Dreamy Holiday Ginger Cake (Paleo, Grain/Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)
Ginger is one of my all time favorite foods. If I can sneak ginger into something I'm eating, I'll find a way to do it- whether it's in savory meals, sweet baked goods, smoothies, or teas. I adore ginger's subtle spice and sweet undertone. Mostly, though, I turn to ginger for its impressive healing properties. Ginger is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for nausea, detoxification, improved assimilation of nutrients, menstrual cramps, and chronic skin diseases. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory that has shown to be highly effective for inflammation of the joints and the GI tract.
My first love affair with ginger started at a young age when my grandmother would make me a spicy ginger and pear concoction whenever I had a cold or a sore throat. She would boil an Asian pear (which are the BEST types of pears, no joke) with honey, ginger, and black pepper until it cooked down to a syrupy, spicy goodness that would coat my throat and warm me right up. I still remember how the black pepper and ginger would tickle my throat with its heat. It was an old cold remedy and, though I don't recall whether or not it was quite effective, it certainly was delicious.
I paleo-adapted this recipe from David Lebovitz's Ginger Cake recipe from his book, Ready for Dessert. All of his recipes are absolutely stunning and always turn out spectacularly. This book is one of my all time favorite baking books, despite the fact that it is neither paleo nor gluten-free. I wish I could still make and enjoy all of those beautiful desserts in his book, but I think adapting them to paleo is a pretty fun challenge so I'll stick with that and save myself the trouble of passing out from the gluten and sugars. To adapt this recipe, I based the flour mixture from Zenbelly's almond flour, arrowroot, and coconut flour ratio, which I think should be the rule of thumb in paleo baking. Thanks, Simone, for the inspiration!
Now, this cake is really something. It is decadently moist without feeling overly rich, the right amount of sweet balanced by the spice of the ginger and ground pepper, and so overwhelmingly aromatic that it makes you want to just put your whole face to it and hug it (was that a little overboard?). It uses a generous amount of fresh ginger, which is extremely important. Fresh ginger has a distinctly different taste than ground ginger and cannot be substituted in this recipe. Even if you're serving to non-paleo folks, you must try this recipe. It will envelope your whole house with the scent of cinnamon and cloves and you will certainly be hearing praises of this dreamy cake.
Dreamy Holiday Ginger Cake (Paleo, Grain/Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
Time: 1hr 20mins
Adapted from David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert
- 60 grams fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 80 grams coconut oil
- 90 grams blanched almond flour
- 60 grams arrowroot
- 30 grams coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup hot coffee
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 6x3 round cake pan with a circle of parchment paper
- Pulse the ginger in a food processor until finely chopped. Mix together the molasses, coconut sugar, and coconut oil and add to the food processor. Pulse until mixed well.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together almond flour, arrowroot, coconut flour, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper.
- Pour hot coffee into a large bowl. Stir in the baking soda and whisk in the molasses/ginger mixture.
- Gradually sift in the dry ingredients into the batter. Whisk in the egg until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, cover with a piece of foil and continue baking.
- Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it and flip onto a cake plate. Top with paleo caramel drizzle or simple enjoy as is!