This healthier, lighter version of the traditional sweet and spicy gingerbread cake is quick and easy to make not just for the holidays but any time of the year.
It’s perfect on it’s own but even better when topped with a sticky, nutty crumble to add in some sweetness and festive flair.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never actually made a true gingerbread cake before until this holiday season!
Why? Because I never have molasses on hand at home and it just didn’t occur to me that I should buy a carton of something that I’d only use a quarter of.
So THIS YEAR, I finally went out and got myself a carton because I just couldn’t stand it anymore!
I needed, wanted and craved homemade hot out of the oven gingerbread and nothing was getting in my way.
At first I thought that the hardest part about the whole process would be not overmixing the batter because that would yield a dense, heavy, doughy cake…but nope.
The hardest part was actually waiting for them to finish baking in the oven! Lil’ bun and I were practically drooling when the scent of the gingerbread started to linger out into our living room while we were watching Christmas movies.
And trust me when I say that we bolted for the kitchen door as soon as we heard that oven timer go off.
I seriously cannot express how much I love love looovveeed this cake! Even though I thought I added quite a bit of spice, it wasn’t strong to the point where lil’ bun couldn’t handle it.
Plus, enjoying it with a nice scoop (or two) of ice cream helped mellow it out a bit for her as well. Some may thing we were being a little too indulgent by having both cake AND ice cream, but it’s the holidays! Live a little, enjoy delicious food and great company. Afterall, that’s what the holidays are all about!
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree (or 3 tablespoons coconut oil)
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup fancy molasses
- ⅔ cup warm milk of choice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites (or 1 egg)
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ cup dates, chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, molasses, warm milk, and vanilla together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the egg and mix until combined.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves together in a medium bowl.
- Add ½ the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Then gently add in the remaining ½ of the dry ingredients. The batter should still be lumpy. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into a lined muffin tins or 9" round baking pan.
- Combine the chopped dates, 2 tablespoons flour and chopped walnuts. Sprinkle on top of the batter.
- Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes for cupcakes and 30 - 40 minutes for cake or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
- Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.