New recipes and updates

Get new recipes
in your inbox

Cuisine Fiend

Find a recipe by ingredient

Fresh ginger and molasses cake

Thu, 4 April, 2019


Like the old fashioned spice cake, this ginger and molasses cake by Samin Nosrat is dark, tender and smells like Christmas. The twist is fresh grated ginger added to the cake, beautifully cutting through the molasses flavour.

fresh ginger and molasses cake

Cake like a delicious dark secret

Dark, flavoursome and squidgy, with the grown-up sweet-smoky tang of molasses balanced with the zing of fresh ginger. I think you have to be a cake connoisseur to properly appreciate the dark ones – and I don’t mean the brownie from your local bakery or the chocolate muffin from Starbucks.

I’m thinking the old fashioned continental ginger cake or the Yorkshire parkin. The French moelleux and fondants, all dark chocolate, hardly any sugar and no cream in their contents. The Guinness cakes, the whisky cakes, they are grown up not only through the taste but thanks to the booze content too.

samin nosrats ginger molasses cake

The best thing about those is that you can’t just eat and eat them limitlessly; clearly the hardcore stuff, dark chocolate and molasses, have a higher satiety value than white chocolate or cookies.

I know for a fact from own experience that dark chocolate with high cocoa content stops at two, max four squares while white chocolate or, heaven forbid, the one filled with lovely pink goo goes until the bar is gone.

Cake with fresh ginger

The other wonderful thing is fresh ginger – maybe it’s just me but I have never made a cake with fresh instead of ground ginger (it probably is just me). This was a revelation; I could have happily added twice as much or maybe just MADE the cake from ginger.

It balances the dark molasses flavour with a fresh zing and I am all determined now to bake fresh ginger gingerbread cake come next Christmas season.

molasses and ginger cake

And it's Samin Nosrat's ginger cake

And the fact that this is Samin Nosrat’s recipe makes it all simply great. Samin is my all-time favourite cookery writer and television personality – she is the least pretentious and the most informative. I devoured her Salt, Acid, Fat and Heat book as well as binge-watched her TV series. I only thought she did not do cakes – but she does. And how.

Note: you can easily adopt this recipe to make a full blown gateau for a special occasion: fill it with buttercream, top with chocolate ganache or the other way round.

Fresh ginger and molasses cake

Servings: 8Time: 1 hour
Rating: (3 reviews)


  • 60g (2 oz.) fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 100g (½ cup) sugar
  • 110g (½ cup) groundnut oil
  • 170g (½ cup) molasses
  • 175g (1½ cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 110ml (½ cup) boiling water
  • 1 large egg
  • icing sugar, for dusting


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Butter and flour a round 18cm tin, line the bottom with a disc of parchment.

2. Blitz the ginger with sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth. Grate the ginger finely and blend into the sugar if you haven’t got either. Transfer it to a medium bowl.

3. Add the molasses and oil to the mix and stir well. Pour in boiling water and whisk until amalgamated.

ginger cake batter

4. In a larger bowl, stir together the flour, spices, salt and soda. Pour in the liquid ingredients and whisk until lumps disappear. Whisk in the egg.

5. Pour the mix (very runny) into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

ginger and molasses cake in the tin

6. Cool in the tin, unmould and dust the top with icing sugar.

NEW recipe finder

Ingredients lying around and no idea what to cook with them? Then use my NEW Recipe Finder for inspiration!

Recipe Finder

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published

Characters left 800
Recipe rating
Email address*
Web site name
Be notified by email when a comment is posted

* required

Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Abino - thank you! Excellent idea with the cocoa powder.
7 months ago
Fantastic. I added a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the flour and used an 8 inch swirled bundt pan done in 35,min.
7 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Haha, it is a cake that is hard to resist! Thank you for the comment Kat!
8 months ago
The smell of this was really ominous (I used blackstrap molasses and olive oil). Then I tasted a large crumb that fell off when I took it out of the pan. An then I cut a piece even though it was still warm (I NEVER do that to a cake, especially an oil one). Then I cut another. Cutting back on the sugar and molasses was obviously a huge mistake???? Oh well, it's so nutritious it doesn't count as dessert... Thanks for this recipe!
8 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Baa - it IS rose by another name. Treacle is molasses, better known as the latter in America, and this is after Samin Nosrat's recipe, so there. I'm thrilled to hear you'll be making oil pump - it's my recent most exciting discovery!
3 years ago
I'm wondering could I use black treacle instead? Or is it a rose by any other name here? Am plannin g also on baking the 'oil pump' for fellow baking grand daughter,early xmas pressie!
3 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Prue - happy to hear it!
4 years ago
Prue Dobinson
Delicious and will definitely try again. Thank you.
4 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Catherine - thank you! I'm so glad you like it.
4 years ago
Catherine Byrne
This is the best cake I have ever made, truly delicious and easy.
4 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
An 8 inch/20cm would be the best but if you have a bigger one you can use it too, the cake will just be lower.
4 years ago
Would like cook this in a bundt. What size would be right please?
4 years ago

Cuisine Fiend's

most recent

About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


Sign up to receive the weekly recipes updates

Follow Fiend