Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Hard Sauce

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There is nothing like coming home from a hard day of school to a slice of Gingerbread Cake. Even better is a slice of Gingerbread Cake with a dollop of Lemon Hard Sauce. Winking smileAnd maybe a hot cup of tea.

When I was little,  my mom used to make the best Gingerbread Cake.  It was a permanent baking fixture in her kitchen during the whole month of December. It was simple and satisfying. While my mom was busy mixing the ingredients, I would be sneaking under the Christmas tree shaking my presents to figure out what I got.
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My brother would be peeling the tape a little off of his and then he would stealthily try to re-tape it. We were stinkers. (Sorry mom!) Mmmm. And then that smell would waft throughout the house. The rich smell of ginger mixed with cinnamon and other spices. I didn’t know the other spices names yet. I was too little.
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When we were in New York last week, our friend Nicole made the most amazing Gingerbread Cake. I swear I will get my hands on the recipe and try her recipe. It was dark. Almost black. It was gooey and amazingly moist. She served us the cake after dinner with vanilla ice-cream. Another wonderful way to eat Gingerbread Cake.  Or you may like simple…like a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar. ginger4
I love to make my kids quick and tasty snacks to have after school. For the cooler days, a lovely slice of Gingerbread Cake and a hot cup of tea is just the perfect treat for my little munchkins. They also get apple slices and tangerines. We big people like our Gingerbread Cake with that healthy spoonful of Lemon Hard Sauce I was telling you about. Lemon Hard Sauce I think can cure just about any thing. It’s tangy and sweet and goes so well with the flavors in the Gingerbread Cake.

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Gingerbread Cake
serves approximately 12

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup unsulfured molasses
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 large eggs, room temperature,lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-9-inch cake pan; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground spices, salt, and baking powder; set aside.

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter until light. Beat in brown sugar until fluffy. Next, beat in molasses and grated ginger, baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture. Finally, beat in eggs.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, (approximately 30 to 35 minutes). Let cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Serve with the Lemon Hard Sauce or a nice dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

slightly adapted recipe Martha Stewart

Lemon Hard Sauce

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp lemon zest
1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/12/ cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract.
In a medium sized bowl, on medium-high speed beat the softened butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice until just creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla into the bowl in small doses and beat until it is nice and fluffy.

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