Ginger-Molasses Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd

Fresh grated ginger and lemon zest add zest, sparkle and punch.

Fresh grated ginger and lemon zest add zest, sparkle and punch.

Today I began cooking for a holiday party I’m hosting the day after tomorrow. One item I want on the menu is an old-fashioned spice cake, and while thumbing through cookbooks in search of a recipe, I was imagining rich layers of flavor that would be more redolent of spice than cloyingly sweet. No such luck; I couldn’t find the perfect recipe.

After describing my fantasy cake to Lucy (the most talented pastry chef I know), she described a recipe with fresh, snappy ginger that plays off dark savory notes in molasses – she promised lemon zest and curd will make it sing.

Making the batter.

Making the batter.

The results were the Hallalujah Chorus in my mouth – moist, yet rich with old-fashioned, home-baked flavor; I plan to serve it with whipped or Devon cream on the side.

My next make-aheads on the list will be a Gorgonzola-Pear Dip (I’ll add the pears the day of the party), and Pimento Cheese with Creme Fraiche and Bacon, which I’ll serve in endive cups.

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Recipe: Ginger-Molasses Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd


  • 3 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, Vietnamese preferred
  • 2 packed tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 packed tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Unsalted butter for buttering bundt pan
  • Lemon curd as needed, scratch-made or purchased
  • Powdered sugar
  • Devon or whipped cream (optional)


  1. Position rack on middle shelf of oven and reheat to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk flour and cinnamon together until completely combined.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat ginger, zest, butter and brown sugar together at high speed until mixture is pale; about 5 minutes.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together boiling water, molasses and baking soda; mixture will foam and expand.
  5. Alternate adding flour mixture and molasses mixture to butter mixture in three batches, mixing at medium speed until incorporated. Beat in eggs.
  6. Pour in well-buttered 9-inch bundt pan, and bake 45-55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes then turn out onto a baking rack and cool an additional 30 minutes.
  8. Spread with lemon curd and lightly dust with powdered sugar. Serve with cream, if using.

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 45-55 minutes

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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4 Responses to Ginger-Molasses Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd

  1. Yenta Mary says:

    Oh, you’ve put some of my favorite words, and flavors, into this!!! I adore ginger and lemon and spice and cake … sigh … 🙂

  2. Tania Evans says:

    Hi Peggy –
    Here it is 0 degrees. I’m dressing to go out to the horses to feed and thinking of that delicious cake from your party that I would love to have for breakfast today. Gingery, sweet from molasses, possessing an incredible texture that was light but strong and not crumbly. I’d wrap it up and stick it in my pocket and ski out to the barn – yes, we do have 8 inches of snow. I’d stand where the southeast sun can reach me in the doorway and unwrap that bundt, getting a whiff of lemon, munching on it while the horses are deep into their timothy and alfalfa. Oh well, back to the yogurt. Tania

    • Peggy says:

      We are on the same page, Tania, but I’ve (sadly) only bird feeders to fill. Yesterday I had the cake with plain Greek yogurt – honestly, just as you mentioned – and it was lovely, especially the bite possessing a hunk of ginger. For the record, I made the cake 6 days ago and it still does not possess that refrigerator taste, esp. after re-heating. I think I will put on my “woolens” and venture outside – though frigid it’s quite gorgeous! Peggy

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