Gramercy Tavern’s Gingerbread

We had our Christmas party for my mom's side of the family yesterday. It was a wonderful time of food, conversation and festivities! I had such a fun time seeing everyone and catching up on what is going on in everyone's lives. Of course I offered to supply a few dishes to the lunch menu along with a few other family members. Everything turned out deliciously from the roasted beef tenderloin provided by my grandma to the salads and desserts brought by everyone else. My contribution to the dessert table this year was a rich and dark gingerbread cake that I had spotted on Smitten Kitchen some time ago. It had intrigued me, but until now I had never had the opportunity to make it. Gingerbread is not really something you can make year round so I was excited to have the opportunity to try it out. 

I ended up loving the cake. It really does pack a punch of flavor thanks to the oatmeal stout, the dark molasses, and the 2 tablespoons of ground ginger. It is an intense cake, definitely not for the faint at heart. A scoop of ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream are the perfect accompaniment. I think a simple lemon glaze or some lemon curd would also be wonderful options. If you're looking for something different from the typical sugar cookies or chocolate cake this Christmas, give this cake a try, it will be difficult to forget. 

Other than needing to go out and buy a few extra ingredients to make this cake (the stout and the dark molasses) there was nothing difficult about this cake. I mixed it all together by hand, didn't even need a mixer thanks to the use of oil. It came together easily and baked up beautifully, perfectly done at 50 minutes, exactly as the recipe said. 

From what I read about this cake, it is very prone to stick to the pan so I heeded all the advice I read and made sure to butter and flour my bundt pan very, very throughly. It seemed to work as I didn't have really any sticking at all. However, my bundt pan is pretty new and releases cakes easily. My old bundt pan was notorious for having cakes stick and come out in two or more pieces, not so pretty. But regardless of how nice your pan is, I'd advise making sure you spend a little extra time greasing and flouring it up before pouring the batter in. It would be so disappointing to have this cake fall apart on it's way out of the pan. 

Gramercy Tavern's Gingerbread


Smitten Kitchen


  • 1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
  • 1 cup dark molasses (NOT blackstrap)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350°F. Very, very, generously butter a bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess. This cake will stick badly if pan is not thoroughly greased. 

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with whipped cream or ice cream.

Do ahead: I'm told this gingerbread is even better if made a day ahead. I made mine 2 days ahead and it was fantastic. I didn't try it freshly baked, but it didn't appear to suffer at all in the 2 day wait.