I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but now that Thanksgiving is over I am now open to the Christmas spirit. Greenery, red bows, holidays lights, even Christmas music. It’s all fair game now.
Actually, I’m going to spend just one more paragraph on Thanksgiving before I move on to other things. I hope you don’t mind, Reader. I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving filled with delicious food and family and all sorts of good things. This was the second Thanksgiving I spent away from home (rather, away from my grandparents’ house, which is where we always celebrate). This year, the Austro-American Society had a catered meal and some fellow TAs and I provided entertainment in the form of a series of narrated tableaux telling the story of Thanksgiving. It was well received and involved paper pilgrim hats and a TA dressed up as a turkey. There was also Scottish folk dancing.
Ok, now, onto one of my favorite December-y things: gingerbread. Not the cookie kind, the cake kind. I’ve always been more of a gingerbread cake person than a gingerbread cookie person. I have this memory of going to the bakery around the corner from my grandfather’s apartment and getting a slice of gingerbread cake while my sister got a gingerbreadman cookie. In my mind, this was something that happened multiple times but it probably only happened once. I tried to go back and get gingerbread there two or three years ago but they didn’t have any. It’s probably a seasonal item and I definitely didn’t go in December.
This recipe is the same gingerbread recipe I’ve been using since I was, oh, I don’t know, eleven? It’s from FamilyFun Magazine, which used to be one of my favorite things to browse through. You know, back when we got it in the mail and my sister and I were sort of the right age for their content.
So, wondering how to kick off your holiday season? I highly recommend starting with this simple cake. It’s got all those Christmas spice flavors and is practically a one-bowl recipe. Plus, it’s great for a mid-morning snack, afternoon tea, dessert…really, it’s great all the time.
Gingerbread Cake with Honey and Pear
Adapted from FamilyFun Magazine via Spoonful.com
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (Can’t find it in the stores? Make some!)
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper (I twisted my pepper mill ten times)
- 3/4 cup brewed ginger tea, still hot (or use 3/4 cup hot water)
- 1 large pear, rinsed and chopped
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour a 9 x 9 inch pan (8 x 8 will do in a pinch).
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in molasses, honey, and the egg. Set aside. To measure your molasses and honey easily, first spray your measuring cup with olive/canola oil/Pam!
In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Pour the butter/molasses mixture into the dry ingredients. Add tea. Beat with a mixer or a whisk until completely incorporated and smooth.
Pour batter into your prepared pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle chopped pear over top.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.