Ginger. Bread. It tastes like a log cabin, a blazing fireplace, & a cold nose on a cold day.

It reminds you of the feeling you get when your toes are starting to regain feeling after a day in the snow; warm & tingly.

Rosy cheeks & laughter; exhaustion & satisfaction.


I live here. Sigh. My eyeballs are still in shock sometimes.

Booze & fancy molasses make this homey warmth possible.
Molasses & Guinness & baking soda can foam somethin’ fierce.

And would ya look at all those colorful spices! Autumn & Thanksgiving & Christmas & snow & winter & fireplaces & wassail & family & friends all rolled into a simple, spicy flavor. Lovely.


Boy did I lick that sucker clean.
I made this last night & gave it the night to develop character & depth. It delivered.

Honestly, though the recipe calls for a bundt pan, & I don’t have one. Crime as a baker to not own one? Maybe. But I worked with what I had, which was a lovely round corningware dish. Because of this, I had extra batter that I made into cupcakes, because in my mind, you can make almost anything into a cupcake right?


The cupcakes didn’t have the same texture & depth of taste that the cake had, which is one of the reasons to choose gingerbread, when you are looking for that dense-tasting, warmth-filled, sticky & good through and through sort of cake. So, on this recipe? Stick with the cake if you are looking to satisfy your sweet craving.

Morning coffee set up before picture taking time.
Chemex & Anthony’s Coffee from Maui.
Simple perfection.
One moment I was in the kitchen playing with a cake, the next I darted out in the rain to find some leaves. My husband may have thought I was a mental person. Maybe . . .

Also, note to self: when sifting flour to make a design, use an actual sifter rather than tapping on the side of a fork. It doesn’t work, and your workmanship is either a) shotty at best, or b) modern art.

Lesson learned, tough stuff.



It’s beautiful and lovely.
Oh, & that’s one of the boutonnieres I made for our wedding.
The menfolk were all devilishly handsome.

There are some requirements for eating this cake. When making it, not as many (actually, watching the latest “New Girl” is perfect for the making & baking). Eating & enjoying? Guidelines . . .
-weather would be preferably rainy; loud rain that let’s you know it is there & is going to stick around.
-music selection must be heart-on-sleeve, but not angsty. You don’t hate your life, nor are you at your wit’s end. You are enjoy a vulnerable moment, which us humans need now & then.
-brainstorm how to create a future memory where this cake can be shared. Count on memories being made.

makes one tall 9-inch round
1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap. the fancy kind works 😉
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Optional: unsweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

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

Beware: this will foam & bubble & act like a 3rd-grade science volcano, so ‘gently’ might be your mantra at this moment. Ok, let’s move on . . . 
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 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 38-42 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar. Serve with unsweetened whipped cream if you like.

Do ahead: This gingerbread is better if made a day ahead. It will keep 3 days, covered, at room temperature. I am sure it will keep well-wrapped in the freezer even longer.

Source: adapted from the Smitten Kitchen
Listening to: Damien Rice, Colin Hay, Billie Holiday, etc


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