-y taste)
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup neutral oil (I used grapeseed, as the recipe originally suggested, but canola or vegetable oil is also fine)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup stout beer (I used Red Stripe since I didn't have stout, though I'm sure stout is the best beer to use here)
  • ¾ cup blackstrap molasses
  • ⅓ cup brewed coffee
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
For the Lemon Glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more for finishing
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch springform or regular cake pan and line the bottom with a circular cut-out of parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl combine brown sugar, turbinado, ginger, lemon zest, and oil. Beat in egg.
  3. Place beer, molasses and coffee in a deep pot, at least 3 quarts. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda, being careful as the mixture will bubble up. Set aside and allow to cool 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk the flour mixture alternately with beer mixture into brown sugar mixture, in 3 shifts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes without opening oven (even though you'll want to, don't!). Give the pan a 180-degree turn and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the cake is springy and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack. I recommend making the cake one day, covering it and leaving it at room temperature overnight, and glazing it the next day.
  5. When the cake is cool, remove sides of pan, invert briefly to remove bottom of pan and paper and set upright on a plate. If you're using a regular cake pan, run a knife around the edges of the cake, if needed, and invert it onto a plate.
  6. Place confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and whisk in the lemon juice. I like my glaze to be a bit on the thicker side, but you can add more or less lemon juice or sugar, depending on your preference. Spread the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing glaze to drip down the sides. Let the glaze set for an hour or so before slicing and serving. This cake will keep well, covered and at room temperature, for up to 3 days.
Adapted From


6 Responses

  1. Tara says:

    Hi, Sydney!!!

    I always appreciate your insight, optimism, and your spirit that comes through so vibrantly in your posts. I’ve not yet seen the movie you’ve referenced, yet, I agree, these are scary times…but, to play devil’s advocate…guess what’s even scarier?…ol’ Yeezy, aka #2024…yeah, I’m pretty much thinking that if Trump happened, then the door is wide open for this “genius”….that is, if we can survive this mess!!! :(

    Anyway–on to happier things–food & this cake!!! I will definitely serve this on Christmas Eve!! I CANNOT WAIT to make it!!

    Thanks & keep fighting the good fight, girl!!! Have a great holiday season!!

  2. Melinda Lucas says:

    Thank you for your inspiration. I live in Washington State and one of my co- workers ( from Mississipi) has been completely devastated by the election results. She is organizing an event on January 20th ( Inauguration Day) in our community. It will be a combination of songs, dance, improv and poetry and the proceeds will go to the abortion clinic in Missisipi as well as the SPLU.. So many causes to support!!

  3. Annie says:

    Oh wow. This cake looks so crazy moist and addicting.I’m with you, lady. We’ll fight back in anyway we can. <3

  4. Jackie says:

    Don’t worry, Sydney. Trump was elected and the country won’t be in such a mess much longer.

  5. […] from the Servings: 10-12 slices Difficulty: Easy Course: Main Preparation: Prep time: 2 hours Cook […]

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