I like gingerbread for Thanksgiving… Thank you Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock

This isn’t an adaptation, it’s verbatim from one of my favorite cookbooks. I can’t recommend it highly enough, and of course if you click on the title at the end of the post you will be whisked away to Amazon 😉 .

Edna Lewis, photographed by Christopher Hirsheimer
Edna Lewis, photographed by Christopher Hirsheimer

Dark Molasses Gingerbread Cake

This is the best gingerbread I’ve ever tasted. It’s very dark and moist, with a pudding-like consistency. Try to wait a day before eating it: as good as it is fresh from the oven, it is even better when the spices and molasses have had the opportunity to mellow and meld.

2 cups bleached all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons Homemade Baking Powder (Miss Lewis blended 1/4 cup cream of tartar and 2 tablespoons commercial baking powder to make a mixture than didn’t have a metallic taste.) 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, 1 cup boiling water, 2 eggs beaten, 1 and 1/2 cups molasses

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Sift the flour, soda, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk, blend in the spices and salt. Melt the butter in the boiling water, then whisk into the flour mixture. Add the eggs and molasses, and whisk until well blended.

Turn into a buttered and floured 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 35—40 minutes, until done, or until a skewer plunged in the center comes out with no trace of raw batter.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream (chilled), 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Whip the cream with the vanilla and sugar until it forms soft peaks. Serve with the warm gingerbread.

(Note:  If  you  only have unbleached flour, you could use it, but reduce the total amount of flour by 1/3 cup. Otherwise you are likely to end up with dry, coarse gingerbread.)

The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great American Cooks, by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock


    • Oh most revered Edna Lewis who art in heaven, with fellow celestial creatures Marion Cunningham and Julia Child, we joke a lot around here, forgive us—and that’s what makes it fun.
      Now, Ms. Marcheline: say three “bless the cooks” and all is well.
      Love, Ms. V

  1. I have been making this gingerbread cake for years. I think you have the incorrect amount of ground ginger. It is 1/2 tsp of ground ginger not 1 Tablespoon( that’s a lot of ginger). Scott Peacock’s Watershed Restaurant in Atlanta was great. I am sorry that he closed.

  2. In The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis the amount of ginger is listed as 1 Tablespoon. I love the taste of this cake with the higher level of ginger.

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