nutty gingerbread snack cake with molasses glaze (one bowl, no mixer)

I have to admit, I'm loving the creative side of my brain these days.
It's been giving me a boatload of ideas for one-bowl recipes.
I know a lot of you LOVED the brownie recipes (plain and caramel-pecan), and were thrilled not to have to shell out and clean your kitchen aid mixer just for brownies, but to make it all in one bowl.
I have another "one-bowl" recipe for you, that came out perfect on the first try.
(don't you love that? 1st try score?)
This snack cake is just that: a snack cake.  Not heavy or sugary gingerbread--it's a little more buttery, lighter in cake density, but full of flavor.
I added in pecans and cinnamon chips just for a little extra something something.
Of course you don't have to add in nuts, but I highly recommend the cinnamon chips as they melt into the batter when baked.
I swear cinnamon chips on their own are awful, but taste wonderful in a buttery cake. Go figure.
This gingerbread snack cake came about when I -- don't laugh-- wanted the smell of gingerbread
in the kitchen.
Ever just make something just for the smell it leaves in the kitchen?
Gingerbread and apple pie are two such items I love to make--oh the scent they leave behind.
This snack cake is perfect with hot espresso.
Are you a coffee lover?  Oh please try this with a shot (or two) of hot espresso.  Seriously, so good.
I found that "Sugar in The Raw" works just as good, if not better than coarse baking sugar.
To glaze or not to glaze?
Up to you, I loved it.
Keep in mind this glaze is super sweet, and you only need a bit.
I made way too much, so maybe go ahead and HALF the ingredients for the glaze.
This glaze was made on a whim, so I didn't have to time to re-do it with smaller amounts.
So if you don't half it, it will keep in the fridge for at least a week, just fine--mine did--just make sure to
cover and seal it well before storing in fridge.
How long does it keep?
Well, I saved a small piece for myself before the vultures set in, wrapped it well in plastic wrap, kept it in the cupboard for 2 days (had forgotten about it--I know crazy) and it was fine!
Said small piece in question.  He did fine and I bet he could have gone 3 days in hiding with no problem. :-)

nutty gingerbread snack cake (one bowl easy)
recipe from vanillasugarblog.com
print recipe

12 TB unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, room temp
½  cup molasses
½ cup whole milk or light cream
1 cake flour
1 cup flour
1 ts baking powder
¾ ts sea salt
1 ½ ts clove
1 ts cinnamon
2 ts ginger powder
½ cup chopped pecans
2-3 handfuls of cinnamon chips

coarse sugar, for sprinkling on top (optional)

molasses glaze:
2 TB very soft unsalted butter
½ ts sea salt
¼ cup molasses
½ confectioners sugar

cook notes:  
The glaze is very sweet!  You only need a little bit.  I made way too much, so maybe go ahead and HALF the ingredients. This glaze was made on a whim, so I didn't have to time to re-do it with smaller amounts.
If you don't half it, it will keep in the fridge for at least a week, just fine--mine did--just make sure to cover and seal it well before storing in fridge.
I used one bowl for all this (except the glaze), if you feel more comfortable using a mixer then please go ahead.  I also mixed mine by hand.

Preheat the oven to 350.
Grease with butter or spray with non stick spray an 8 or 9-inch cake pan.
In one large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, egg and egg yolk well.  Add in the molasses and milk and mix well.  Dump in: both flours, baking powder, salt, all the spices, and mix until JUST combined.  No need to overmix here-- lumps are good.
Then add in the nuts and cinnamon chips and mix using 4-5 strokes.  No more!
Pour batter into prepared cake pan, sprinkle on with the coarse sugar, bake about 25-30 minutes or until the middle is set and not jiggly.  You can use the cake tester method too.  It’s a light batter, so it will bake up fast; please check it at the 23-minute mark.
While cake is cooling in pan, make the glaze, by combining all the ingredients in a medium bowl; mixing by hand or with a hand mixer until the lumps are gone.
I waited until the cake was completely cooled to glaze it.
If you do glaze it while cake is still hot, the glaze will just melt into the cake and look ugly.


  1. The cake looks wonderful. I love cinn chips! AND then...with that glaze. Whoa. I seriously love molasses. Like I could drink it :) So even though you made 'too much', not for me, at all!

  2. This looks very good! Though I do have a question about the flours. It says:
    1 cake flour
    1 cup flour
    Is that two cups of flour, in two different types?

    1. yes 1 cup flour AND 1 cup cake flour= 2 cups total!

  3. gaH! NOM NOM! I love gingerbread. And the idea of the crunchy sugar on top?! Heaven! Another delicious creation

  4. I would be happy to always have my kitchen smell like gingerbread...so I totally know what you mean! I could totally go for a big slice of this right now.

  5. I just got a beautiful bourbon "finishing sugar" as a gift - I'd bet that'd be good sprinkled on top!

  6. Oh, yes, the only thing better than a one bowl recipe is one that works on the first try! Love cinnamon chips.

  7. you knew you'd get me at cinnamon chips!

  8. One bowl recipes are the best, and this cakes sounds absolutely delicious!! Love the drizzle, and cinnamon chips. Yum!

  9. You did it again! Can't wait to try this.

  10. I'm all for one bowl recipes! Particularly great ones like this. Gosh, this looks incredible -- thanks so much!

  11. Have I mentioned I LOVE molasses? I want this cake right now--with extra glaze.

  12. I love your one bowl recipes, you are the queen of them. Gingerbread is a weakness, I can just eat gingerbread everything!

  13. Thank you for giving me a use for those cinnamon chips I bought over xmas and hoarded :) This looks so yummy!

  14. This sounds fabulous with the cinnamon chip and molasses combo!

  15. this sounds absolutely amazing! definitely a good idea to add cinnamon chips to gingerbread :)

  16. First try. I bet you ace first try most times. GREG


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