12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) unsulphured dark or unsulphured blackstrap molasses * (see Note below)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter or grease a 10-inch springform cake pan.
Place the chunks of butter in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Pour in the molasses and whisk in the brown sugar and white sugar. Whisk as the butter melts. When the butter has melted and is completely liquid, and the sugar has dissolved and is no longer grainy, give it a final stir and turn off the heat. Set the pan aside to cool. (The molasses will look slightly separated from the melted fat; they won’t be smoothly combined.)
Use a clean dry whisk to combine the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and espresso powder in a large bowl. (The espresso powder is optional; it will lend one more dimension of flavor to your cake.)
Whisk the vanilla, eggs, and milk into the saucepan with the molasses and melted butter. When it is completely combined, pour this liquid slowly into the bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk thoroughly to combine, making sure there are no lumps.
Pour the thick batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 20 or 30 minutes, then run a thin, flexible knife around the inside of the pan to help the cakes edges release. Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a cooling rack before icing.
Loaf Variation: You can also bake this cake in a loaf pan. Instead of using a springform pan, use two 8.5″Wx4.5″Dx2.75″H loaf pans, well-greased. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
Note on molasses: If you want the very dark, nearly black cake seen here, use unsulphured blackstrap molasses. Lighter molasses varieties will still work fine in this cake, but it won’t be as dark or have any many bitter notes. If you want a lighter spice cake, then use regular molasses.
Frost with Cooked Cream Cheese Icing
courtesy of http://www.thekitchn.com