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Gingerbread Cake with Orange Glaze

Billie’s Gingerbread

Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


For the cake:

  • Whole black peppercorns or ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Whole cloves or ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • Whole cardamom or ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • sticks 6 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh ginger root finely grated and tightly packed (from approximately 2 large pieces)
  • tsp orange zest from approximately 2-3 oranges

For the soak:

  • ½ cup bourbon
  • TBS sugar

For the glaze:

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar sifted or put through a strainer
  • 5-6 teaspoons orange juice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 6-cup Bundt pan.
  • Separately, grind your peppercorns, cloves and cardamom, and measure out ¼ teaspoon of each. Grind your cinnamon stick and measure out 1 teaspoon.
  • Whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a small bowl.
  • In another small bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk into the sour cream. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until the mixture is light, fluffy and almost white. This should take about 3 minutes
  • Grate the ginger root -- this is a lot of ginger -- and the orange zest. Add them to the butter/sugar mixture.
  • Beat the flour mixture into the butter, alternating with the egg mixture, until each addition is incorporated. [I recommend a third each time.] The batter should be as luxurious as mousse.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until two-thirds full and bake for about 40 minutes, until the cake is golden and a wooden skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove to a rack and cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • While the cake cools in its pan, simmer the bourbon and the sugar in a small pot for about 4 minutes. It should reduce to about ⅓ cup.
  • While the cake is still in the pan, brush half the bourbon mixture onto its exposed surface (the bottom of the cake) with a pastry brush. Let the syrup soak in for a few minutes, then turn the cake out onto a rack.
  • Gently brush the remaining mixture all over the cake.
  • Once the cake is cooled, mix the sugar with the orange juice and either drizzle the glaze randomly over the cake or put it into a squeeze bottle and do a controlled drizzle.


From: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
I’ve added a few notes to clarify some of the directions.