I love gingerbread. Now, I have never made rolled out decorative gingerbread men cookies, that’s way too much patience and detail for me. And honestly, when I think gingerbread, I don’t really mean those cookies. I prefer a rich, sticky molasses, spice-laden cake. (I mean, if you give them to me I will devour the cookies). From a sheet cake like this one with cookie butter icing or a gingerbread brownie with buttermilk glaze, even these overnight muffins. I just think it’s warm and cozy and comforting, and somehow seems old-fashioned and homey. Everything you want during the holidays.
This cake is a traditional, spice filled, molasses-y rich gingerbread, moist and packed with flavor. But to add to that rich depth of flavor, I add a sticky toffee glaze, reminiscent of my favorite sticky toffee pudding. The combination is such a winner. The first time I served this was beside lots of red and green sprinkled desserts, and I loved that it stood out in its earthy, umber tones. I did jazz it up with some gold and rose gold sprinkles and flakes, and I pressed some mini gingerbread men (which I bought) onto the glaze. It really did garner oohs and ahhs, especially when folks took a bite. This is delicious on its own, but a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream would never go a miss during the festive season!
Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Toffee Glaze
- For the Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole buttermilk
- For the Glaze
5 Tablespoons butter
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- For the Cake
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with baking spray, such as Bakers’ Joy.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and place in a small saucepan (light colored or stainless is best so you can see the butter as it browns). Heat over medium high heat, watching constantly, until the butter is melted. It will start to spit and hiss, then you will see brown speckles appear. Pour into a glass measuring jug to cool a little.
- Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Put the browned butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the oil, brown sugar, and molasses and beat on high speed until light and fluffy for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until just combined, don’t over mix.
- Pour cake batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully loosen the edges of the cake with a butter knife. Then invert the cake onto a cooling rack or serving plate, cool until room temperature.
- For the Glaze
- The cake must be completely cool, or the glaze will slide right off. Place a piece of foil or paper under the cooling rack to catch any drips and make clean-up easier.
- Cut the butter into cubes and place in a large saucepan with the brown sugar, cream and salt. After everything melts together, bring to a full, rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it reaches that boil, count to 60 Mississippi, then pull it off the heat. Leave the pan to cool for about 3 minutes, then vigorously beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.
- Immediately pour the glaze over the cake, but do so slowly and evenly to cover as much surface as possible. Leave the glaze to set, then slice and enjoy. Covered tightly, this cake will last a few days.