I think I may embark on a crusade to "veganize" as many as of the fabulous recipes created by the talented folks at Cook's Country TV/Cook's Illustrated as possible. I believe I'm becoming blissfully obsessed. A week or so ago, I had a successful and tasty go at their gumbo with it's oven-baked roux. Yum! (You can find my recipe here on One Green Planet.) So, I decided to try my hand at their Classic Gingerbread Cake with a little help from The Sweet Life Online's Gingerbread Bundt Cake. WOW! Cook's Country bakes theirs in a baking pan, but I like the bundt pan approach for a prettier presentation. After studying both inspiring recipes, I borrowed what I thought was the best of both worlds from each. I loved all of the spices in The Sweet Life cake recipe, but I upped the ground ginger by three times to the level of the Cook's Country recipe. I also added fresh ginger and black pepper from the latter. For the fat, I chose the Cook's Country's vegetable oil over The Sweet Life's vegan butter. There is plenty of flavor in this cake and by not having to cream butter in an electric mixer, clean up is quicker. And instead of The Sweet Life's 3/4 cup molasses, I used Cook's Country's 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup natural sugar. And, finally, I LOVED the idea of the Guinness Stout, courtesy Cook's Country. So I used their 3/4 cup and then added 1/4 cup soymilk from The Sweet Life recipe. I had to use my best judgment regarding amounts of substitutions, as The Sweet Life recipe made enough batter for a bundt cake and the Cook's Country recipe enough for an 8-inch pan. I think I hit it right and hope you agree! To serve, The Sweet Life recipe included a Spiced Eggnog Glaze which sounded delish, but we can't get vegan "nog" around here except at the holidays, so I replaced it with my own creation, serving it spooned over the cake with a side of fresh pear wedges and a star anise pod. So lovely and delicious. The pear wedges are optional, but the crisp, fresh taste of the fruit plays beautifully with the depth of the warm spices in the homey gingerbread.
Classic Gingerbread Bundt Cake [Vegan]
1 9" bundt cake
- 3/4 cup Guinness Stout
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup molasses
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup natural sugar
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup Canola oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (about a 2-inch piece)
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mace or ground nutmeg
- Cinnamon-Molasses Lemon Cream (recipe follows)
- Optional: fresh pair wedges and star anise pods
- 1 cup vegan sour cream
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1/2 cup natural sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- Pinch sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan and set aside.
- In a 1 quart saucepan, bring stout to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. The mixture will foam-up vigorously. When foam subsides, stir in molasses, brown sugar, and natural sugar until dissolved. (There may be some undissolved granules of the natural sugar, which is fine.)
- Pour into a medium mixing bowl and whisk in applesauce, oil, and grated ginger until completely combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger, mace or nutmeg, ground ginger. Whisk stout mixture into flour mixture in thirds, stirring vigorously until ingredients are completely combined and smooth after each addition.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan and gently tap the pan against the counter 3 to 4 times to break up any large air bubbles. Bake until the top of the cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. The cake will rise substantially during baking and fall slightly--to a flat top--as it cools. It should not sink. Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Then invert cake onto the rack and cool completely covered with a dish towel. Transfer to a serving plate, slice (I like a serrated knife for this task,) and serve with Cinnamon-Molasses Cream and, if desired, fresh pair wedges.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until completely incorporated.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving time.