I first made this cake when browsing through my cookbooks for new ideas a couple years ago. Tired of making the same cookies and treats year after year, I wanted something simple, full of flavour and different from what I had made before. I stumbled upon an old Chatelaine cook book I must have borrowed from my mom, and who knows where she even got it from! It was printed in 1978 and reading some of the recipes it’s interesting to see the different ingredients and methods used compared to current recipes I use.
2 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt
1/2 C shortening
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 C table molasses
1 C hot water
I tend to be super lazy about some aspects of baking. Certain parts still need to be followed, but others I’ve learned I can take a short route. This method is the shorter route.
Start be preheating the oven to 350F and greasing or lining a 9×9 square cake pan with parchment paper.
Cream together the shortening and sugar until blended and smooth. Add the molasses and continue blending until all incorporated. Then add the eggs, one by one until beaten into the mixture. Add the spices one by one, blending into the shortening mixture. I love my Kitchenaid mixer for this exact reason. It keeps going and I can add items one by one without stopping.
Once the spices are well blended, add the baking soda. Once incorporated add the flour cup by cup, leaving time in between for each to be mixed in. Once the flour is fairly mixed into the batter, slowly add the hot water. Be careful as it may splash a bit. Mix at a low speed to avoid this happening and add it slowly so it doesn’t overwhelm the bowl.
Once all the ingredients are mixed together and the batter is smooth, pour into the cake pan. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes.
The end result is a fluffy, flavourful gingerbread cake that isn’t too sweet. It is amazing as a Christmas morning cake as you open the presents, or enjoyed with a cup of tea on a snowy winter day. It can be frozen in a tightly seal container and left on the counter to defrost or warmed in the microwave or oven wrapped in foil.