Recipe: Gramercy Tavern's Gingerbread

We LOVE Smitten Kitchen. In fact, it was probably the first food blog that Silka saw and thought: Wow, I might actually want to do that. We've made plenty from Deb's archives and almost everything has turned out perfectly. Her favorite Chicken and Dumplings changed our lives. But for some reason Silka has had some trouble with a few of her baking recipes. This isn't to say that they are wrong or bad, because they come from reputable food writers and chefs, plenty of people reference her religiously and she's fabulous enough to get a cookbook deal. So we'll blame it on our own oven issues or sub-par ingredients and keep trying because all those recipes look soooo good.

As you already know if you follow us here or here, we're having a big Christmakkah Dinner this weekend. Silka has her heart set on making Gramercy Tavern's Gingerbread as posted on Smitten Kitchen because, come on, who doesn't love a cake made with molasses and Guinness. But rather than leave it up to her historically awful luck we decided to try it out before the party - a novel idea, we know.

And now, almost a full week before our party we can breathe a sigh of relief because it worked! We lost a bit off the top because of an under buttered pan, but after sprinkling some confectioner's sugar you barely notice. And, anyway, who cares because it's SOOO good! The best part? We can make it ahead of time and all the deep flavors will just get better and deeper and the chewy, crusty edges will just get chewier and crustier. This cake is the real deal so get ready Christmakkah guests! And if you're not coming to the dinner, take it from us and make this cake! It will work - we promise!

Gramercy Tavern's Gingerbread

+ 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

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess. (Seriously. Butter a LOT. We thought we'd buttered more than we could possibly butter, and still lost almost all of the decorative bundt shape from the top.)
2. Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Serve cake dusted with confectioners sugar, with whipped cream or ice cream.


  1. beautiful photos! thanks for giving me a pre-tasting. Wish we could make it to the Christmakkah dinner!

  2. The cake is delicious! Beautiful presentation as well!Coming from foodblogs!

  3. The last time I baked a smitten kitchen recipe it involved whole wheat. It was good but, well, it tasted like whole wheat, even though there were a ton of raspberries. Molasses and Guinness is much more my speed and this looks pretty terrific.